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In July of this year, the Thomasville City Council unanimously adopted Blueprint: Thomasville 2028, the comprehensive plan for the City. Building on the confidence, momentum and energy created during the comprehensive planning process, the focus now shifts to implementation. That initiative, according to City planners, will begin next month when a 12-18 month process kicks off that will address Thomasville’s development code.

“Our goal is to utilizing a public process that will first educate our community on the importance of a development code update while also illustrating how this builds upon the vision set by the community during the Blueprint process,” said Kenny Thompson, City Planner. Thompson said that Dover, Kohl and Partners have once more been engaged to help guide the update of the City’s development ordinances.

“Dover, Kohl and Partners worked with us through the development and creation of Blueprint: Thomasville 2028,” he said. “They were a great asset to our community and were instrumental in helping us achieve the level of public input that was so important to our comprehensive plan. We feel that same level of community engagement is just as important in the code update process.”

Thompson said that during comprehensive planning, a review of the City’s development codes was conducted. “We discovered that our code had several inconsistencies and was in need of a full update,” said Thompson, adding that having an up-to-date City code is very important for our community. “Currently, our code can make the process difficult for those wanting to invest in our community and does not always produce the best results. This update will help us make some much needed adjustments and produce a new development code that will be easier to use and to understand.”

The process to update the City’s code will kick off next month with a meeting designed to gather initial public input. “We want our community to have a voice in building the framework for the code update,” he said. “Public input will help us to be sure that the new code meets the objectives of our community.”

The interactive presentation and discussion will be held on Monday, January 7, 2019 beginning at 5:30 in Council Chambers. During the workshop, a presentation will be given followed by open dialogue regarding the code’s needed updates. “We will also be using our audience response software to gather data to help us create a framework for our updated code,” said Thompson.

The goal of the workshop will be to help provide information to the community on the existing regulations and the various regulating documents that help guide development in the Thomasville community. “Ultimately, we hope to join the multiple documents that presently exist into one unified ordinance that will help eliminate conflicting regulations, streamline the approval process and make what is allowed to be built more understandable and in keeping with the desires of our community.”

While the January workshop is the first, Thompson said it will not be the only opportunity for the community to take place in the code update process. “While this event creates an essential foundation for the code update, it is only the beginning of a transparent and inclusive process. We’ll have sessions later in the spring that will give people even more opportunities to share their opinions about this important process.”