Fairview's future: City asks for public's input

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - 'Charrette.' It's a French word you'll hear a lot around West Montgomery in the coming days.

City leaders are planning sweeping changes for West Fairview Avenue and a weeklong brainstorming event is the vehicle for the transformation.

"We know how to produce a transformative plan for West Fairview.  The only thing we don't have is a good picture of it that everybody understands," explained Ken Groves, Montgomery's Director of Planning & Development.

Starting Monday, residents will have a say in the avenue's future.  Planners will hold special public brainstorming sessions--called 'charettes'--to hammer out a plan.

"Groups of ten people--maybe 15 to 20 tables of them--actually figuring out where they want them to go," Groves said.

It's the same thing they used to plan the revitalization of downtown Montgomery.  Groves says the formula works wonders.

"If it's only a fraction as good as the downtown plan, people are going to love it," he explained.

Residents say they're optimistic.

"Fairview used to be the 'Mecca' of Montgomery, but through the years, it done went down," said Bobby McWhorter, an employee of Joe's Again Buffalo Wings.

"I've seen the decline of the neighborhood, and if they put some of the input from some of the people who live here, maybe we can revitalize this neighborhood," said Candace Pinkney of Montgomery.

The city will start the 'charrette' Monday at New Life Baptist Church on Rosa Parks Avenue.  The public is especially invited to attend a special kick off event at 6:00PM.

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