Citizens tackled these and other questions Monday evening as development of the city’s comprehensive plan for the future continues. Another meeting follows at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Corinth Elementary School gym to discuss the results thus far.
Led by Orion Planning + Design, the process is intended to build a roadmap for future development to provide an excellent quality of life.
“There are certain corners and edges and parts of the city that, when you encounter them, it may not necessarily convey the same message that you’re seeking to convey,” said Orion Partner Bob Barber. “So, the idea is: What is the future of the community? How can it be improved?”
While developing the plan, the consultants are studying the city’s land use and statistical profile.
Plenty of undeveloped land is available.
“You’ve got 800 acres of commercial development in the community and about five times that zoned for commercial, which our market analysis says you will not support over time,” said Barber.
The market appears healthy, however, serving as a regional retail magnet, said the Stennis Institute’s Joe Fratesi. He pointed to the city’s sales tax diversion rank of 20th among all across the state as a positive indicator.
About 17 percent of the city’s housing is vacant and 42 percent of housing is rental — both higher numbers than the consultants expected. The latter is more consistent with the housing profile of a college town.
“It’s not necessarily a negative thing,” said Fratesi, “but it is something to make us say, ‘OK, we need to stop and look at this and start figuring out how this fact plays into future planning.’ ”
About 1,000 acres, or 5 percent of the land in Corinth, is federal land.
During Monday’s session, participants also tackled questions such as which downtown entry point to improve first, where to put new residential developments and which natural areas should be preserved.
On Thursday, “We will report to you how you have planned your community,” said Barber. “It’s serious business, and we hope you will participate in it.”