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Thompson’s Station recognized nationally and statewide for new Land Development Ordinance


Thompson’s Station recognized nationally and statewide for new Land Development Ordinance

Town of Thompson’s Station officials announced earlier this week town staff and officials have been recognized for both a statewide and national award.

Town of Thompson’s Station officials announced earlier this week town staff and officials have been recognized for both a statewide and national award.

Alderman Brandon Bell said that he represented the Town of Thompson’s Station this past weekend at the Tennessee Municipal League’s annual conference in Gatlinburg, where the town received the Small Town Progress Award for the work done on the new Land Development Ordinance.

“My understanding is that’s a state award,” said Mayor Corey Napier. “It represents the collaborative and consensus-building process we went through last year to look at our Land Development Ordinance and the intended code that went with it.”

Napier added that the city received another, national recognition from the Form-Based Codes Institute located in Detroit.

“This is the form-based code Driehaus Award,” said Town Administrator Joe Cosentini. “It’s not one that’s given out on an annual basis by the Form Based Code Institute. There’s a panel comprised of urban thinkers from around the country that evaluate applications for this award. They don’t give it every year if all the applications don’t meet a certain standard. We got an honorable mention.”

Cosentini added that a panel evaluates the process a community goes through to write its form-based code. In particular, the panel looks for unique components of that code, and Cosentini added that the Town of Thompson’s Station had a couple of unique aspects, such as its signage requirements, open space requirements and street cross-sections.

“It’s a very good recognition for the town and a lot of work went into this code,” Cosentini said. “People around the country looking at it and saying, ‘This is unique and you guys are doing what you should be doing from a new urban planning perspective.'”

Town officials passed their new Land Development Ordinance last fall after spending the large part of 2015 composing it. In response to pressure for development and a desire of residents to maintain a rural character, the town ultimately produced “transect districts” as a solution.

The transect district, more commonly called form-based code or smart code, is a newer principle in land planning that tends to promote clustering of development to allow for preservation of open space.

“What they were patting us on the back for is we’re looking out 20, 30, 40 years down the road and saying, ‘We know growth is going to happen here, and this is how we are going to address it,'” Napier said. “What this was acknowledging was that we are still considered a somewhat rural, agrarian area, but we know that’s changing with 840 and with the popularity of Williamson County and Middle Tennessee.”

Quint Qualls covers Spring Hill for Home Page Media Group. Reach him at quint@springhillhomepage.com.

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