Work continues on Thomasville: Blueprint 2028, the City of Thomasville’s comprehensive plan and engagement process, based on feedback received from a series of open houses in early May. Four open house sessions were held in various locations to accommodate and appeal to a large part of the community. Sessions were held at the City of Thomasville Council Chambers, First Missionary Baptist Church, Thomasville Community Resource Center, and Douglass School.
A consulting team of experts in neighborhood planning, streets and roadways, and other areas spent a week in Thomasville examining and gathering information for the comprehensive plan. The team walked the community, examined travel patterns and landscaping, and noted opportunities for development and improvement. According to City Planner Brian Herrmann, “We programmed each day around a visit to a specific community in the city. Early in the morning, the team would meet with a couple of ambassadors from that community, and we would walk the various neighborhoods, making observations and talking to people.”
Nightly open house sessions incorporated the information gathered by the consulting team earlier in the day. “We began with a presentation on what we observed earlier that day and set-up a number of exercises to allow for input on issues that affect all of us, from the type and cost of housing to the quality of our parks, recreation, and streets,” said Herrmann.
Community participants were able to share input on visioning boards, ending the week with a wealth of information listing what the community wanted that will be used in the comprehensive plan. According to Herrmann, “The comprehensive plan is such an important process for the future of our city. It literally determines policy for the next 20 to 30 years.”
Since the consulting team’s visit, the City of Thomasville continues to evaluate data and community input. “Countless opinions were expressed, allowing us to establish some consensus about those areas that we should continue to focus on,” said Herrmann. “Many folks have told us that this was the first time that they have felt comfortable expressing their opinions in a public setting.”
The process is still ongoing, with plans to present a draft of the comprehensive plan next Spring. The recent series of comprehensive plan meetings are only the first in a long process to engage the public and allow everyone to be a part of the conversation. According to Herrmann, “We feel that this plan is so important and so comprehensive that it requires an entire year to ensure that we touch every aspect of our community. This includes our businesses, residents, charities, civic groups, children, and many more.”
Comprehensive plan events with opportunities for public input will be scheduled throughout the year, with plans to present a draft to the community next Spring. Herrmann anticipates adopting the comprehensive plan early next Summer.
For more information, visit Thomasville.org/comprehensive-plan or contact City Planner Brian Herrmann at (229) 227-7009.