Hayden looks toward master planning

The town council is concentrating on bringing the concept of smart growth to the Hayden community as part of its planning endeavors. At their meeting this month, council members discussed a vision for the town’s future and a master plan to make it a reality.

“Hayden has seen tremendous growth within the last few years and the recent annexation movement has created a great need for a plan,” said council member Cheryl Hudson. “The intent and purpose of this proposed master plan is to work towards envisioning a future for the town that builds on the features of the community and guides development in a way that is beneficial to the town’s citizens.”

A master plan should address physical growth. It is long range in scope and comprehensive in intent.

Hudson emphasizes the importance of involvement and participation from the public when developing a master plan.

“Public hearings will be facilitated by the council during the initial stages of the plan development process to allow for public comment and provide essential information on the town’s plans,” she said.

The legal basis for master planning in Alabama comes from state statutes that empower committees to make and adopt master plans for physical development of municipalities.

Grants are available to fund development of such a master plan. The grant application process begins in April and requires the town to request a specified dollar amount needed to develop its plan. A regional planning committee will work alongside the council during this process to assess and incorporate the town’s new proposed annexation territory and population based on census in order to determine the total cost needed to develop a plan.