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Tuscaloosa city leaders, committee move forward with master plan

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Tuscaloosa City leaders are working on the city's first master plan. They are hoping a combined effort will create a vision for development, guiding the next twenty to thirty years.

A consulting firm was brought in to help, to the tune of $731,000.

Ten years ago, city leaders created a plan to guide growth within each district. Years later, the challenge remains the same in finding a balance between permanent residents' and the University's needs.

Lee Busby is one of thirty community members with a vested interest in Tuscaloosa's master plan. Busby sits on the steering committee.

"Change is a constant. This place is always going to change," Busby said, "Much of the change has been good, it's not a matter of opposing the change."

The committee, made up of builders, developers, environmentalists, and UA representatives will help city leaders and consultants for guidelines for growth.

The biggest talking points involved housing development and to what level the city will continue to rely on and accommodate UA's population.

"In most places, the interests coincide. But obviously, there's some places where the interest of the University and the full-time residents do diverge," Busby said, "And those are the areas we need to identify and work through how we're going to do that."

District Five Councilman Kip Tyner said a plan is necessary, but he wanted to see less consulting and more taxpayers involved.

"I already see a lot of things I feel like are going to be the same old, same old," Tyner said, "I hope I'm proved wrong, but like I said, we did the Tuscaloosa Forward plan... and it was a disaster for Alberta."

Constituents can lend their voice to the project at a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 27th at the Tuscaloosa Rivermarket at 6 p.m.

Tyner said he is hopeful the consultants will be sending a survey out in the near future.

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