Aldermen to vote on city master plan

Published 10:56 pm Monday, May 21, 2018


NATCHEZ — The master plan to prepare downtown Natchez for “the next 300 years” is set for approval today.

Including new projects, maintenance strategies and other improvements to the heart of Natchez, the city’s downtown revitalization plan will go before the Natchez Board of Aldermen for a final vote at 6 p.m. today at the city council chambers. Aldermen made their final revisions to the plan earlier this month.

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This new plan would be the first time Natchez revised its downtown master plan since 1999, though that portion of the city’s comprehensive plan is supposed to be updated every three to five years.

The project to draft this overarching plan for downtown began in 2016, when local nonprofit FOR Natchez began its effort to raise $100,000 to begin the project. After that materialized, the nonprofit commissioned consultant group The Walker Collaborative to conduct a study and, ultimately, give shape to Natchez’s future. The collaborative is headed by former Natchez city planner Phil Walker and also consists of architect and urban designer Keith Covington, economic strategist Randall Gross, and planning consultants Tronn Moller and Lee Jones.

While the consultants ultimately assumed responsibility for drawing up the plan, many ideas came from residents after numerous charettes and public forums to see what citizens wanted.

City planner Riccardo Giani will present the final plan at tonight’s meeting, and the aldermen will then have the chance to officially adopt it.