City of Irondale to update Comprehensive Plan—why it matters + how to get involved

City of Irondale updates Comprehensive Plan—why it matters + how to have your ideas heard
The newest mural in Irondale. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Due to rapid growth and change over in recent years, the City of Irondale is working to update its Comprehensive Plan. Read on to find out why it matters and how to get involved.

What’s a Comprehensive Plan?

It’s a plan that sets forth a vision and goals for a city’s future. 

Irondale’s updated Comprehensive Plan’s purpose is to:

  • Be a guide to decide where future housing + business growth should occur
  • Determine what types of transportation system investments are needed
  • Determine what changes are needed to recruit more businesses and jobs
  • Determine what housing needs exist
  • Protect environmentally sensitive areas
  • Determine what’s needed for the safety + welfare of the citizens.
  • Be a guide for zoning decisions, which in turn guides development permits in the city

Behind the Plan

Irondale
The Whistle Stop District in Irondale. Photo via Sharron Swain for Bham Now

In December 2020, Irondale’s City Council voted to hire the Regional Planning Commission off Greater Birmingham (RPCGB) to update the Irondale Comprehensive Plan. 

What’s the reason for the update?

  • Since 2016, Irondale has experienced rapid growth and change.
  • It’s become the destination for luxury automotive sales in the metro region with dealers like Maserati, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz + BMW.
  • The housing market has continued to expand with new single-family developments being built at Grants Mill Road + Old Leeds Road.
  • A new grocery store is scheduled for construction.
  • Other large businesses continue to be attracted to the city.

The Comprehensive Plan Update will guide decision-making in the City of Irondale over the next 5-15 years.

Here are some of the things the updated plan will include

IMG 1303 City of Irondale to update Comprehensive Plan—why it matters + how to get involved
Irondale Cafe. Photo via Sharron Swain for Bham Now
  • An Update of the Future Land Use Map and Categories to be developed in consultation with the Planning and Zoning Commission. 
  • Updated Goals and Recommended Actions to address issues that are of considerable importance to the community. Issues addressed include those relating to housing and livability, green systems, economic development and planning and public services, community infrastructure and expansion of multi-modal transportation options. 
  • Transportation Recommendations to provide a technical and policy framework to meet the City of Irondale’s future transportation needs.
  • An Existing Conditions Document to understand the trends and needs of Irondale, and explore how it’s changed since the 2016 Comprehensive Plan. 
  • A Public Involvement Summary that includes public outreach methods, participation rates and survey + activity rates.

There are many more ideas being put forth by both the Regional Planning Committee of Greater Birmingham and KPS Group. Here are some of them:

  • Make Ruffner Mountain, which forms the Northwestern border of Irondale with Birmingham, another official focal point.
  • Attract businesses that celebrate the city’s natural resources while nurturing the ones already in Irondale, such as Black Jack Gardens.
  • Move both the Public Works Department and the Police Department out of downtown to provide prime real estate to better suited businesses.
  • Create a dedicated regional dog park with all of the amenities.
  • Completely implement Beacon Park into the re-imagined Grants Mill Station. 

How to get involved 

Irondale
Irondale. Photo via Sharron Swain for Bham Now

According to the Blueprint Irondale website, the process to update the Comprehensive Plan will be open and collaborative. 

Input will be taken from elected officials, city employees, the public and any other interested parties. 

Now through Sunday, November 14, you can submit your comments on the Draft Comprehensive Plan. Just follow this link and make your thoughts heard.

Have more comments? Email them directly to CommunityPlanning@rpcgb.org.

What do you think of the City of Irondale’s plans to update their Comprehensive Plan? Tag @BhamNow on social and let us know.

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Patience Itson
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