Planning Our Tomorrow- Finding A Balance in Danville/Boyle County

As an outgrowth of the Regional Land Use Partnership, Bluegrass Tomorrow is beginning to offer its expertise to other communities on smart growth principles, and worked with the City of Danville Planning & Zoning and Mayor Mike Perros to facilitate and plan a conference planning for growth, economic development and farmland preservation at Centre College on November 1.

A standing room only crowd of over 100 Boyle County citizens attended this professional conference which focused on providing a unique opportunity to learn more and be part of the process to boldly grow Boyle County in a sustainable, planned manner, discussing strategies to help explore new opportunities for economic development, reimagining downtown Danville, and preserving agriculture.

The event was highlighted by keynote speaker Holly Wiedemann of AU Associates, noted for adaptive reuse projects across Kentucky that have been catalysts for vibrancy in smaller cities and rural communities and opportunities for residential and commercial accelerators.

Dr. Ned Crankshaw of the University of Kentucky Dept. of Landscape Architecture opened the conference with a overview of the principles of smart growth, which was followed by a panel discussion moderated by the American Farmland Trust’s Billy Van Pelt.  Panelists included David Tomes developer of Norton Commons, Clint Quarles from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and Brian Howard Owensboro Planning Director.

Two Concurrent Session periods included choices on Rural Downtown Revitalization, Housing Options, Transportation and Farmland Considerations, Infill Development in Surburan Areas, County-wide Development: Balancing Small Business and Industry Needs, and Reimagining Downtown Danville.  As Downtown Danville is at the beginning of the process of a new downtown master plan, this session was popular and timely.

Report outs and discussion from the concurrent sessions led to facilitated discussion on setting priorities.