Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2008
The General Development plan now proposed for the City of Batesville, titled “Batesville 2030,” builds on two previous long-range community growth plans. Both have served the city well, allowing planned growth and organized delivery of municipal services within a reasonable schedule.
Those familiar with the two previous plans — 1990 and 2010 — know that the growth and changes of the city followed the plans rather closely.
A development plan is not chiseled in stone, but it gives an outline to follow so everyone is on the same page when growth and expansion occur. The plan is also an established guide to show people the direction leaders they elected want to go. If an elected official is no longer in office during the next term, those following still have a direction to follow. It illuminates a path from term to term.
A plan can also be changed or modified. It is a plan, not a set of unchangeable rules. The plan also sets the standard. The bar can either be set to an extreme or to a happy medium. The important issue is that the bar is set and that everybody — developers, architects, building and home owners, code enforcement officers — knows exactly where the bar is. A uniform set of design standards is essential with keeping real estate values on an “apples-to-apples” value scale.
Whether its annexation, land use, subdivision regulations, city services, design standards, recreational facilities or green space, the City of Batesville is the largest economic engine driving Panola County. We should lead by example.
A solid plan addressing each of the aforementioned areas will help not only the residents of Batesville, but set a standard for the remainder of the county.
It is the job of city officials to adopt this plan, but it is the job of concerned citizens, developers and business people to make their voices heard while the plan is being developed rather than after its adoption.
Watch for the public hearing, coming soon.