Words and Images by Jenny Lynn Davis
On September 26, the City of Cordova hosted a community meeting at City Hall, allowing residents to learn about and contribute to the city’s new Comprehensive Plan, which is set to shape Cordova’s future growth, development, public services, and infrastructure.
The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB) is leading the effort to establish Cordova’s Comprehensive Plan. RPCGB has completed similar plans for nearby municipalities in the last seven years, including Morris, Calera, Chelsea, Harpersville, Fultondale, Montevallo, Pelham, and Irondale.
During the meeting, Lindsay Puckett, AICP, Principal Planner for RPCGB, explained what a Comprehensive Plan is and why Cordova needs one.
“This plan acts as a guide, answering questions like: What’s Cordova like now? What are its current challenges and future vision? How will the vision be achieved, and progress be measured?” she said. “Cordova’s last plan was established 18 years ago, and in that time, the city has undergone massive changes sparked by many factors, not the least of which is the April 2011 tornadoes.”
The meeting encouraged active participation from attendees, with the RPCGB team and City officials collecting verbal feedback and hosting activities focused on economic development, transportation, infrastructure, community development, and quality of life, ensuring the community’s voice is part of the Comprehensive Plan.
“The Comprehensive Plan won’t be just words on paper. It will comprise chapters with recommended actions covering land use, catalytic projects, mobility, infrastructure, livability, public services, and recreation,” said Puckett. “Your input helps us because you know your city best.”
Puckett also highlighted the city’s concurrent planning and infrastructure efforts, including the Recreational Trails Master Plan published in June and the recent receipt of several grants. Cordova received a $5.1 million RAISE grant from the US Department of Transportation, a $5.5 million grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for sewer lines, and a $2.8 million grant from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for gas lines, and a $50,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham for improvements at Indian Head Mill Park.
“Mayor Pate, [Director of Economic Development] Renee Sides, and other elected officials have done a fantastic job in helping to secure these wonderful grants, and the work made possible by the grants will be set in motion soon,” she said.
Mayor Jeremy Pate added, “We know the glaring issues like roads and infrastructure, but this plan will help us address those in addition to the ones we haven’t addressed yet.”
“Our people have to start investing in our community, be it time, money, or other resources, before we see change. This plan helps us outline where to start acting and get that community involvement going. We have lots of things on the verge of happening, and we’re excited for what’s to come.” WL