The Town of Thompson’s Station has selected consulting firm PlaceMakers LLC to spearhead a planning project involving officials, staff and citizens that will result in a comprehensive update of the town Zoning Ordinance. The project is expected to be finished around the end of the year and will include several public input opportunities.
“It’s a new year, a new administration, and a new season for Thompson’s Station,” said Mayor Corey Napier. “The development that does and does not occur in the next few years will greatly and permanently influence the look, feel and economic fabric of our community. The next step in our strategic growth is to hone our regulations to ensure that we are setting ourselves up for successes that align with our town brand and identity.”
Town staff published a Request for Qualifications in November of 2014 and received proposals from several firms. PlaceMakers was selected by a unanimous vote of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at the January 13th, 2015 meeting. The contract was approved at a Special Called meeting on January 20th.
Town Administrator Joe Cosentini said, “PlaceMakers has an impressive track record of working with communities of comparable size and vision. We look forward to their guidance and support throughout this process.”
Depending on public input and findings, Mr. Cosentini said the town may consider adopting a Form-based Code, which is concerned more with the physical appearance of buildings rather than their functions. “A form-based code allows communities to achieve a certain look and feel, while still giving property owners and businesses the freedom to engage in a broad range of economic activities,” said Mr. Cosentini. “For example, it might require a development to be constructed with certain architectural elements, landscaping features and building materials, regardless of whether the space is to be inhabited by a bank, a restaurant, a retail location or an office.”
Mr. Cosentini noted that if the town decided to adopt a form-based code, it would apply only to designated areas, such as the Town Center District and other specific commercial corridors—not the entire jurisdiction.
Mayor Napier said this planning project represents an important next step for the town. “We are shifting gears, not changing direction,” he said. “Our priorities haven’t changed; we just want to improve the ability of our regulations to articulate and uphold those priorities.”
More information about this project—including opportunities for public participation—will be posted on the town’s website thompsons-station.com as details become available. Citizens may also sign up for email news and updates on the town website or Facebook page.