At their Thursday meeting, members of the economic development commission continued discussion on current efforts to engage local landowners.
At their Thursday meeting, members of the Spring Hill Economic Development Commission continued discussion on current efforts to engage local landowners, and proposed a new plan to reach out to regional developers in an effort to grow the city.
Throughout 2015, one of the principal tasks of the commission was to identify local property owners around Spring Hill whose properties were considered to be ready for development.
City officials held two dinners for property owners last year, including one on Dec. 3, in order to strike up a dialogue about possible future land use and to gauge the desires of attendees.
Jim Grimes, chairman of the Economic Development Commission, said a big reason for the dinners was to understand the intentions of landowners so the city can best represent them and, in some cases, even shield them from developers.
Another aim of the landowner engagement effort is to catalogue details on properties around the city, namely whether or not a particular property owner is interested in seeing his land developed.
Now the EDC is preparing to hold a third dinner, possibly for the landowners living in the areas around Beechcroft Road or Campbell Station. City Administrator Victor Lay suggested the area around Port Royal Road and Kedron Road as an additional option.
“What you guys are doing with landowners – it is vital,” said Alderman Kayce Williams at the meeting on Thursday. “I can’t tell you what a help it would be if we had any idea what the inventory was for properties; if we knew who as willing and who was not willing to sell.”
The commission aims to be able to develop a database that inventories various landowners and their goals for their properties. In addition, Williams said it needs to be a “living” database that is constantly updated.
“The problem is that we get information, but then it stops,” said David St. Charles, EDC member. “It’s not living, like Kayce said. Sue (Jeffers) has done so much work to identify what we have. It gets in those spreadsheets and then it stops right there. We need to have the ability to view it, edit it and also a place to track all of the projects we’re working on, so that for any project we can log in and see.”
The EDC discussed another aspect of encouraging and managing the growth in Spring Hill at Thursday’s meeting: engaging the developers. Grimes suggested reaching out to developers in areas like Brentwood and Franklin and possibly holding a luncheon.
Will Tenpenny, EDC member, said March would be a good time for the luncheon, and Grimes asked the commission to commit to having a list of companies or individuals to invite by the next meeting.
Quint Qualls covers Spring Hill for Home Page Media Group. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.