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City planners talk future land use

Possible future changes in land use for areas in and around the City of Albion were discussed by city planners Monday night, May 4.

Tim Keelan and Lonnie Dickson of Hanna:Keelan Associates, PC, discussed their ideas about community growth and future land use with the Albion Planning Commission and a small group of other residents. Maps showing both current and possible future land use were discussed.

Keelan noted that land use is not the same as zoning, and generalized land use maps may include several types of land use within a given area. The future land use map indicates four redevelopment areas for business, housing and industrial redevelopment.

Within the city limits, redevelopment areas are proposed for downtown and the northwest corner of town. Redevelopment areas outside the city limits are the industrial site where Cargill and the ethanol plant are located, and a site north of Highway 91 and west of the Beaver Creek flood plain.

The planners said a land use plan should take into consideration an area roughly twice the size of the existing city limits for possible phased annexation.

Albion has received grant funding for a four-step downtown focus area housing plan. Keelan said he foresees the possibility that 20 to 25 housing units could be developed downtown.

The downtown study process would determine the potential for downtown housing, create a detailed 10-year downtown housing action plan, conduct a blight/substandard determination and a general development plan. Finally, a plan for downtown housing options would be developed, including designs and budgets for conversion of selected buildings to housing or mixed uses.

Hannah:Keelan representatives will return to Albion for a community open house on Tuesday, July 14. All Albion area residents will be invited to stop in and discuss the comprehensive plan that day. On the evening of July 14, Keelan and Dickson will report to the City Council.