MONTGOMERY – The Envision Montgomery 2040 Steering Committee has been busy in the months following the Community Summit. In their latest session, the 50-member group began the process of developing the Comprehensive Plan by discussing the overarching vision statement and organizing structure for the plan and its recommendations. The meeting was best attended yet, with close to 45 members adding to the conversation in the Montgomery Area Council on Aging.
This seventh meeting of the committee featured a presentation from Kevin Hively (economic consultant with the Planning Team) on the findings from the economic development strategic analysis. His research and interviews revealed several challenges and opportunities which then led to a conversation amongst the committee. Highlights from presentation included an assessment of the region’s mix of industries, susceptibility to automation or artificial intelligence, commuting patterns, talent pipelines, and other topics. Following the presentation, committee members offered their reactions by considering the assets around which Montgomery can seek to bolster its economic position. Ideas included further leveraging of existing assets like the military and state government, a full realization of the city’s historic assets, better capture of growing out-commuter population, and others.
The committee spent the balance of their session discussing the plan vision. This statement – a broad and aspirational look into the future – was derived through the input of the community via the Community Summit, online engagement and dozens of Listening and Learning interviews. Through this database of input, the committee discussed the most important sentiments to relate through the statement. The vision statement will be supported through six plan chapters. These collect the various plan topics such as land use, housing, public health and so on, into a logical and readable plan structure.
The Planning Team will work through the months of March and April to develop a draft plan. The team will then meet with the committee in early May to discuss the draft. At this meeting, the committee will also discuss the timing and agenda for the Community Open House tour. The open house will invite the public back into the process, this time to evaluate and prioritize the draft Comprehensive Plan. The meetings have been tentatively scheduled for late May 2019 with more details to follow.