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Prattville Comprehensive Plan Draft 02252021COMPREHENSIVEMASTER PLAN Draft: February 25, 2021 prepared by Acknowledgments i draft Mayor and Council (2020-2024) Bill Gillespie, Jr., Mayor Jerry Starnes, Council President Lora Lee Boone, President Pro Tempore John Chambers Blair Gornto Marcus Jackson Robert Strichik Albert Striplin Mayor and Council (2016-2020) Bill Gillespie, Jr., Mayor Albert Striplin, Council President Denise Brown, President Pro Tempore Lora Lee Boone Richard Cables Marcus Jackson Jerry Starnes Robert Strichik Planning Commission Tim Smith, Chairman Reuben Gardner, Vice-Chairman Richard Cables Paula Carpenter John Chambers Ken Daniel Bill Gillespie, Jr. Seth Hayden Martin Jackson Dallis Johnson Patrick “Mugs” Mullins City Project Team Robby Anderson, PE, City Engineer Lisa Byrd, Mayor’s Executive Assistant Dale Gandy, Public Works Director Scott Stephens, AICP, City Planner Planning & Development Department Scott Stephens, Director Shelby Hutcheson Alisa Morgan Leslie Redmond Darrell Rigsby Michelle Williams Tommie Williams Additional Contributors Autauga County Board of Education Autauga County Heritage Association Autauga Creek Improvement Committee Elmore County Board of Education Historic Prattville Redevelopment Authority Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce Prattville Fire Department Prattville Historic Preservation Commission Prattville Housing Authority Prattville Parks and Recreation Department Prattville Police Department Prattville Water Works Board Prattville YMCA A very special thanks: to all of the residents and property and business owners who participated in live and remote meetings, filled out plan surveys and otherwise contributed to the preparation of this plan to Jamie Sutton, City of Prattville Webmaster, for the graphic design, marketing, and website for Project Prattville 2040. Plan Advisory Committee Robby Anderson Connie Bainbridge Terry Brown John Brown Buddy Buckner Lisa Byrd Kellie Cook Jerry Crosby Richard Dennis Greg Duke Dale Gandy Reuben Gardner Bill Gillespie, Jr. Skip Jones Thea Langley Jane Leatherwood Teresa Lee David Lewis Jim Manderson Eric Morgan Mugs Mullins Bradley Neave Tom Newton Darrell Rigsby Cole Segura Tim Smith Scott Stephens Garrett Strickland Albert Striplin Mark Thompson Patrick White Tommie Williams Acknowledgments Project Prattville 2040 ii draft Table of Contents iii draft introduction 1 Using the Plan 3 city vision 5 Visioning Session 6 Visioning Survey 10 GoALs 13 Education 14 Economy 15 Recreation and Culture 18 Infrastructure 21 Enhancement 22 Growth strAteGy 25 Major Elements 26 Natural Environment/Green Infrastructure 27 Infrastructure 28 Activity Centers 31 Housing 34 Community Image 36 Parks And Recreation 37 LAnd use + trAnsporAtion 39 Land Use Plan 40 Development Preferences 46 Housing Forecast 50 Focus Areas 52 Transportation Plan 59 fAciLities + infrAstructure 87 Infrastructure 88 City Facilities 91 impLementAtion 95 Community Priorities 96 Action Plan 97 Growth Management 102 Keeping the Plan Update 104 Appendix 105 First Impressions A-1 Project Prattville 2040 iv draft introduction Project Prattville 2040 2 draft The Comprehensive Plan describes the overall strategy for how Prattville will shape itself, through public and private investment, over the next twenty years. The City prepared this plan as a guide to making decisions regarding capital improvements, City services, growth management and economic development efforts. The plan gives residents, property owners, merchants, builders and developers a reasonable expectation of the city’s future so that they may invest in the community with confidence. The plan is long-range, general, and focused primarily on the physical and economic development of the community. It will be a living document whose relevance will continue even as circumstances change over time. Through the Comprehensive Plan, City officials wish to: • Illustrate the ways in which the city should develop over time. • Coordinate land use recommendations with those for transportation and other infrastructure improve- ments. • Provide a guide to development decisions and a ba-sis for making and revising zoning and other regula- tions. • Ensure that as development occurs, the city’s most significant natural and historic features will be conserved and enhanced, while property values are protected. • Provide a pattern for land use and development that strives for a sustainable community with a diversified tax base to support necessary and desired facilities and services. In response, the City of Prattville will continually refer to this document to: • Visualize what can reasonably be expected to occur in Prattville—to provide some assurance and security regarding development investment decisions. • Review and evaluate development proposals and rezoning requests in the context of Prattville’s vision. • Provide guidance on improving and updating the City’s development policies and regulations. • Identify priorities and strategies for making infra- structure investments. The Prattville Comprehensive Plan recognizes the value of the city’s underlying natural resources, history and community values. The plan will guide development to balance growth with the conservation of important natural resources. For example, activity centers—where infrastructure is in place and private investment is already occurring—function as magnets for economic growth. This approach reinforces existing businesses, optimizes use of existing roads and infrastructure, while avoiding encroachment into neighborhoods and environmentally sensitive areas. And, development will be supported and encouraged by the City of Prattville to foster efficiency, stability, entrepreneurial activity and a strong quality of life and community image. Introduction 3 draft USING THE PLAN • The Comprehensive Plan is a combination of vision, maps, priority actions and policies—a framework for guiding public and private decisions that will affect new development and reinvestment in exist- ing neighborhoods and business areas. The plan is based on the community’s vision for its future. The plan looks ahead, focusing on the physical form of the city, and strives to shape Prattville’s future devel- opment in a fiscally responsible pattern consistent with the community’s vision. • The plan is a general, long-range guide to assist public officials and private citizens as they consider investments that may have long-term impacts on the community. To do this, the plan must be continuously reviewed and updated as changes occur in physical, political and economic conditions. • The plan will be implemented through actions by City staff, the City Council, the Planning Commission and other boards and commissions and by those of developers and private organizations and citizens. Major public actions in support of plan implementa- tion will include adoption, revision and enforcement of the city’s development regulations, capital im- provement planning and budgeting, and decisions regarding development proposals and annexation. Guidance provided by this monitoring and renewal process will assist the city refine the Comprehensive Plan through consideration of amendments as may be needed over the years. • The Prattville Comprehensive Plan is intended to be a living document, to evolve and grow in response to changes in community values and to market and physical conditions. Only through continuing use, evaluation, detailing, and updating can the plan fully serve Prattville. • Prattville draws to it more people, businesses and private investment every year. The underlying ques- tion is how growth should be channeled. That is the role of Prattville’s continuing planning process and the task of this Comprehensive Plan—to assure growth and change is compatible with the vision the people of Prattville have set for their community. Project Prattville 2040 4 draft city vision Project Prattville 2040 6 draft The following section describes the way residents, property and business owners view Prattville, how it is changing and how they wish it to be in the future. This “city vision” was documented through a live+online Visioning Session and a community survey. VISIONING SESSION On June 23, 2020 the City of Prattville hosted a public visioning session at the Doster Memorial Community Center. Due to the need for social distancing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the live session was “broadcast” online to allow those unable to attend the meeting in person to contribute virtually in real time to the discussion. The planning team gave an overview of the ongoing planning process, presented highlights from the First Impressions report and reviewed preliminary results of the first survey (which are also attached to this summary). Following the presentation, the planning team solicited input from live and virtual participants to help understand how the community views the city and how they would like to see it improve in the future. The following is a summary of the community’s responses: Assets Participants were asked to name a condition that meets their standards for the way their community should be or a unique characteristic the city can take advantage of as it plans for the future. • Location • Interstate access • Best people around; involved community; civic orga- nizations • Downtown being revitalized; business owners in- vesting in downtown • Safe community, sense of security, low crime rate • Small town feel but with amenities of a larger city • History • Natural resources and beauty, including Autauga Creek and artesian wells • Best value for education dollar • Worship opportunities • Good cost of living • Autauga County Technology Center • Opportunities for economic growth • Relationship with military (i.e., Maxwell AFB) • Airport • Railroads • Industrial parks • Recreational opportunities • YMCA • Community arts; i.e., Way Off Broadway • City employees (public works, urban management, sanitation) do a good job • Senior services • Tourism City Vision 7 draft issues Participants were asked to name a condition that does not meet their standards for the way their community should be or a concern that the community must address as it plans for the future. • Not enough awareness of downtown; inadequate management of downtown development (i.e., com- mercial overlay); inadequate parking downtown • Traffic • Over development • Infrastructure (water and sewer) • Library is too small and needs to be upgraded • Low taxes for education, limited school funding, need to create city school system • Need larger auditorium, civic or community center for concerts and events • Not enough recreational activities associated with natural resources • Lack of public-private partnering • Not pedestrian-friendly or walkable • No bike facilities, need bike trails to parks • No dog park • Insufficient development of US 31/I-65 interchange • Empty storefronts, High Pointe Town Center • Need bolder leadership • Need financial support/incentives to encourage preservation of historic district • Limited arts activities • US 31 north of Prattmont needs to be widened outside forces Participants were asked to name an external condition or circumstance beyond the control of the City that will likely have an impact on Prattville, for better or worse. • COVID-19 – more people working from home and not commuting • Increasing internet usage, increased use of technol- ogy (future of children) • Increased online shopping, impact on brick and mortar retail • Outside developers/investors building in Prattville but leave, not long-term investment in city • Employment with state government in Montgomery • Military/Maxwell AFB • Easy access to community can be positive and negative • Competition among nearby communities, marketing quality of life • Crime rate in Montgomery • City limits in two counties, sales tax distribution • Adjacent school systems (i.e., Montgomery) • Outside perceptions about county and other school systems Project Prattville 2040 8 draft sAcred Participants were asked to name a condition or feature in Prattville that is considered sacred or that is an essential element of the community that should be protected as the city plans for its future. • Downtown • The Gin Shop • History • Desire for excellence • Small town feel • Historic district, community of historic churches • Safety • Quality education for children • Artesian wells • People • Parades and community events • Recreational opportunities (Autauga Creek, Alabama River and parks) • High school, sense of community/team spirit • Robert Trent Jones Golf Course • Technology Center • Two-year college • Business opportunity vision – whAt’s missinG After being given a moment to think about the way they would like Prattville to be in the future, participants were asked to name one difference between the community today and the way that they envision it in the future. • Expansion along US 31 south for industrial develop- ment • Job growth • Youth/large scale entertainment amenity(ies) • Balance of industry and small businesses • Collaboration with County on development north along US 31 • More focus on industrial growth, a business/industry incubator, high tech industry, green jobs • Better community representation on Planning and Zoning Commission • Willingness within community to invest and do the work to improve the community themselves • More partnerships within the community • Re-use of the Gin Shop completed • High Pointe Town Center fully occupied with stores • An interpretive center or museum • Better education, a city-run school system • Development guidelines to assure quality, not cookie-cutter, development City Vision 9 draft wow Question Following up on the discussion of changes they would like to see happen in the future, participants were asked to name one accomplishment Prattville could make that would impress them the most. • To be the Central Alabama leader in economic and industrial growth that also focuses on family and community • Leadership in all areas • For participation in all city boards to represent more fully the community • All top-level leaders working together to achieve a common goal of making our community the best it can be (city, both counties, boards of education, etc.) • City school system • Quadruple property taxes • Interpretive center • Unified leadership and vision • Controlled development, don’t overdevelop • Auditorium/meeting venue To be the Central Alabama leader in economic and industrial growth that also focuses on family and community Project Prattville 2040 10 draft VISIONING SURVEY An online survey was conducted at the beginning of the planning process to understand the community’s impressions of how Prattville is doing, how it is changing and how they want it to be in the future. 870 residents completed the survey. Complete results of the survey are included in the Appendix. state of the city According to the community, life in Prattville is GOOD. And, most agree that quality of life has improved in recent years. Residents appreciate the convenient access to shopping, restaurants and other businesses and the sense of community, safety and cost of living. Asked what has not contributed positively to their quality of life, survey respondents indicated increased traffic as the top concern–followed distantly by schools, economic issues, infrastructure and limited recreation and cultural amenities. community facilities and services Asked to rate community facilities and services, respondents indicated strongest approval of the city’s fire and police services, garbage collection and water and sewer systems. Respondents also rated city parks and recreation, schools, stormwater management, road conditions and the Autauga-Prattville library highly (over 50% positive). Responses indicated the community has concerns related to traffic management, limited bicycle and pedestrian facilities and recycling services. The City implemented a new recycling service as the survey was rolled out—limited awareness of the changes likely contributed to respondents’ scoring. Responses also indicated that the community have concerns over the city’s management of growth. Looking into the future Respondents were asked to select one or more issues that are most important to the future of Prattville. The following list is in order of the percentage of respondents who identified these as important “future issues”: • public schools 67.0% • public safety 50.0% • business development 32.5% • downtown revitalization 26.2% • industrial and workforce development 24.5% • parks and recreation 23.6% • utilities and infrastructure 18.5% • community appearance or image 17.2% • neighborhood revitalization 16.9% • arts and cultural amenities 13.8% • access to healthcare 12.5% • housing 10.5% • environmental protection 8.8% • transportation 8.3% City Vision 11 draft The community was asked to consider what improvement would have the most positive, long-term impact on Prattville. The following graphic represents the frequency with which key words and phrases appeared among responses. More frequent responses are indicated with a larger font: Project Prattville 2040 12 draft goals Project Prattville 2040 14 draft The following overarching goals were culled from input of residents, business and property owners, City staff and officials and other stakeholders. These topics represent the issues that the community identified as most important for the City to focus on to assure that Prattville develops and improves in ways that are consistent with the community vision and that improves the lives of citizens. These goals informed the development of the growth strategy and land use, transportation, facilities and infrastructure recommendations that detail the growth strategy. EDUCATION Prattville intends to support local schools in provide a quality education to its school-aged children. Prattville also intends to support workforce development programs provided by schools and other organizations to increase economic opportunities for residents, young and old, and to offer a skilled workforce to existing and future industries. public schools For decades Prattville has attracted new residents by offering a strong local school system. However, as the City has grown, the Autauga County school system has struggled—with modest local funding—to keep pace with the growth demands of its largest city. As a result, the attractiveness of the school system to potential residents has waned. Over time it has become increasingly important for the community to take action to avoid any further decline and sustain quality educational opportunities for area children, either through increased local funding or creation of a city or city/county hybrid school system. Because much of Prattville’s retail growth has occurred—over the last 20 years—in the Elmore County portion of the city, a disproportionate amount of the city’s sales tax revenue goes to Elmore County Schools rather than Autauga County Schools, which the bulk of Prattville children attend. While increasing property tax contributions, as was favored by many in community involvement meetings, would assist Autauga County Schools, it would not resolve the imbalance in Prattville sales tax contributions between the Autauga and Elmore County schools. Aside from any state legislative remedies that might resolve the tax distribution issue, only creation of a city school system would assure that sales tax revenues generated in Prattville will be directed toward schools serving only Prattville students. Without any change, as Prattville continues to grow in size, most of which will occur in Autauga County, the school funding issue—and thus school quality issue—will persist and will likely worsen. Prattville High School has an enrollment of over 2,000—making it the sixth largest high school in the state—comparable to high schools in cities considerably larger than Prattville. At the pace Prattville is growing, additional school facilities will be needed to accommodate continued increases in student enrollment at all levels. While that can be forestalled by redistributing grade levels among existing schools and expansion of existing school facilities, inevitably new schools will need to be constructed, likely to serve the younger student population in Prattville’s growing east side. workforce development Workforce development programs are helpful in providing residents with skills training to increase the economic competitiveness of individuals and the city as an industrial recruiter. Such programs are available to high school students through the Autauga County Technology Center. In addition, Central Alabama Community College opened its fourth campus in 2018 in Prattville and; other workforce development programs are available to Prattville residents in nearby Montgomery. Prattville’s economic development efforts, including industrial recruitment, are led by the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber, local industries and entities offering skills-training must continue to collaborate on the types of workforce education that will be the most beneficial to residents and industries, including those that are most likely to locate in the Prattville area. The new community college should be supported locally to encourage its growth and diversification of programs. Goals 15 draft ECONOMY Prattville intends to grow and diversify its economy by pursuing continued business and industrial development and recruitment, revitalization of downtown and expansion of tourism. Business development and recruitment Prattville has become a successful regional retail hub due to a number of factors, including the city’s population growth, interstate accessibility to smaller communities surrounding Prattville and strategic efforts by the City and Chamber to attract retailers and restaurants. Much of that growth has centered on Cobbs Ford Road in east Prattville. Despite these successes, High Point Town Center, a 900,000-square foot shopping center that opened in 2008, has never been fully occupied; and several older business areas in central Prattville, such as the Prattmont area, exhibit vacancies and incremental decline in the types of businesses occupying older buildings. This latter issue is emblematic of the historic pattern of retail development in Prattville, with businesses moving into new spaces constructed further and further east toward the interstate while earlier business areas see less and less investment. Continued population growth will be helpful in attracting more retailers and restaurants to fill vacancies, as will economic development efforts that increase the buying power of residents. In parallel, the Chamber, City and other appropriate agencies should develop and implement strategies to encourage local entrepreneurship. Locally grown businesses are more likely to invest in these areas; and locally-grown businesses recirculate two to three times more of their revenue into the local economy compared to national chain businesses. The southwest quadrant of the intersection of US- 31 and Main Street, one of the more distressed parts of the Prattmont area, has been designated an Opportunity Zone, which offers capital gains tax incentives to investors. The Opportunity Zone program, strategic public investments and focused marketing of available sites and buildings by the Chamber could be instrumental in revitalizing the Prattmont area. In some instances, it may be helpful to adapt older retail buildings to other uses—offices, entertainment, public facilities, etc.—that would complement the mix of retail and other businesses in each area. It may be desirable, in fact, to consider the accessible, centrally-located Prattmont area for development of the multipurpose/ civic center. Such a facility would draw traffic to the area day and night to the benefit of adjacent retailers and restaurants. Because there is not an infinite supply of retail and service businesses, the City should be strategic in designating new areas available for commercial development to avoid further weakening of existing business areas. Nonetheless, as neighborhoods develop south along McQueen Smith Road and US 82 and other areas to the north and east, it will be appropriate to enable development of neighborhood business hubs in central, highly accessible locations to serve them. The types of businesses that would be appropriate to these locations would serve a limited market radius compared to those that will look for locations along US-31 or Cobbs Ford Road, which seek to serve a regional or citywide market. Project Prattville 2040 16 draft industrial development and recruitment Industrial development is important to communities for its ability to provide well-paying and dependable jobs. While International Paper has been a long-standing, major employer in Prattville, up until recent years, industrial development has been relatively modest in Prattville. Prattville’s growth from the 1970s onward was built on its attractiveness as a bedroom community to Montgomery, the River Region’s employment center. With continued industrial recruitment successes, it is transitioning away from being mostly a bedroom community and becoming more economically independent, as it was when the city was founded. Prattville’s major road system and easy access to I-65, rail access and airport are important advantages for industrial development. The construction of the bridge for access over the railroad to the South Industrial Park from US-82 will prove to be critical in bringing additional industries to the park and surrounding area. Large sites are available within the park as well as undeveloped land south of County Road 4 for continued industrial development with convenient access to US-31 and US-82. The Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce facilitates recruitment on behalf of the city and obtained AdvantageSite designation for the South Industrial Park, which increases its marketing potential through statewide economic development organizations. The Chamber also markets available land adjacent to the airport, in the West Industrial Park and locations in and around Prattville for industrial, office and retail use. downtown revitalization Downtown Prattville, centered around its historic main street, has seen an ongoing uptick in investment and business activity for the last twenty or more years. Despite its less than central location, downtown’s unique businesses and character continue to draw residents from all over the city on a daily basis. Downtown businesses benefit from their proximity to city and county offices that draw regular traffic as well as Autauga Creek, the Creekwalk and several community facilities nearby. The long-proposed re-use of the Daniel Pratt Cotton Gin for housing appears to finally be underway and will generate considerable activity in downtown to support local businesses. Efforts that will help to make downtown more successful include improving parking, strengthening connections between downtown and other tourism destinations and enhancing gateways into downtown (through both public and private investment). Despite the community’s obvious appreciation for Prattville’s history as the state’s birthplace of industry, more can be done to turn that into a tourism asset that would directly benefit downtown business activity. Likewise, extending the Creekwalk will create more local and tourist activity downtown, especially if it is interconnected with other trails and with other destinations. Downtown’s business area could be intensified so that it offers more variety in dining and shopping, and perhaps even lodging—thus creating an even stronger draw for residents and visitors. There are opportunities, for example, north along Court Street and east along Main Street toward Washington Street to expand downtown’s footprint. Any new development or redevelopment in these areas should follow the original pattern along Main Street, with buildings lining the sidewalk and parking located to the side and rear of buildings, possibly involving shared parking to make the most efficient use of property. Reducing the size and number of driveways would help to provide convenient on-street parking in front of businesses and improve continuity of downtown sidewalks. And, constructing buildings closer together (without side yards) makes greater use of available land and increases walkability, a key feature of downtown. Goals 17 draft tourism The great value in tourism is that it generates sales and lodging tax revenues from visitors, with considerably less or no expenditure toward fire, police, schools, sewer and other public facilities and services. Prattville has very strong opportunities to create a robust tourism economy built upon its history and Downtown Prattville, its natural environment—particularly its waterways, and amenities such as the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course and Cooter’s Pond. To develop a truly successful tourism industry, all of these assets must be connected and leveraged together. Tourism should be built around Prattville’s many existing assets and not depend on creating attractions from scratch. Prattville should avoid “Build it and they will come” endeavors and, instead, adopt a “Build it for those who are here and others will come” philosophy. City investments should generally be for the benefit of its residents and businesses. If a project also supports tourism, that is a bonus. There are several projects envisioned in this plan that are intended to better serve residents and businesses, but that would also help to leverage more tourism activity, such as the multipurpose/civic center, streetscape improvements and beautification, new parks and trails. Public investments that would be appropriate primarily for tourism purposes include marketing and installation of a wayfinding system—both of which represent much more limited costs. Many communities around Alabama over the last decade have been pursuing sports tourism strategies and building large sports complexes to draw travel ball and other tournaments. Because of this, Prattville should be cautious in investing in this way—the more such facilities are developed in the state, the less likely each will be successful in attracting visitors and generating income for a community. Yet, because of Prattville’s many existing tourism assets, in combination with its successful shopping and restaurant areas, if such a facility were to be developed, it may be more successful in drawing revenue-generating visitation. Shopping, dining and lodging should be available close by, preferably in walking distance, of major tourism destinations to optimize revenue generation potential. When that is not possible, wayfinding signage helps make the connection between tourism attractions and shopping, restaurants and hotels and can also alert visitors to attractions and businesses that might not have been on their itinerary. Project Prattville 2040 18 draft RECREATION AND CULTURE Prattville intends to strengthen its recreational and cultural facilities and programs to offer a quality of life to residents beyond that of peer communities. parks Prattville has developed a well-rounded parks system, which the City will continue to develop to meet the needs of the growing population, including planning future parks facilities in developing areas. In 2015 the Parks and Recreation Department prepared a master plan to guide investment in existing and future facilities. The recommendations of that plan were reinforced by public input during the comprehensive planning process. The community desires a well-distributed parks system—parks are located conveniently in relation to Prattville’s neighborhoods—and a balance among parks facilities between passive recreational uses and organized sports and other active recreational uses. Because most parks are west of Memorial Drive, in the coming years the City will develop additional parks to better serve the growing east side. This can be facilitated through coordination with residential developers, who may donate or sell land in strategic locations for public park spaces, which would add value to their developments. Prattville will also make use of land along area creeks that is difficult to develop due to flooding. Such areas are appropriate for passive park space, including the extensive floodway area in west Prattville along US-82. Such a park would not only serve west Prattville residents, but if connected to future recreational trails and the Autauga Creek canoe trail, would create a recreational tourism draw. Existing parks, as well, will need to be maintained over time, improvements made for ADA accessibility and, in some cases, substantially renovated or re-programmed. The Parks and Recreation Department should keep its master plan updated at least every ten years, if not more frequently, to help assess and prioritize investments in existing parks and future park projects and project funding needs. recreation A multipurpose facility with a large space for performances and citywide events, meeting spaces and indoor recreation activities is a top priority though, due to the high cost of such a facility, will likely take time to plan and develop. This facility could contain or be located on a site with several community facility needs identified in the Parks and Recreation and Facilities Long Range Plans, such as a new theater, creative arts center and/or library. These functions are currently located in Downtown Prattville. To relocate these functions elsewhere could be detrimental to downtown activity, and so a site for the multipurpose center in or adjacent to downtown would be ideal. However, there are no large or vacant sites in the downtown area to accommodate a large facility. Finding a site downtown would likely involve acquisition and consolidation of multiple properties and demolition of existing buildings. An undeveloped site of sufficient size is more likely to be found in east Prattville (as suggested in the Parks and Recreation Plan along with a sports field complex). Land costs are going to be higher because of development interests in the area; and, shifting all of these activities to the far east end of the city could be detrimental to downtown. An alternative the City Goals 19 draft should evaluate is locating the facility in the more central Prattmont area either along US-31 or Main Street. This would most likely involve redevelopment of existing buildings, though due to the decline in the area, acquisition costs may be better. And, the facility would undoubtedly be a significant catalyst for revitalization. As Prattville grows, there will be increased demand for an indoor recreation facility for basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, fitness programs and similar indoor activities. Currently, the YMCA provides the only indoor recreation facilities in Prattville. Indoor recreation activities can be included in a gymnasium and associated indoor recreation space in the future multipurpose/civic center. Development of the multipurpose facility would enable the Doster Center to be re-programmed and adapted for indoor recreation activities, rather than, or in addition to, including indoor recreation in the multipurpose facility. If a community park, including sports fields, is built in east Prattville, as envisioned in the Parks and Recreation Plan, an indoor recreation facility could be included as this area is relatively far from the Doster Center (if it were re-programmed for recreational use). It is also possible that the community park—with or without indoor facilities—could be designed for tournament use, thus providing a facility for sports tourism. This would provide convenient access to nearby shopping, lodging and dining along Cobbs Ford Road. Stanley-Jensen Stadium is owned and maintained by the City of Prattville but is primarily used by Autauga County Schools. The aging facility is in need of renovation, including pressing needs for restroom renovations. Because the school system is the primary user, the City should develop a cost-sharing agreement with the school system for renovation of the facility. This can be supplemented through private fundraising, given the community importance of the stadium and the high school football program. Pedestrian and bicycle mobility emerged as an important community issue during development of the plan. These interests can be addressed, in part, through development of trails in strategic locations throughout the community. As noted in previous city plans, Prattville’s numerous streams offer opportunities for construction of greenway trails. In addition to recreational use, a trail system, combined with a network of paths alongside streets, would enable residents to walk or bike to nearby parks, schools and other nearby destinations. Hiking and biking trails could also provide connections between tourist amenities and to shopping, dining and lodging areas, while acting as attractions in their own right. Project Prattville 2040 20 draft Arts and culture Prattville operates several arts and cultural facilities for residents, including a creative arts center and performing arts theater, both of which are located downtown. Both programs, located in historic buildings designed for other uses, need more space and/or space better suited to program needs. Previous planning efforts suggested consolidating the programs on the theater site, which would include a new building adjacent to the theater. Another option is housing the programs in the proposed multipurpose/civic center. The Autauga-Prattville Library is another cultural facility that has outgrown its building. It is owned and operated by an independent Library Board. The city’s Long-Range Facilities Plan recommended placing a new, larger library building on the same site, which would require a temporary space for the library to operate from during construction. A new library building could also be incorporated into the proposed multipurpose/civic center or collocated with the facility in a separate building. In considering relocation of any of these facilities, the potential negative effects to downtown—diverting their visitors to other parts of the city, and thus reducing “foot traffic”—must be considered. Undoubtedly, theater goers, arts class participants and others are likely to patronize downtown businesses during their visits. The theater and art gallery also offer other reasons for tourists to visit and linger downtown. Another community proposal is development of an interpretive center that would feature the city’s unique industrial heritage and the story of Daniel Pratt and the founding of the city. Ideally, an interpretive center would either be located on or near the Gin complex, which a part of is being renovated for residential use. Typically, such a facility would be operated by a non- profit organization, though many are supported by their host cities. Goals 21 draft INFRASTRUCTURE Prattville intends to maintain, enhance and expand its infrastructure proactively to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of future growth. water system The community’s water system is operated by the Prattville Water Works Board. Priorities for the water system include ongoing repair, replacement and upgrading of water lines, primarily in older parts of the city as well as a long-term effort to expand its local water resources so that water does not have to be purchased from elsewhere to meet the needs of the growing city. In addition, as industrial development continues in south Prattville, the water system will need to enhanced to meet increased industry needs, including storage capacity and adequate flows for fire protection. sewer Prattville’s sanitary sewer system is operated by the City of Prattville. The bulk of the city’s developed area is connected to the sewer system, with the exception of the lower density far west side of Prattville. New development typically ties on to the sewer system, expanding the system’s footprint. To accommodate continued development the City will need to make upgrades to the interceptor system on the city’s east side, which transports effluent to the Pine Creek Treatment Plant. Having recently upgraded the Pine Creek facility, the Autauga Creek Treatment Plant in southwest Prattville will be modernized to improve efficiency and reduce long-term operational costs. vehicular transportation As a result of Prattville’s continued development, traffic has increased on several major roads, particularly on Cobbs Ford Road. Though significant improvements have been made in recent years, major capacity improvement projects, such as the widening of McQueen Smith Road and US-82, are still at early stages of design and construction. These projects often take considerable time to implement once planned due to their high cost and delays in obtaining federal or state funding. However, once completed, existing congestion will be lessened and additional capacity will be available to handle additional traffic as the city continues to grow. A major focus for the coming years will be to design and construct a connector road from Fairview Avenue in east Prattville to US-31 North, to alleviate congestion on Fairview Avenue, US-31 and local streets around the junior high and high schools. Access management improvements on East Main Street and Cobbs Ford Road—to create more separation between driveways accessing the roadway—will help to smooth traffic and increase motorist safety. Street connections, realignments and intersection improvements in strategic locations will also help to disperse more traffic more evenly, improve traffic flow and increase safety. As new development occurs, the City must manage the development of the street system to assure adequate connectivity to reduce potential congestion, provide convenient ways to move about the city and assure effective routes for emergency response. Project Prattville 2040 22 draft pedestrian and Bicycle mobility During the planning process, the community indicated a clear desire to become more walkable and to have safe ways for people to get around Prattville by bike. While the City requires sidewalks (on one side of the street) in most residential subdivisions, many areas of Prattville developed without pedestrian facilities. Bicycle accommodations are extraordinarily limited. To improve these conditions will require a strategic effort to retrofit certain streets with sidewalks, shared use paths or other facilities, in combination with off- street paths and trails. To determine the most cost- effective strategy for phasing in such improvements, the City should prepare an in-depth Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan that builds on the conceptual recommendations of this plan. In updating the City’s Subdivision Regulations, standards can be put in place to assure new development includes sidewalks and, where appropriate, bicycle accommodations. As the City widens existing roads and builds new ones—such as the connection from Fairview to US-31 North, pedestrian and bicycle facilities can be incorporated from the outset. ENHANCEMENT Prattville intends to improve the physical attractiveness of major corridors, business hubs and neighborhoods to support economic development, augment the city’s unique sense of place and strengthen pride throughout the community. image and Appearance Prattville has a positive reputation and generally projects a good image to visitors, particularly Downtown Prattville and the regional shopping area on Cobbs Ford Road. During the planning process, the community indicated a desire to improve some aspects of the city’s physical appearance. Improving the image of the community involves public and private efforts. The city addresses this through investment and maintenance of streets, landscaping, gateways and signage and adopting and enforcing building maintenance, nuisance abatement and development regulations. The private sector contributes to community image by investing in development that creates a sense of place, that projects a sense of quality and permanence and that is well-maintained over time. The City must be strategic, focusing on investments that will have the highest cost-to-benefit ratio, to make substantive improvements in the community’s image. Its gateways and image corridors should be the primary focus of image enhancement efforts. This will encourage property owners in these critical areas to invest compatibly in their buildings and grounds. The city has installed gateway signage, typically, where major roads enter the city. Gateway signs help create a positive impression for visitors and are part of the city’s overall branding and wayfinding systems. They are more symbolic than literal (compared to a sign indicating that you are entering or exiting the city limits). It is not necessary for them to be placed at city boundaries. Ideally, locations are strategically chosen to afford the best first impression, such as sites with pleasant natural scenery or where surrounding development and the street environment are particularly attractive. Over time, as existing signs are improved or replaced, locations should be evaluated to determine if a change would better support the arrival experience—taking into account how well the surroundings contribute to a positive impression. fire protection The Prattville Fire Department maintains an excellent level of service for fire protection to the community, which also lowers insurance costs for property owners. Priorities for the department include improvements to two fire stations. A long-term objective may be construction of a fifth fire station in south Prattville, depending upon the amount of industrial growth that occurs in that area over the next several years. Goals 23 draft Cobbs Ford Road/Main Street, US-31, US-82 and Fairview Avenue are the most traveled roads in Prattville. These are primary routes for locals, commuters and visitors. And, they are home to much of the city’s commercial development. For these reasons, the design and upkeep of these roadways, as well as the development alongside them, have a profound impact on the way that residents and visitors view Prattville. The degree to which traffic flows smoothly along these “image corridors” also leaves an impression on motorists. To manage and improve the image of the community within the rights-of-way of image corridors, the city should invest in streetscape improvements, gateways, lighting, banners and wayfinding signage. This should be viewed as a long-term strategy to be implemented in phases. Access management and other traffic improvements may also be necessary to address congestion and operational factors that negatively impact community impressions. To enhance the image of these areas through private development along major corridors, the city could adopt zoning rules and/or design guidelines that establish standards for site, building, signage, landscaping and lighting. This can be done through overlay regulations that apply only to development in these areas. To ensure that property is well-maintained, cities often use property maintenance codes and/or ordinances on weed and nuisance abatement. revitalization While there is considerable private investment in Prattville’s growing east side, some of Prattville’s older commercial districts and neighborhoods suffer from a lack of investment—new development, reinvestment in existing development and maintenance. This affects the lives of neighborhood residents and, in some instances, can negatively affect residents’ and visitors’ impression of the community. Enforcing property maintenance codes and weed and nuisance abatement ordinances will have some limited benefits, but are not likely to have a sustained, transformative impact. A concerted effort that encourages private investment in these areas will be necessary. A collaborative and comprehensive strategy should be developed for each district and/or neighborhood, involving public, nonprofit and for-profit initiatives, which might include some combination of the following, depending on the particular characteristics of the area: • Citywide efforts to improve the economy of the city and economic opportunities of all citizens • Overall enhancements to the school system to at- tract private investment in all housing sectors • Strategic city investments in infrastructure, streetscapes, parks and other facilities • Marketing new development/redevelopment sites • Connecting potential investors to available incen- tives (housing tax credits, historic tax credits, Op- portunity Zone incentives, etc.) • Housing development and rehabilitation programs through public agencies, community housing devel- opment organizations and philanthropic groups • Land banking and clearing title to abandoned, tax delinquent properties • Waiving or reducing city liens and development fees for private investment in distressed areas • Flexibility in land use and density controls to facili- tate quality investment Project Prattville 2040 24 draft growth strategy Project Prattville 2040 26 draft The following citywide growth strategy is intended to manage growth and improve quality of life in a manner reflecting the strong value system expressed by residents during the visioning process. It is based fundamentally on the city’s natural landscape, its activity centers and its transportation network. It builds on the overall image of the city and the values inherent in its unique, diverse natural environment. The strategy supports commerce, industry and recreation in locations that are highly accessible. It protects the city’s traditional neighborhoods and streets while upgrading pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular networks. And, the strategy emphasizes patterns of growth that optimize the use of existing infrastructure, thus avoiding the short and long-term costs of sprawling, inefficient city infrastructure. This is a general, long-range plan. The locations of certain proposed activity centers and community facilities shown on the Growth Strategy maps are not meant to be precise. Rather, each of these should be considered “placeholders” until more specific planning may be undertaken to determine detailed needs and locations for each. MAJOR ELEMENTS • The city’s “green infrastructure” will be conserved and respected. Intensive development is directed away from areas with critical environmental features. • Public and private investment along major roadways will create positive experiences for residents, inves- tors and visitors. Prattville’s gateways will be well- defined and project an attractive image to visitors. • Commercial and other activity centers will be com- pact, legible and designed for accessibility. Continu- ous strip development along major roads will be avoided. • Intensive industrial development will be directed toward the edges of the city in locations with ready access to the interstate. • New streets will interconnect parts of the commu- nity to provide alternative routes for moving about the city and help alleviate congestion along major streets and at major intersections. • Access to all arterial and collector streets will be managed carefully to conserve their capacity. • The park and recreation system will be enlarged as the city grows, capitalizing where possible on environmentally-constrained areas to create new parks, trails and other recreational facilities. • The city’s pedestrian and bicycle network, including an off-street path system, will interconnect neigh- borhoods with schools, park and recreation facilities and other important destinations. • Residential density and street connectivity will in- crease with proximity to activity centers. Growth Strategy 27 draft NATURAL ENVIRONMENT/ GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE Prattville has an enviable natural landscape that is enjoyed for its scenic beauty and the opportunities it provides for recreation and tourism. In combination with man-made open spaces and landscape features, it also performs “green infrastructure” functions, supporting stormwater drainage, flood protection, air quality, water quality, managing temperatures that result from land development and providing habitat for wildlife. Natural features should be incorporated into the design of new development so that they continue to serve these functions while also forming amenities that add value to neighborhoods and business areas. Flood prone areas, steep slopes and other natural features are often viewed as obstacles to development, because they take up land area that might otherwise be built on. Grading to create flatter development sites, to elevate building sites above flood levels and to deal with increased stormwater resulting from new development also increases construction costs. But, Prattville can encourage more environmentally-friendly development practices by promoting “conservation development.” This means clustering buildings and streets into the most developable portions of a site while retaining those areas that contain valuable natural features. This requires flexibility from zoning limits on density, minimum lot areas and yard setbacks. By clustering development, not only are natural features protected—and the functions they serve—the amount of infrastructure necessary to the development decreases. This reduces construction costs and the public’s costs for the long-term maintenance of that infrastructure. Natural areas retained through conservation development can become amenities that add value and enjoyment to new neighborhoods and business areas. waterways Area creeks function as drainageways for stormwater runoff, provide wildlife and fish habitat and contribute to Prattville’s rich, natural landscape. Channelization of natural drainageways should generally be avoided as it increases the velocity of stormwater flows, which may then exacerbate erosion, sedimentation and downstream flooding. Figure 1 Green Infrastructure Project Prattville 2040 28 draft floodplains Floodplains, such as those along the Alabama River, Autauga Creek, Noland Creek, Pine Creek and other area streams, fall into three basic categories: floodways, 100-year floodplains and 500-year floodplains. Because of the potential for flood damage to structures and exacerbating flooding in other areas, most types of development are prohibited in floodways. 100-year floodplains—areas with an annual 1% chance of flooding—straddle the floodway and are available for development, subject to some restrictions, including raising buildings above flood elevation and flood insurance requirements. 500-year floodplains—areas with an annual 0.2% chance of flooding—tend to be relatively small and are available for development with little or no restriction. When development occurs in the 100-year floodplain, it should be planned and designed carefully to avoid increasing flood hazards, including limiting the amount of buildings, streets, pavement and other impervious surfaces and using “low-impact” development techniques. Otherwise, these areas should be reserved for open space and planned and designed as part of Prattville’s citywide green infrastructure. wetlands Conserving wetlands can help ease flooding problems, support better water quality and protect fish and wildlife habitat. steep slopes Prattville’s topography is often hilly. Steeper slopes may provide opportunities for views, but they also are difficult to build on and are subject to erosion. When slopes are graded, natural drainage systems are altered, which can have impacts well beyond the site. Development on slopes of more than fifteen percent is often avoided or done with great care due to the potential for increased erosion and higher costs of construction, in addition to the loss of tree cover and wildlife habitat. INFRASTRUCTURE The infrastructure services the City provides should be used to manage the location, type and intensity of growth in accordance with Prattville’s vision. By coordinating infrastructure planning with citywide land use and economic development planning, the City can maintain high levels of service and achieve a desirable balance between the costs of public investment and the benefits of private development in desired new growth areas. Likewise, land use and economic development planning must take into account the cost to build and maintain infrastructure and to provide and operate public services and facilities. Infrastructure investments, in combination with appropriate land use and economic development policies, can also encourage private reinvestment in aging or declining neighborhoods and business areas. Standards for public improvements required as part of private development—street networks, pedestrian and bicycle facilities and stormwater drainage—should be set to create physical environments commensurate with Prattville’s vision for its neighborhoods and business and industrial activity centers. Prattville’s desirability for new housing development remains strong. But if growth exceeds the City’s infrastructure and other public services, all of what makes Prattville attractive to current residents and to prospective development will be damaged. The more growth outpaces infrastructure, the more complicated and costly it is to correct those deficiencies. This is being experienced, to a degree, in increasing congestion on some major roads and a few local streets. Growth Strategy 29 draft sewer system One of the most powerful tools the City has to shape growth is the municipal sewer system. For all but the lowest densities of residential development, access to the sewer system is a necessity. This is why Prattville’s west side, historically without access to the sewer system, is only sparsely developed. To facilitate business or industrial development in areas beyond the sewer coverage area, the City may opt to extend the system or assist financially in extending the system, where there are clear economic benefits of such an investment. telecommunications infrastructure Strong, dependable broadband services have increasingly become a necessity as the daily needs of households and businesses have become increasingly dependent on internet access. This became even more apparent during the planning process, which took place during the COVID-19 pandemic as many residents found themselves working remotely through the internet. The City must continue to work with telecommunications providers to increase coverage, access and quality of broadband services in Prattville to assure its economic competitiveness and the quality of life of its residents. street network Residents have expressed concern over mounting congestion in a few key areas of the city. While adding capacity to existing streets is an obvious response, it does not address an underlying issue that will continue to contribute to congestion—a disconnect between the street network and the location and intensity of land uses. Congestion along Cobbs Ford Road, for example, is the result of a concentration of businesses that rely almost exclusively on one road for access, rather than a network of streets with multiple routes for accessing businesses. As Prattville continues to grow, the citywide street network must be developed to provide a high level of street connectivity in areas that generate large volumes of traffic. Greater connectivity must be developed between the residential growth occurring in northeast Prattville and the schools that serve the areas, all of which are west of US 31. Widening of McQueen Smith Road and US-82 (west of US-32) will improve local traffic flow on the east side and through traffic flow on the south side, respectively. Eventually, the two-lane portion of US 31 north of Prattville should be expanded to enable greater access to Exit 186. Figure 2 Transportation Strategy Project Prattville 2040 30 draft pedestrian facilities Prattville residents desire a more walkable community. For a community to achieve meaningful “walkability,” three conditions must be present: businesses, schools, parks and other destinations within proximity of neighborhoods; pedestrian facilities to connect them; and compact, pedestrian-friendly design of business areas, schools and other destinations. Downtown Prattville, surrounding historic neighborhoods and many newer residential areas have at least some sidewalks, but most major roads, which interconnect the various parts of the city, do not. Over time, the City should invest strategically in major roadways to add pedestrian facilities, where appropriate, to connect between neighborhood sidewalk networks and other parts of the community. Several such locations, selected to create connections between neighborhoods, parks, schools and business areas, are shown in the conceptual map above. The layout of existing development along most major roads hinders installation of sidewalks and limits the safety and convenience of walking. Such limitations need to be taken into account when considering pedestrian improvements in existing development areas. Plans should be in place to add or require sidewalks along major streets as they see new development or redevelopment. Along major streets that are not yet fully developed, shared use paths for pedestrians and bicyclists, may be placed on one side of the street and a sidewalk on the other. As an alternative to, or in combination with, adding pedestrian facilities along major roads, Prattville has many creeks and linear natural areas that may be appropriate for development of off-street shared use paths (shown in green in the map above). A citywide bicycle and pedestrian master plan should be developed to identify the most effective routes and priorities to create meaningful walkability throughout Prattville. Figure 3 Bicycle-Pedestrian Concept Growth Strategy 31 draft Bicycle facilities In addition to becoming more walkable, many residents expressed a desire to make Prattville more “bikeable.” Bike facilities can be added within roadways in the form of marked “sharrows”—like those added to Old Farm Lane—shared use shoulders or dedicated bicycle lanes. Shared use paths, as described above, can be added alongside major streets or along creeks and linear open spaces. Sharrows and bicycle lanes are appropriate for more experienced cyclists whereas paths that are physically separated from vehicular traffic are more appropriate for children and less-experienced cyclists. ACTIVITY CENTERS Significant nodes or concentrations of commercial, industrial and mixed-use development are designated in this plan as activity centers. These include continued development and reinvestment in existing nodes— local and regional commercial centers, Downtown Prattville, and industrial centers as well as desired new development areas. The Growth Strategy identifies several opportunities for new neighborhood-serving activity centers, which would open up additional business development opportunities close to where people live. These are generally located at major intersections or the confluence of multiple neighborhoods. Businesses areas should be planned and designed to suit their target customers and their location within the community. Business areas tend to have a primary function or focus based on who they are marketed toward. This helps determine where they are located and designed. Each center should be accessible and have a relatively high concentration of business activity at their core. Each should also project a positive image for the community. Activity center principles Prattville’s activity centers vary in function and size, but most should display at least several of the following characteristics: • Anchor or focus of activity: Regardless of its type, every center contains some activity or function with which it is primarily associated in the region, com- munity or neighborhood. • Intensively developed core: There is a relatively high concentration of those uses for which the center ex- ists, toward the center and less toward the edges. • Vehicular accessibility: The center is readily acces- sible by vehicle. Regional commercial centers have the highest degree of access due to their location near interstate interchanges and along major arteri- als while smaller centers tend to be located on minor arterials and collector streets. • Internal vehicular circulation: A motorist may easily access other locations within the center on the same side of a major street without having to re-enter that street. • Pedestrian and bicycle accessibility: With some exception, activity centers are accessible by pedes- trians and cyclists from surrounding areas. Centers are planned and designed with the overall needs of pedestrians in mind. Downtown Prattville and neighborhood centers reflect the highest integration of pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Industrial centers will tend to have the least. • Positive sense of place: The visitor has a good feeling about the overall character of the center—overall im- age of the place and its relation to its surroundings, feelings of safety, and sense of arrival and departure. • Legibility: Things fit together—signage, landscaping, the locations of buildings and parking areas rein- force one another. • Well-defined edges: The arrangement of uses and the design of the streetscape, buildings and land- scaping make it clear where the center begins and ends. Project Prattville 2040 32 draft highway commerce Interstate or highway commercial areas tend to serve travelers and commuters, who make choices primarily based on convenience in the context of their traveling or commuting agenda. These areas offer a range of goods and services, such as gas stations, fast food restaurants and hotels. Prattville already has an array of businesses easily accessible from I-65 that are targeted toward travelers and commuters. Design standards should be employed to assure that new development creates a strong image for Prattville at its major gateways along I-65. regional and community shopping Regional and community shopping areas are destinations—residents from throughout the community (and beyond) often plan their visits to these areas in advance—and offer the greatest variety of goods and services. Currently, Prattville’s regional and community shopping areas are located along Cobbs Ford Road, Main Street and Memorial Drive. These areas are externally accessible but have limited “internal accessibility,” the ability to get from one business to another without re-entering the highway. Stretching such shopping areas along major arterials, without internal accessibility afforded by side streets and cross streets, increases congestion as through traffic is mixed with and slowed by local shopping traffic. Design standards should be employed in regional and community shopping areas to assure that new development projects a positive image for Prattville along its most heavily traveled corridors. Figure 4 Activity Centers Growth Strategy 33 draft downtown prattville Historic downtown Prattville represents the quintessential American Main Street and is well- loved by the community. Due to the multi-faceted efforts of the City, property and business owners and others, Downtown Prattville has seen considerable improvement over the last twenty years. The proposed re-use of the Gin Shop is expected to have a positive impact on downtown by adding more downtown-adjacent residents, who are likely to frequent downtown restaurants and retailers. Additional opportunities to develop more downtown-adjacent housing should be pursued to optimize downtown activity day and night. Care should also be taken to assure that investment in new and existing buildings is done appropriately to reinforce downtown’s historic, small-town urban appeal and promote walkability. neighborhood Business Neighborhood business areas offer everyday goods and services near where their customers live. Currently, most Prattville businesses are concentrated on major arterials with only a tangential relationship to nearby neighborhoods. However, there is considerable potential for neighborhood activity centers to develop in strategic locations, generally at intersections. Neighborhood activity centers should be limited in size, including only a handful of businesses, but can also include or be anchored by parks, schools or churches. Businesses should be limited in size and have limited hours (i.e., 7am to 9pm) so they do not create large amounts of traffic and pose other nuisances for nearby residents. Businesses should be designed so that they are easy to get to on foot, which reduces how much traffic they generate and reduces parking needs. Parking should be located to the side or rear of buildings rather than the front so that entrances are accessible from sidewalks. Project Prattville 2040 34 draft HOUSING To maintain the welcoming, small town environment that draws people to Prattville, efforts to manage housing growth should focus on creating authentic, family-friendly neighborhoods rather than sprawling, generic neighborhoods. Neighborhoods feature a varied housing stock—different sizes and styles. They are designed to be safe and comfortable for people of all ages, including having slow-traffic streets, sidewalks and a common open space or public park in walking distance. Today’s residential developments tend to be inward-focused, lacking any visual or physical connection to adjacent residential areas, much less parks or neighborhood business areas. But, individual subdivisions can form neighborhoods when meaningful connections are made between them. Community input indicated that Prattville should provide housing choice for people in all stages of life—married couples with children and without, young singles and older ones, empty nesters and so on. This would mean that someone who grows up in Prattville would be able to find financially appropriate, quality housing options throughout their life. At the same time, there is concern in the community that allowing more multifamily housing would mean an influx of poorly maintained rental housing. However, there are options between multifamily housing development and conventional detached single-family homes. Detached single-family homes on small lots, townhouses (attached homes) and cottage housing are just a few of these “in-between” housing products. Based on a residential demand analysis conducted during the planning process, Prattville has the market potential to see between 1,090 to 1,535 new housing units over the next five years. Of this, only about one-third is likely to include conventional single-family homes. One key to integrating mid- and higher density Growth Strategy 35 draft housing successfully in Prattville—while respecting existing neighborhoods and the community’s desired character—is directing it to transitions between activity centers and lower density, single-family neighborhoods. Housing density should be highest near activity centers, where infrastructure, particularly street capacity, is the greatest. Further from these centers, density should dissipate. Another important strategy is encouraging “infill” development in locations where infrastructure is already in place, but that for various reasons, have been skipped over in the past. This can add vitality to existing residential and business areas nearby. It can also help to avoid the long-term infrastructure and services costs associated with ongoing outward expansion. The design of residential developments should be suited to their density. In denser housing areas, there should be a greater emphasis on street connectivity, so that traffic can be dispersed. Streets should have sidewalks and street trees to provide shade and greenery. On-street parking may be appropriate and provides a buffer between traffic and sidewalks, while also calming traffic and reducing the need for large parking areas. Garages and common parking areas are located away from the street. With denser housing, green space on individual lots tends to be smaller. But this is offset with more common open spaces or parks. In less dense areas, streets are less interconnected and narrower. Sidewalks may be fewer and private yards make up the bulk of open space. Prattville has the market potential to see between 1,090 to 1,535 new housing units over the next five years. Project Prattville 2040 36 draft COMMUNITY IMAGE Gateways and image corridors During the visioning process, participants expressed a desire for improving the city’s image. Prattville’s major gateways include two interchanges with Interstate 65, two entrances north and south along US 31 and two minor gateways along US 82 on the city’s west side. The city’s major streets are also critical parts of the community’s image. US 31, US 82, Fairview Avenue, Cobbs Ford Road, Main Street, and State Road 14 are Prattville’s image corridors. The economy of the city is tightly linked to its physical character, and its image must be enhanced to remain competitive. Prattville’s gateways and image corridors should be treated as irreplaceable assets to be enhanced and taken advantage of. At each gateway, the city’s image is a result of private development along the corridor and public investments in signage, the roadway, landscaping and lighting. By managing development along these corridors and at major gateways, encouraging private reinvestment and maintenance, and making strategic public improvements, Prattville will make itself more attractive to outside investment. wayfinding The city should support visitation to local attractions by developing public wayfinding signage at key points along major roads to assist visitors in finding their destinations easily. This should include signage along the interstate. Attractively designed wayfinding signage used with consistency can integrate city branding in high visibility locations and promotes a strong image for Prattville. Wayfinding systems are primarily directed at visitors who are unfamiliar with Prattville. Destinations that should be considered for inclusion in a future wayfinding system include, among others: • Major parks, recreation and trail facilities • Downtown Prattville • Robert Trent Jones Golf Course and conference center • Museums, historic districts and sites • Regional commercial centers To implement a wayfinding system for Prattville, a master plan should be developed identifying wayfinding routes and decision points; the types of signs to be used and their design; destinations to be listed on signage; and a phasing strategy. Figure 5 Gateways Figure 6 Image Corridors Growth Strategy 37 draft PARKS AND RECREATION Prattville has developed and maintains a quality parks and recreation system. During the visioning process, community participants indicated their desires for enhancing Prattville’s parks and recreation system, including taking greater advantage of the community’s natural assets for recreation and to support tourism. Community suggestions included developing a large community or civic center capable of holding cultural and entertainment programs and other citywide events, and building on existing sports programs and facilities to create a stronger sports tourism draw. Most current parks and recreation facilities are located in central and west Prattville. As more residential development occurs in east and northeast Prattville, additional parkland—particularly smaller neighborhood park spaces, as mentioned above—should be pursued to create an equitably distributed system convenient to all Prattville neighborhoods. Prattville’s waterways, and the floodplain areas that surround them, represent a significant and unique opportunity to create additional passive green spaces, some of which may include paths that connect to neighborhoods and schools (as described previously). The extensive floodplain and wetland complexes along Autauga Creek west of downtown and along Pine Creek north of Fairview Avenue makes these areas less suitable for development, but ideal for passive recreational use. Using these waterways as links between open spaces can create an interconnected system of local parks and attractions offering residents and visitors a host of outdoor activities that takes advantage of one of Prattville’s key assets. Figure 7 Future Park System Project Prattville 2040 38 draft land use + transporation Project Prattville 2040 40 draft The following land use and transportation strategies result from analysis of existing land uses, environmental and man-made conditions, and the principles embedded in the Growth Strategy. Plans for land use and transportation, included together in this chapter, reinforce that they are integral to one another and must be evaluated and planned for simultaneously. Simply put, different land uses and densities require different levels and types of transportation infrastructure. Conversion of one type of use or density to another will have direct impacts on street design and capacity, property access, connectivity and pedestrian facilities. LAND USE PLAN purpose The purpose of the Land Use Plan is to identify the range of uses, densities and development patterns that may be allowed in a given area—should changes occur in the future—to support orderly growth and avoid incompatibility between neighboring uses that can harm property values. The Plan represents a desired pattern of land uses. It is not intended that existing uses, which differ from the land use plan, must change. But, if they do change, then changes should be consistent with the overall pattern established in the Land Use Plan. The Land Use Plan is used by the City for a variety of purposes. One of the most common of these is in reviewing the appropriateness of zoning and subdivision applications. The Future Land Use map (Figure 8) is not a zoning map but a guide for the Planning Commission and City Council in considering changes to the zoning map as development proposals are made. It is to be consulted in planning for expansion and new development of public facilities and utilities to serve the growing community because it represents a reasonable picture of the future state of the community. interpreting the map The boundaries of land use categories shown on the Future Land Use map should not be interpreted rigidly, but the general pattern should be observed to support comfortable transitions between uses. That intended pattern is reflected in the Growth Strategy, which should be referenced as a foundation of the Land Use Plan. The Future Land Use map is not intended to be static and unchanging. There will likely be instances when otherwise appropriate development requests will not conform exactly to the Future Land Use map. At those times it may be necessary for the City to consider amending the Land Use Plan (and/or map). The designation of land uses on the Future Land Use map should not be interpreted to propose, approve, deny nor preclude any specific action without full 31 31 82 82 65 65 57 10 85 4 29 29 27 86 3 12 39 14 14 143 Cobbs Ford RdMain St Gin Shop Hill RdSelm a HwyDoster RdW a sh ington Ferry RdMartin Luther King DrMcQueen Smith RdUpper Kingston RdOld F a r m LnOld Ridge RdBridg e Creek Rd Golson Rd Rock y Mount RdDosterville Rd Ridgewood Rd Sheila BlvdJasmine TrailW righ t St Wetumpka St E. Sixth StDurden RdLower Kingston Rd Breakfast Creek RdRed Field RdFairview A v e Cobbs Ford RdMain St Gin Shop Hill RdSelm a HwyDoster RdW a sh ington Ferry RdMartin Luther King DrMcQueen Smith RdUpper Kingston RdOld F a r m LnOld Ridge RdBridg e Creek Rd Golson Rd Rock y Mount RdDosterville Rd Ridgewood Rd Sheila BlvdJasmine TrailW righ t St Wetumpka St E. Sixth StDurden RdLower Kingston Rd Breakfast Creek RdRed Field RdFairview A v e PRATTVILLE BOOTH MONTGOMERY MILLBROOK International Paper Grouby Field RTJ atCapitol Hill Maxwell AFBAUTAUGA COUNTYELMORE COUNTYAUTAUGA COUNTYMONTGOMERY COUNTYELMORE COUNTY MONTGOMERY COUNTY A L A B A M A R I V E R JacobsSwamp C o b b s L a k e Gun Islan d C h u te CootersPond Future Land Use 2020 Revised: Jan 18, 2021 Very Low Density Res. Low Density Residential Medium Density Residential Conservation/Greenspace Institutional Commercial Mixed Use - Commercial Mixed Use - Residential Light Industrial General Industrial Land Use+Transportation 41 draft 31 31 82 82 65 65 57 10 85 4 29 29 27 86 3 12 39 14 14 143 Cobbs Ford RdMain St Gin Shop Hill RdSelm a HwyDoster RdW a sh ington Ferry RdMartin Luther King DrMcQueen Smith RdUpper Kingston RdOld F a r m LnOld Ridge RdBridg e Creek Rd Golson Rd Rock y Mount RdDosterville Rd Ridgewood Rd Sheila BlvdJasmine TrailW righ t St Wetumpka St E. Sixth StDurden RdLower Kingston RdBreakfast Creek RdRed Field RdFairview A v e Cobbs Ford RdMain St Gin Shop Hill RdSelm a HwyDoster RdW a sh ington Ferry RdMartin Luther King DrMcQueen Smith RdUpper Kingston RdOld F a r m LnOld Ridge RdBridg e Creek Rd Golson Rd Rock y Mount RdDosterville Rd Ridgewood Rd Sheila BlvdJasmine TrailW righ t St Wetumpka St E. Sixth StDurden RdLower Kingston RdBreakfast Creek RdRed Field RdFairview A v e PRATTVILLE BOOTH MONTGOMERY MILLBROOK International Paper Grouby Field RTJ atCapitol Hill Maxwell AFBAUTAUGA COUNTYELMORE COUNTYAUTAUGA COUNTYMONTGOMERY COUNTYELMORE COUNTY MONTGOMERY COUNTY A L A B A M A R I V E R JacobsSwamp C o b b s L a k e Gun Islan d C h u te CootersPond Future Land Use 2020 Revised: Jan 18, 2021 Very Low Density Res. Low Density Residential Medium Density Residential Conservation/Greenspace Institutional Commercial Mixed Use - Commercial Mixed Use - Residential Light Industrial General Industrial consideration of all policies, principles, standards or intentions expressed in this plan and the city’s development regulations. Specific site conditions, such as topography, geology, soils and hydrology, must be considered when choosing sites for new developments, especially those of larger scale, and planning and designing their uses and densities. These realities, plus attitudes toward development on the part of public officials, other agencies, area residents, property owners and developers will play a large part in determining appropriate development location and design. Similarly, adequate community facilities and infrastructure – streets, parks, fire protection services, and water and sewer systems, should be assured before making any significant development proposals or decisions. Figure 8 Future Land Use Map Project Prattville 2040 42 draft Land use types and characteristics The following land use types are depicted on the Future Land Use map. Land use categories include street design guidance appropriate to the type and intensity of development that should be applied to development involving the construction of new streets or changes to existing streets. For categories without such information, street design should be consistent with the broader land use context. Conservation and Green Space Includes land permanently reserved as open space and/or recreation including public parks, land trust properties and cemeteries. Flood prone areas are also included to encourage conservation of these areas and reduce development impacts on area waterways. Residential Includes varying densities of primarily detached single-family residential development. Low intensity institutional uses, parks and open spaces are also included in each of three residential categories—very low density, low density, and medium density (refer also to illustrations). Higher density residential uses—small lot housing, townhouses and multifamily development— are included within the Mixed-use Residential category and may also occur in transitional areas where medium and lower density residential areas border commercial and mixed-use development areas. Very Low Density Residential and Agriculture Includes single-family housing, crop farming, timbering, raising of livestock and some agriculturally- related business uses that produce little traffic, do not require access to the sanitary sewer system and involve a low ratio of building to land area. Lot sizes for residential development are at least 15,000 square feet. Lot sizes for agricultural uses will tend to be much larger, comprising multiple acres. Street-side stormwater drainage is handled by swales rather than curb and gutter. Sidewalks are not provided but off-street paths may be desirable for pedestrian, bicycle, horse or all-terrain vehicle use. Land use and development principles The integrated land use and transportation concept is built around the following principles: • Arrange uses to avoid incompatibility that can harm property values. • Provide comfortable transitions between uses of different types, densities and intensities. • Arrange uses so that traffic from industrial, com- mercial and other traffic generators is not funneled through residential areas. • Treat commercial areas as centers or hubs around which residential, institutional and other commu- nity elements are arranged. • Locate higher density residential uses close to commercial hubs and major roads and lower den- sity residential areas further out from commercial hubs and major roads. • Designate environmentally sensitive areas for recreational uses or development types with low impact on flood plains, steep slopes, etc. • Face similar uses across streets. Arrange uses so that land use transitions occur mostly along rear lot lines and man-made and natural barriers (railroads, highways, streams, etc.). Land use transitions along side lot lines should be considered on a case by case basis and may require buffers between some uses. Land Use+Transportation 43 draft Low Density Residential Includes single-family detached houses on relatively large lots, generally 3-4 homes per acre. Low density residential areas are typically located where the street network is relatively sparse and access to other public infrastructure and services is more limited. Green space is incorporated through generously- sized yards. Sidewalks should be provided, at a minimum, along collector streets and set back from the road edge. Alternatively, low density subdivisions can be connected to community destinations through trails. Streets may include vegetated swales, valley gutters or raised curbs for stormwater purposes. Medium Density Residential Include single-family detached homes with moderate lot sizes, generally 4-5 units per acre. These areas are typically located convenient to business areas and public facilities and services and where the existing and planned street network and other infrastructure are more robust. Green space is provided in common open spaces and in the streetscape (primarily in front lawns). Sidewalks are provided on at least one side of the street (on both sides of collector streets). Sidewalks are set back from the curb by a buffer strip planted with street trees. Streets are generally lined with raised curbs for stormwater purposes. Commercial and Mixed-Use Areas Shopping and dining uses should be concentrated at the heart of each commercial or mixed-use center with offices and other business uses located in upper stories of buildings (if applicable) or flanking the core uses. High density residential uses may be appropriate at the edges of commercial and mixed-use areas and in upper floors of buildings. New commercial and mixed-use development should feature sidewalks on both sides of the street to provide pedestrian access throughout each district and to connect to adjoining neighborhoods. Sidewalks should be buffered from streets, as appropriate to the location, by a tree-lined buffer strip. With the exception of some highway segments, streets should generally have raised curb and gutter. Parking areas of adjacent businesses should be connected and the number and size of curb cuts, particularly along major roads, minimized. In higher density residential areas included within mixed-use areas, green space is provided in common open spaces and within the streetscape. Alleys or shared driveways provide access to the rear of lots, which provides a discrete location for parking, utilities and garbage pick-up. Due to the narrowness of townhouse lots, front driveways would take up most of the front yard and so are discouraged. Parking can be provided in common parking areas or at the rear of individual lots. Mid-block alleys or private drives provide access to parking areas, which should be located internal to developments rather than in front of buildings. Commercial Includes a wide range of commercial activity—retail, business and personal services, dining, entertainment and lodging accommodations—as well as some office and institutional uses. Shopping and dining activity typically serves regional/commuter and citywide markets. Therefore, these areas are primarily located along Cobbs Ford Road, Memorial Drive and other arterial corridors where the existing and planned street network is capable of absorbing high traffic demand. Project Prattville 2040 44 draft Mixed-Use Commercial Includes a wide variety of commercial uses as well as recreational, institutional and higher density residential uses. This category is intended to optimize opportunities for reinvestment in Downtown Prattville, Prattmont and other already developed areas. Shopping and dining activity typically serves citywide and more localized markets. These areas should have a higher level of walkability than the “Commercial” category through more compact development patterns, smaller block sizes and generous pedestrian infrastructure. Mixed-Use Residential Includes a wide variety of commercial uses as well as recreational, institutional and higher density residential uses. These areas will tend to include a higher percentage of office, service and other non- retail business activity, compared to the “Commercial” and “Mixed-Use Commercial” categories, as well as higher density residential uses. As with the Mixed- use Commercial category, use flexibility is intended to optimize reinvestment opportunities in already developed areas. Mixed-use residential areas also serve as transitions from more intensive commercial and mixed-use areas and adjoining neighborhoods. These areas should have a high level of walkability through more compact development patterns, smaller block sizes and generous pedestrian infrastructure. Neighborhood Business Existing and potential neighborhood business areas are also indicated in the Growth Strategy and on the Future Land Use Map, typically at key intersections or along major local streets. Neighborhood business areas are limited in size; and the scale, type and operating hours of businesses must be carefully managed to maintain compatibility with adjoining neighborhoods and prevent traffic congestion. Auto-oriented businesses (businesses with drive-throughs, car washes, auto repair businesses and gas stations) should be considered on a case-by-case basis and only when designed to minimize traffic, light, noise and other characteristics incompatible with adjacent residential areas. Drive-through elements should be located away from streets and from adjoining housing. In new development, parking areas should be located to the side or rear of buildings rather than along the front. These areas should have a high level of walkability through more compact development patterns, smaller block sizes and generous pedestrian infrastructure. Land Use+Transportation 45 draft Industrial These areas are located to optimize accessibility, particularly to railroads and to US Highway 31, US Highway 82 and I-65, and where incompatibility with residential and other uses can be mitigated. Industrial areas require a high level of electrical and other infrastructure as well as relatively flat land. Industrial areas need not have sidewalks except as determined by context. For example, sidewalks may be desirable to connect industries to an adjacent commercial area so that employees can walk to nearby restaurants and other businesses. Context should also determine whether streets are lined with swales, valley curbs or curb and gutter. Light Industrial Includes warehousing and distribution, light manufacturing, and research and technology- focused, clean industries. Light industrial uses tend to be less land intensive and more compatible with non-industrial uses than “heavier” industrial uses. However, they must be located with consideration to how truck access would affect neighboring uses and buffered from less intensive uses, especially housing areas. General Industrial Includes light industrial uses and “heavier” manufacturing uses, which are more likely to produce noise, odor, fumes or other impacts on adjoining land uses and must be located, planned and designed accordingly to limit impacts on other use areas. Institutional Includes government facilities, schools, places of assembly and worship, medical, and community service uses and lands. NOTE: Only existing institutional uses are shown. Large churches and schools, hospitals and other higher intensity institutional uses, which tend to comprise larger buildings and draw larger amounts of traffic, should generally be located in high visibility places where access is suitable and adjacent land uses are compatible. Less-intense institutions, which range from small churches to elementary schools, may be appropriate in or adjacent to neighborhoods provided there is sufficient transportation access that does not interfere with the enjoyment of the neighborhood. The development pattern—building heights, setbacks, parking location, street and sidewalk design—of institutional uses should be consistent with the pattern of the dominant use in the area (i.e., residential, commercial, mixed-use, etc.). Project Prattville 2040 46 draft DEVELOPMENT PREFERENCES During the development of this plan, an online survey was conducted to gauge the community’s preferences for residential and commercial/mixed-use development and other community design elements. The results of the survey guided the preparation of the land use plan and should be referred to as the City updates its zoning and subdivision regulations. housing and neighborhoods Prattville residents place more importance on neighborhoods featuring homes made of quality, durable materials more so than large homes. Tree cover, streams and other natural features should be conserved as neighborhoods are developed. 84% of respondents agreed or strongly agrees that Prattville should offer housing choices for different stages of life (i.e., young couples, families with children, empty nesters, military and other retirees, young singles and senior singles). Half of respondents expressed support for having places to shop and eat within walking distance of their neighborhoods. street design Residents placed great importance on sidewalks being properly lighted so that they feel safe walking or jogging in their neighborhoods at night. Respondents felt it was very important that streets be designed so that residents can walk safely within their neighborhood and fairly important that streets be designed to allow residents to walk safely from one neighborhood to another. Sidewalks should be included in new residential and business developments, particularly near parks and schools. About 70% of respondents also agreed or strongly agreed that Prattville should have safe accommodations for getting around the community on bikes and that some streets should have marked bicycle lanes or bike paths along them. community image 72% agreed or strongly agreed hat excessive signage can take away from the image of business areas. 80% of respondents also indicated that parking areas should include landscaping and shade trees. parks Over 90% of respondents support the notion that parks should be distributed throughout Prattville that there is a park in a reasonable distance of most neighborhoods. About 65% of respondents would like to see more sports accommodations in the city’s park system, 75% indicated a desire for more passive recreational space. The second half of the Development Preferences Survey included photos of different types of residential and commercial/mixed-use development to assess respondents’ inclination toward various design characteristics. Below is a summary of the survey results highlighting the images that received the highest and lowest scores in each category. Land Use+Transportation 47 draft medium density housing (detached homes on medium-sized lots) The most favored images include curb-lined streets with sidewalks and shade trees. While the top-rated image includes on-street parking, this was preferred over neighborhoods where driveways and garages were prominent along the streetscape. During a review of the survey results in a community meeting, participants also noted their preference toward the historic “feel” of several of the housing images, which reflects on the community’s image of itself and residents’ appreciation for Prattville’s historic neighborhoods. high density housing(detached homes on small lots) The most favored images included both historic homes and modern homes with historic architecture, sidewalks and modest lawns. As with the medium density images, respondents felt that garages and parking in front of homes detracted from the curb appeal of the lower- ranked images. Image 31/Score=1.57 Image 38/Score=1.77 Image 36/Score=4.05 Image 24/Score=3.78 Project Prattville 2040 48 draft higher density housing (attached homes/townhouses) The highest-rated images included sidewalks and, either the historic character Prattville residents favor or trees and open space, or a combination of these. The lowest-ranked images lacked sidewalks and landscaping, and the architecture tended to be viewed as “cookie-cutter. multifamily housing The most favored images included sidewalks, landscaping and both historic multifamily developments and modern ones that reflected historic styles. Lower ranked images tended to be more conventional “garden apartment” buildings with minimal landscaping and a more “cookie-cutter” appearance. Image 41/Score=2.32 Image 45/Score=2.45 Image 48/Score=3.92 Image 42/Score=4.07 Land Use+Transportation 49 draft commercial/mixed-use The highest-ranked images featured commercial and mixed-use buildings in a more walkable environment, where buildings fronted on wide, shaded sidewalks. As seen throughout the survey, images with an historic character also tended to be ranked higher. Conventional highway-oriented retail images were generally ranked the lowest. During the community review of the survey results, participants connected these images with traffic congestion. Image 56/Score=1.78 Image 60/Score=4.08 recommendations Based on the results of the Development Preferences Survey, both the written and image-based portions, it is clear that most respondents intend for Prattville to be a more walkable city, both in its neighborhoods and its business areas. That includes not only sidewalks, but buildings “enfronting” streets. This means that buildings are placed relatively close to and face the street so that they are easily accessible from sidewalks. Downtown Prattville is a prime example of a walkable development pattern. This will vary in different land use contexts: • In neighborhood business areas, buildings may have a modest setback from the street, but parking lots should be placed to the side and/or rear of buildings. • In regional and other highway-oriented business areas, walkability is difficult to achieve, particularly in already developed “strips” along major arterials. Op- timally, walkability would be created internally within larger developments, although sidewalks should still be provided along major roads to connect between individual developments. • In residential areas, garages and driveways should take up as little of the front of the lot as possible, particularly in higher density, small lot develop- ments, where parking and garages should be placed to the side or rear. “Lanes,” or residential alleys, at the rear of narrower lots can provide access to ga-rages or parking areas. • In multifamily and attached single-family (town- house) developments, each residential building should line the street with parking provided inter- nally, accessed by a common driveway or alley. Townhouses may be served by a common parking area or have individual parking or garages at the rear of homes. There is a significant preference towards retaining existing natural features as well as incorporating trees and landscaping wherever development occurs. New development should be designed to reflect the best aspects of Prattville’s image of itself — a unique small town with highly valued historic character. Project Prattville 2040 50 draft HOUSING FORECAST During the development of the Comprehensive Plan update, Volk & Associates developed a forecast of the demand for new residential development over the next five years. The forecast was based on Prattville’s own housing development trends as well patterns of population growth and movement within the River Region. The analysis indicated that Prattville would likely absorb between 218 and 307 additional housing units annually over the next five years. This would result in a total of about 1,100 to 1,500 new homes in Prattville by 2025. Market Segments and Housing Preferences The analysis went further to determine the demand for various types among those forecasted to emerge in Prattville in the next several years. This portion of the study considered housing type preferences among the different market segments—family and non-family households at different life stages and income levels— that would most probably locate in new housing in Prattville. 44% of new households would be families, 37% young singles and childless couples and 19% empty nesters and retirees. Due to the makeup of those likely to seek new housing in Prattville, only about 36% of the forecasted housing units are likely to be detached single-family homes, while roughly half are predicted to be for-rent multifamily units. The remainder of housing units that will be in demand in Prattville over the next five years include townhouses (attached single-family—7%) and for-sale multifamily (condominiums—4%). The housing analysis further broke down the detached single-family market into a range of size ranges, again, based on preferences of the various household types and income levels. The findings, shown in the table below, indicate that 60% of the market for detached single-family homes include smaller lot sizes and the remaining 40% in the medium and lower density ranges, as described in this plan. Table 1: Market Potential for Single-Family Detached For-Sale House Types and Lot Widths House Type Typical Lot Width (ft) Market Potential Future Land Use Category Sideyard House 25 to 45 6.8%Mixed-Use Commercial, Mixed-Use Residential Cottage 30 to 40 11.3%Mixed-Use Commercial, Mixed-Use Residential Bungalow 35 to 40 15.9%Mixed-Use Commercial, Mixed-Use Residential Village House 45 to 55 17.1%Mixed-Use Commercial, Mixed-Use Residential House 50 to 70 20.8%Medium Density Residential, Low Density Residential Large House 65 to 75 11.6%Medium Density Residential, Low Density Residential Mansion 75 and up 7.0%Low Density Residential, Very Low Density Residential Land Use+Transportation 51 draft conclusions Given these findings, the community will deal with continued and significant pressure to accommodate multifamily housing development. As explained in the study, this is due to a large number of households of a type and income level that tend toward rental housing, which includes young singles, childless couples, widowers, retirees and military personnel. Future multifamily development, as described in this plan, should be directed to accessible locations with adequate street infrastructure to accommodate traffic. This includes the Mixed-Use Commercial and Mixed- Use Residential categories of the Future Land Use Plan. Preferably, new multifamily developments would be better integrated into their contexts, compared to the insular design of past apartment complexes. This can be encouraged through adjustments to development regulations to produce more walkable development patterns and incentivize or require preferred design elements identified in the results of the Development Preferences Survey. Also, Prattville has seen little small lot housing, townhouse and condominium development in the past, though there has been an ongoing demand for these. This is likely due to a combination of limited local developer experience with these housing types, limited size of the market in each category and local policies and regulations that further deter investors from pursuing such developments. With the demand for smaller lot single-family homes being relatively high in Prattville, which is driven by higher percentages of empty nesters, retirees and childless couples, the City should examine its development regulations to help facilitate the development of these housing types, while assuring quality design. While resistance to denser residential development has been voiced during the planning process, most of the community agrees that Prattville should offer a range of housing types that meet the needs of different stages of life. Smaller lot housing will be essential to achieving this, while also supporting homeownership. It should be noted that many of these housing types are closely related to historic precedents, which have re-emerged over the last thirty years in neotraditional developments. This is a relevant factor for Prattville due to the community’s clear preference for historic design characteristics. In the United States, including in several locations throughout Alabama, these developments have typically been enabled through special zoning tools such as planned unit development regulations and form-based codes, as conventional residential zoning districts require larger lot widths and setbacks. Examples of contemporary neighborhoods in Alabama that feature neotraditional, small lot housing include The Preserve and Ross Bridge (Hoover), Mt. Laurel and Edenton (Shelby County), Hampstead (Montgomery), The Waters (Pike Road), The Ledges and Providence (Huntsville), Gorham’s Bluff (Pisgah), Trussville Springs (Trussville) and Hillsboro (Helena). Project Prattville 2040 52 draft FOCUS AREAS The following focus area studies describe how new development and reinvestment in existing areas might occur in accordance with the land use and transportation policies and other of this plan’s recommendations. The illustrations are conceptual in nature and are not intended as specific requirements for development in these locations. powell road - east-west connector The proposed East-West Connector will support new development around the intersection of Powell Road and US-31, including a potential neighborhood center. The neighborhood center is shown on the east side of US-31 due to the presence of the creek on the west side. Limiting commercial to one side of the highway will help to create a more walkable business area along the connector road (and any side streets) and manage acces along US-31. Old Ridge Road would be reconfigured to intersect with the new connector. Its intersection with US-31 could remain as a side street connecting into the realigned Old Ridge Road. POWELL RD RIDGEWOOD RD GREENCREST LN GREENCREST STMARTIN LUTHER KING JR DRGARDNER RD PI N E C R E E K OLD RIDGE RD MEMORIAL DR MAC GRAY PARK JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL POWELL RD RIDGEWOOD RD GREENCREST LN GREENCREST STMARTIN LUTHER KING JR DRGARDNER RD PI N E C R E E K OLD RIDGE RD MEMORIAL DR MAC GRAY PARK JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL realign Gardner Rdto connect to PowellRd @ MLK Jr Dr street improvementsincluding curb andgutter, sidewalk and shared use path street connectivityincreases withdensity andmix of uses preserve floodwayas coomon openspace amenity “walkable”neighborhoodcenter realign Old RidgeRd to connect to futureconnector street future connectorstreet to Fairview Avew/ sidewalk andshared use path connect futurestreet to Greencrest St off-streetpath underMemorial Dr roundabout at northend of Junior HighSchool traffic zone off-street pathto park and school residential densitydecreasesaway from center Figure 9 Powell Road - East-West Connector: Growth Opportunities Land Use+Transportation 53 draft Figure 11 East-West Connector cross section through future neighborhood center Figure 10 East-West Connector cross section through residential areas The future street network should be well interconnected in and around the neighborhood center. Residential density should dissipate away from the neighorhood center; correspondingly, the level of street connectivity may decrease. The connector road would be designed differently within the neighborhood center, compared to the surrouding residential areas, to help create a safe, attractive environment for local business activity. The “furnishing zone” at the road edge would accommodate lighting, banners and street trees that provide shade and a buffer between the roadway and sidewalks. Within adjacent residential portions of the corridor, the connector road would include a planted median with turn lanes at intersections and a shared use path on one side that might transition to bicycle lanes within the neighborhood center. Where residential density is lowest, including areas constrained by topography and flood hazards, the design of the connector road might include swales for drainage purposes, rather than curb and gutter. Powell Road, as a segment of the connector road, would be redesigned similarly. These improvements might occur as part of development along Powell. Subdividers, for example, would provide any additional right- of-way, and either install the sidewalks and shared use path or provide funding to the City to construct the improvements. Project Prattville 2040 54 draft OVERLOOK MEMORIAL PARK HEDGEFIELD DR JAY ST AMA N D A L N MCQUEEN SMITH RD31 82 HEDGEFIELD DR JAY ST AMA N D A L N MCQUEEN SMITH RDOverlook Park (underdevelopment) (plannedchurch) (underdevelopment) residential densitydecreasesaway from center Extend Jay Steast to McQueen Smith Rd include bicycle-pedestrian facilitywhen widening US 82 walkableneighborhoodcenter highwaycommercial node include bicycle-pedestrian facilitywhen widening road connection toexisting street stub widen McQueen Smithto five lanes from CobbsFord Rd to US 31 realign intersection ofMcQueen Smith Rd andUS 31 to improve safety us-82 and mcQueen smith road Residential development is underway in southeast Prattville adlong McQueen Smith Road and US- 32. This plan proposes a potential neighborhood-oriented business area at the intersection of the two thoroughfares. To create a safe, walkable business area, the center should be focused on McQueen Smith, which will have a lower speed limit. This would also help manage access along faster moving US-82. Widening of McQueen Smith Road is proposed to include pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. The future street network should be well interconnected in and around the neighborhood center. Residential density should dissipate away from the neighorhood center; correspondingly, the level of street connectivity may decrease. Through the neighborhood center. McQueen Smith Road would be improved to help create a safe, attractive environment for local business Figure 12 McQueen Smith Rd+US-82: Growth Opportunities Land Use+Transportation 55 draft walk 5 ft min multiuse path 10 ft min median/ turn lane 10 ft min travel lane 11 ft travel lane 11 ft travel lane 11 ft travel lane 11 ft tree lawn 5 ft tree lawn 5 ft ROW 85 ft min McQUEEN SMITH ROAD 5-lane cross section with median, multiuse path and sidewalk McQUEEN SMITH ROAD NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER 5-lane cross section with parallel parking both sides sidewalk w/ tree well 15 ft min sidewalk w/ tree well 15 ft min turn lane 10 ft ROW 90 ft min travel lane 10 ft travel lane 11 ft travel lane 10 ft travel lane 11 ft Figure 13 McQueen Smith Road cross section through future neighborhood center Figure 14 McQueen Smith Road cross section through residential areas walk 5 ft min multiuse path 10 ft min median/ turn lane 10 ft min travel lane 11 ft travel lane 11 ft travel lane 11 ft travel lane 11 ft tree lawn 5 ft tree lawn 5 ft ROW 85 ft min McQUEEN SMITH ROAD 5-lane cross section with median, multiuse path and sidewalk McQUEEN SMITH ROAD NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER 5-lane cross section with parallel parking both sides sidewalk w/ tree well 15 ft min sidewalk w/ tree well 15 ft min turn lane 10 ft ROW 90 ft min travel lane 10 ft travel lane 11 ft travel lane 10 ft travel lane 11 ft activity. The “furnishing zone” at the road edge would accommodate lighting, banners and street trees that provide shade and a buffer between the roadway and sidewalks. Within adjacent residential areas, McQueen Smith Road would include a planted median with turn lanes at intersections (if adequate sopacing is maintained between intersections. A shared use path would be provided on one side of the road. These improvements might occur as part of development along the road. Subdividers, for example, would either install the sidewalks and shared use path or provide funding to the City to construct the improvements. Project Prattville 2040 56 draft FIRE STATION 1 MAIN ST WETUMPKA ST FAIRVIEW AVEGillespie St Newton St Gaddis Ave Wingard StSmith Ave Pe a c h t r e e S t D a v i s S t Lo d e r S tThomas AveDozier AveWright St Gipson St Spencer S t Nicho las S t Wildwood DrMAIN ST WETUMPKA ST Gillespie St Newton St Gaddis Ave Wingard StSmith Ave Pe a c h t r e e S t D a v i s S t Lo d e r S tThomas AveDozier AveWright St Gipson St Spencer S t Nicho la s S t Wildwood DrFAIRVIEW AVE31 shared use path onNorth Memorial work with owners torecruit new businessesand/or other uses orredevelop aging retailcenters for new uses office or otherlimited commercial sidewalk orshared use path access managementand streetscapeimprovements high density residential as transition to detachedsingle-family residential access managementand streetscapeimprovements transition frommixed-use commercial tooffice/limited commercialto residential bike lanes onSouth Memorial Hospital IntermediateSchool Fire Station neighborhoodpreservation prattmont Prattmont is an important, high-visbility link between east Prattville and downtown. At one time, the intersection of Main Street and Memorial Drive was an important retail center. Despite a few new businesses locating in the area—mostly attracted to trafic counts— as the city’s growth moved eastward, the overall rate of reinvestment has declined. The three retail centers in the area will continue to struggle to maintain quality retailers if competing against the newer retail centers near the interstate. Property owners, merchants, the Chamber and City should explore different ways older retail spaces can be adaptively reused or redeveloped for other non-retail uses that would add vitality to the area. The hospital, for example, could be the anchor for Figure 15 Prattmont: Revitalization Opportunities Land Use+Transportation 57 draft Figure 16 Main Street cross section Figure 17 Memorial Drive (south of Main) cross section development of medical offices, healthcare services and other related uses. Perhaps one of the retail centers could be redeveloped to become the site of the proposed multipurpose/civic center or a campus for the community college. These functions would generate customers to help re-grow retail activity in the area. The southwest quadrant of the intersection is eligible for New Market Tax Credits and is in an Opportunity Zone, which provides additional tax incentives for private development. Streetscape improvements along Main Street and Memorial Drive (in coordination with the ALDOT), including attractive lighting, landscaping, and banners, could also spur private reinvestment in Prattmont. Streetscape improvements are not dependable as initial catalysts but can help sustain and maximize revitalization once the process has begun through some key reinvestment projects. Streetscape projects should include, to the extent practicable, access management improvements and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Main Street, in particular, from Memorial Drive toward downtown, has sufficient right-of-way for a shared use path on at least one side. Memorial Drive also has considerable right-of-way to accommodate improvements, including installation of bike lanes on existing pavement south of Main Street. shared use path 10 ft mediantravel lanesdrainage swale right turn lane right turn lane plant ing strip left turn lane travel lanes shared use path 10 ft ROW 190+/- ft MemorialCommercialCenter LISENBY’SMUSIC SHOP bicycle lane 6 ft bicycle lane 6 ft travel lane 13 ft travel lane 12 ft median travel lane 12 ft travel lane 13 ft ROW 100+/- ft Project Prattville 2040 58 draft development opportunities at exit 186 During the planning process, many residents voiced their support for the City pursuing development opportunities around Exit 186, the northernmost interchange along I-65 serving the Prattville area. Today, the interchange is developed with a small handful of commuter-oriented businesses. The primary benefit of new development here would be revenue-generation for the City within Autauga County, meaning any sales tax revenue generated would support Autauga County schools. This would be advantageous since so much of Prattville’s thriving shopping and restaurant activity is concentrated along Cobbs Ford Road in Elmore County. To accomplish this objective would involve considerable annexation and extension of the sewer system roughly four miles beyond its northernmost point. Though the costs of extending the sewer system would be substantial, as a long-term objective, supporting additional development around the interchange to capture additional tax revenue is a reasonable strategy. However, there are other issues that must be considered and that suggest the City exercise caution in pursuing this effort. In addition to the up-front investment in sewer necessary to further develop land around the interchange, the City would also take on the long-term costs of providing fire and police services to the area. The soon to be completed Fire Station #4 will be Prattville’s northernmost fire station, but will nonetheless be almost five miles from the interchange. Moreover, the terrain around the southern side of the interchange is rough, dropping precipitously on the west side of US-31—about 80 ft within 500 ft. The east side of US-31 nearest the interchange is more forgiving, but the terrain rises quickly. These grade differences relative to the highway pose severe constraints for any large-scale commercial development. Topographic conditions on the north side of the interchange are similarly problematic in terms of siting any large-scale development. Without sewer access, a substantial increase in business development is not feasible. With sewer access, large-scale development would become possible, but site preparation costs may deter private interest. The City and County, should further evaluate the interchange’s development potential, including studying what quantity and mix of retail development could reasonably be supported by the population within the surrounding areas, and weigh those opportunities against the short-term and long-term costs associated with extending sewer and other services to the area. Though there are challenges and limits to developing the interchange, it should not be dismissed out of hand. Should Prattville’s residential growth move further north along US-31, the gap between city sewer and services and the interchange will get smaller and smaller over time. Land Use+Transportation 59 draft TRANSPORTATION PLAN The primary goals for maintaining and improving Prattville’s transportation infrastructure in the coming years are: • Maintain and increase connectivity in the citywide street network to disperse traffic • Maintaining traffic flow and safety on Cobbs Ford Road, Main Street, Fairview Avenue, Memorial Drive, US-82 and other major corridors • Enhancing mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists and those with disabilities • Correcting capacity and safety deficiencies among existing streets and intersections • Maintaining streets in good condition over time existing conditions Regional vehicular access provided by I-65 and federal highways, US-31 and US-82. I-65 and US-31 provide north/south access from Prattville to Birmingham and Montgomery. US-82 extends westward and connects Prattville to I-20/59 in Tuscaloosa, and it also extends eastward toward Georgia. Additional regional access is provided by SR-14 which connects eastward to Wetumpka and westward to Selma. Access to I-65 is provided by three interchanges: US-82/Cobbs Ford Road (Exit 179), Fairview Avenue (Exit 181), and US-31 (Exit 186). Overall, Prattville has a well-connected system of arterial and collector streets. North of Main Street, however, there are few east/west routes which makes travel in those directions challenging. Major Roads • interstate 65 is a six-lane, divided, north-south interstate • us highway 31 (sr-3), north of 6th Street, is a two-lane, undivided, north-south primary arterial. • us highway 82 (sr-6) is an east-west primary arte- rial containing two-lane, undivided and four-lane, divided segments. • state route 14 is collocated along I-65 (between Ex-its 179 and 181), Cobbs Ford Road, US-82, and Selma Highway. These roadways are interstate and primary arterial functional classes, respectively. • fairview Avenue is a northeast-southwest primary arterial. • cobbs ford road is a five-lane, undivided, east- west primary arterial. • east main street is an east-west roadway with segments classified as primary arterial and minor arterial. • martin Luther King drive (north chestnut street) is a two-lane, undivided, north-south minor arterial. • upper Kingston road is a two-lane, undivided, north-south roadway, with segments classified as a minor arterial and a major collector. Congestion Status The Montgomery MPO regional travel demand model was used to identify congested roadways in Prattville. The travel demand model volume/capacity ratio was used to illustrate areas currently experiencing congestion. It should be noted that the Montgomery MPO travel demand model’s current base year is 2010. Additional analysis was conducted on historical traffic counts between the years 2010 and 2018 to account for recent growth, and the travel demand model volumes were factored accordingly to more accurately reflect more recent conditions. Project Prattville 2040 60 draft Some congestion is present during the peak periods near Prattville High School and Prattville Junior High School on Upper Kingston Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, respectively. This increased congestion is generally seen during the school drop-off and pick-up times. • As shown in Figure 19, approximate locations of roadway segments exhibiting heavy to severe con- gestion based on analysis of the 2018 factored model volumes include: • 4th Street, between Lower Kingston Road and South Washington Street • East Main Street, between South Washington Street and New Moon Drive • Fairview Avenue, between US-31 and Jasmine Trail • Fairview Avenue/SR-14, on the eastbound and west-bound approaches to the I-65 interchange • Cobbs Ford Road, on the eastbound and westbound approaches to the I-65 interchange • East Main Street, between Sheila Boulevard and McQueen Smith Boulevard • McQueen Smith Road, northbound approach to East Main Street • US-82, between Selma Highway and US-31 • US-31, south of US-82 • I-65, north of SR-14 • I-65, south of Cobbs Ford Road Figure 18: Road Classifications Land Use+Transportation 61 draft Improvements since the Previous Plan Since the previous transportation plan, several transportation improvements have been implemented: • The addition of protected left turn phases for both McQueen Smith Road approaches at its intersection with the US-82 Bypass • The installation of left turn lanes along both US-82 Bypass approaches at Gin Shop Hill Road, along the westbound US-82 Bypass approach at Indian Hills Road, and along both US-82 Bypass approaches at Northington Road • The widening of the US-82 Bypass to a four-lane, di- vided section between Selma Highway and Malone Court • The addition of a second northbound through lane on the McQueen Smith Road approach to East Main Street • Completion of the widening of Old Farm Lane to a four-lane, divided section with bike lanes and sidewalks between Cobbs Ford Road and Fairview Avenue • Extension of Old Farm Lane north of Fairview Av- enue with installation of a roundabout at North Old Ridge Road. • Installation of an Automated Traffic Signal Perfor- mance Measures (ATSPM) system on Cobbs Ford Road which implemented an advanced detection system and also gives the City the ability to collect traffic count data at intersections. • Realignment, widening, and bridge construction of US-82 at its crossing of Pine Creek, just west of US-31 • Construction of an industrial access road from US-82 to CR-4 East Figure 19: Current Traffic Conditions Project Prattville 2040 62 draft Ongoing transportation projects include: • Addition of turn lanes at the intersection of US-82 and US-31 • Widening McQueen Smith to five lanes from US-31 to Cobbs Ford Road (with bike lanes and sidewalk on one side) • Widening of Fairview Avenue (currently proposed to include three lanes from US-31 to Diane Drive with sidewalks, right turn lanes at select intersections and new signal at Jasmine Trail) • Widening of US-82 between US-31 and SR-14 is planned for construction under the Rebuild Alabama Act; completing the four-lane expansion of the US- 82 bypass. Transit Transit service is provided by Autauga County Rural Transportation. This is a demand response service that provides transportation to the Montgomery Cancer Center and doctors in the Montgomery area. There is currently no fixed-route transit service in Prattville. Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Sidewalks are present on most streets in Downtown Prattville and surrounding historic neighborhoods and near some, but not all, of the local schools. Most neighborhoods that developed in the central part of the city, along US Hwy 31 have few if any sidewalks. Further east, neighborhoods that developed later typically include sidewalks on one side of residential streets. In addition, the City has constructed a walking trail along Autauga Creek in the downtown area. Sharrows on Old Farm Road in east Prattville are the only marked bicycling facilities in Prattville. Intersection Evaluation Site Description Twelve unsignalized, stop-controlled intersections were selected for more detailed analysis. The intersections are located along three main corridors connecting the northernmost I-65 exit to the downtown area. These roadways also serve as connections for much of the city to access Prattville High School and Prattville Junior High School. The twelve study intersections are shown in Figure 20 and include: A. US-31 at Camellia Drive B. US-31 at Ridgewood Road/Henderson Lane c. US-31 at Powell Road d. US-31 at Old Ridge Road e. Martin Luther King Jr Drive at Ridgewood Road/ Wilberforce Ave f. Martin Luther King Jr Drive at Greencrest Lane G. Martin Luther King Jr Drive at Gardner Road h. Martin Luther King Jr Drive at Powell Road i. Martin Luther King Jr Drive at Moses Road J. Upper Kingston Road at Moses Road K. Upper Kingston Road at Bridge Creek Road L. Upper Kingston Road at Gardner Road Land Use+Transportation 63 draft Existing Traffic Volumes Streetlight Data was utilized to determine the average turning movement count volume for each study intersection approach. AM and PM peak hours were found to be between 7-8am and 5-6pm, respectively. The afternoon school peak hour used was between 3-4pm. The peak hour turning movement counts used in the analysis are illustrated in Figure 5. Capacity Analysis and Levels of Service In accordance with the Highway Capacity Manual, traffic capacities are expressed as levels of service (LOS) ranging from “A” to “F”. Generally, LOS “C” is considered desirable, while LOS “D” is considered acceptable during peak hours of traffic flow. Existing LOS for the study intersections are shown in Figure 20. Observations Significant queuing often occurs during peak hours at the study intersections near the schools. This is associated with drop-off and pick-up times at the high school and junior high schools. Most of the study intersections experience significant delay along the side-street approaches during the AM peak hour due to a combination of school and commuter traffic. Undesirable side-street approach delay occurs, but to a lesser extent, in the mid- afternoon school peak hour. The PM peak hour exhibits much better side-street approach LOS. It is not uncommon for a side-street at a stop-controlled intersection to have an unacceptable LOS during peak hours when volumes on a two-lane road are high. Figure 20 Study Intersections Level of Service Project Prattville 2040 64 draft future conditions and recommendations Prattville has a strong and well-connected system of roadways to support the transportation demands of residents and businesses. The City has actively sought to enhance transportation infrastructure through new and improved facilities. The biggest challenge of recent years has been the scarcity of funding to pay for needed projects. An awareness of current and future funding limitations has and should continue to influence the vision for future transportation goals. Emphasis should be placed on maintaining existing facilities so they provide the best possible efficiencies for transportation users. New capacity-building projects should be carefully chosen to augment and connect with the existing system, and they should have broad support within the community. During the development of this plan, several concerns were repeatedly expressed by citizens and City leaders: • Prattville’s east/west roadway corridors need im-provement and additional connectivity • Congestion on arterials such as US-31, Fairview Av- enue, and Cobbs Ford Road needs to be addressed • More pedestrian and bicycle facilities are needed to encourage other modes of travel • New or improved roadways are needed in the north and northeast sectors of the city to support future growth and development • Street connectivity is very important to support bal- anced and evenly dispersed traffic demand • Street design and operation should be consistent with the adjacent land uses. These concerns seem to reflect a desire among citizens that Prattville maintain its residential “home town” character while still providing efficient travel options that support growth. Future Base Conditions The future conditions assessment was conducted to evaluate the future transportation impacts of the Land Use Plan and to develop recommendations that would support future growth and improve mobility and safety for all modes of transportation. The assessment was conducted at both the city-wide level and at the intersection-level at strategic locations. Roadway segments exhibiting heavy to severe congestion in 2018 include: • 4th Street, between Lower Kingston Road and South Washington Street • East Main Street, between South Washington Street and New Moon Drive • Fairview Avenue, between US-31 and Jasmine Trail • SR-14, on the eastbound and westbound approaches to the I-65 interchange • Cobbs Ford Road, on the eastbound and westbound approaches to the I-65 interchange • East Main Street, between Sheila Boulevard and McQueen Smith Boulevard • US-82, between Selma Highway and US-31 • US-31, south of US-82 • I-65, north of SR-14 • I-65, south of Cobbs Ford Road The 2040 regional travel demand analysis was based on the demographic and highway network assumptions used in the Montgomery MPO regional planning process. As such, this analysis represents the base future condition scenario to which alternative land use and highway network scenarios were compared. Land Use+Transportation 65 draft As shown on Figure 21, projected 2040 traffic conditions illustrate that existing congested areas will continue to experience congestion in the future. Overall congestion is forecasted to increase as a function of future population and employment growth. One notable exception to this trend is the segment of US-82 between US-31 and SR-14, which is forecasted to have lower congestion levels in 2040, though it is still projected to be heavily congested. ALDOT has been widening this section of US-82 in recent years with future improvements planned to add capacity and improve traffic flow. The US-82 widening is captured in the future regional travel demand model, which leads to some improvement in congestion levels. Additional roadway segments projected to be under heavy to severe congestion by 2040 include: • US-31, on the northern approach to 6th Street • I-65, on the northbound and southbound approach- es to the Prattville interchanges. Future Intersection Evaluation The twelve intersections evaluated in the existing conditions analysis were also evaluated for the future year 2040 conditions. Future Traffic Volumes Streetlight Data was used to determine the turning movement count volume for each study intersection. The AM and PM peak hours were determined to be between 7-8am and 5-6pm, respectively. The afternoon school peak hour used was between 3-4pm. Figure 21 2040 Traffic Projections Project Prattville 2040 66 draft To estimate and project traffic conditions in 2040, future growth rates were developed and used to grow the existing traffic volumes at the study intersections. The growth rates along the three studied mainline corridors were developed using the Montgomery MPO regional travel demand model. Traffic projections at the study intersections were based on annual growth rates ranging from 1.0% to 1.2% for Upper Kingston Road, 2.3% to 2.8% for Martin Luther King Drive, and 2.1% to 2.3% for US-31. An annual growth rate of 1.4% was used for Bridge Creek Road. Following analysis of the ALDOT traffic data, the side-streets for the study intersections, predominately those running in the east-west direction, were assigned a growth rate of 0.75% per year. While ALDOT traffic count data was generally not available for these local roadways, growth rates for other similar east-west running roadways in the area were analyzed for these projections. The projected 2040 future volumes are shown in Figure 22. Capacity Analysis and Levels of Service Using the methods described in the Highway Capacity Manual (6th Edition), 2040 traffic conditions were analyzed within the study area. Traffic capacities are expressed as levels of service (LOS) ranging from “A” to “F”. Generally, LOS “C” is considered desirable, while LOS “D” is considered acceptable during peak hours of traffic flow. Under existing conditions, most of the study intersections were shown to experience significant delay along the side-street approaches during the AM peak hour due to a combination of school traffic and work commuter traffic. Undesirable side-street approach delay was present, but to a lesser extent in the mid-afternoon school peak hour. The PM peak hour exhibited much better side-street approach LOS. Projected future volumes were used to evaluate future year 2040 traffic conditions for the intersections. Traffic conditions worsened with the increase in projected traffic. Most of the side-street approaches at study intersections show undesirable delay during both the AM and school peak hours. The only mainline approach forecast to have an undesirable LOS is the southbound Martin Luther King Jr Drive approach to Powell Road during the school peak hour. This occurs because of the high volume of southbound left turning vehicles projected for this approach. It is not uncommon for a side-street stop-controlled intersection to have an unacceptable LOS during peak hours when volumes on a two-lane road are high. Land Use+Transportation 67 draft Figure 22 2040 Traffic Projections at Study Intersections Project Prattville 2040 68 draft Global transportation strategies The previous Comprehensive Plan outlined global transportation strategies that could be implemented to address existing transportation deficiencies and position the City for future growth. These global transportation strategies are still valid in today’s environment and include the following: Maintain System Integrity In a climate of limited transportation funds and many competing interests, maintenance and preservation of existing facilities is a top priority. If you can’t construct new roadways, then it is imperative that you get the highest possible performance out of the existing roadway network. System maintenance includes managing items associated with roadway performance such as pavement, drainage, markings, signage, and traffic signals. A regular assessment of operational performance on major roadways would be an excellent way to identify low-cost improvements as well as higher-cost projects that may take years to plan and implement. The analysis completed as part of this plan provides such an operational performance assessment. It is recommended that the City update that analysis in approximately five-year intervals and add to it an assessment of crash patterns so that needed safety improvements can be identified. Develop Streets in New Growth Areas This plan outlines several major growth areas for Prattville: the US-31 corridor in the Prattmont area and around Powell Road on the north side of the city, the SR-14 corridor near I-65 and McQueen Smith Road, the Cobbs Ford Road corridor, and the Old Farm Lane corridor. In a few of these areas, like the northern sector along US-31, there are large amounts of undeveloped land with very little street network. As these areas develop, it will be important to plan for and construct a local street system to provide access as well as to disperse traffic in a balanced, less concentrated fashion. As these areas begin to develop, it would be wise for the City to require a master plan that designates a hierarchy of streets (alley, local, collector, and major collector) that is sufficient to support the vision for land use and density. Connectivity within the street network is important for safety. When poorly connected street systems funnel local trips onto major roads, it unnecessarily exposes local drivers to accidents on roads with higher design speeds, which increases the severity of injuries and the potential for fatalities when crashes do occur. Connected street systems also support emergency response by police, fire and paramedics because they provide shorter routes to calls and alternative routes if primary routes are clogged. Because interconnected streets inherently see more traffic than cul-de-sacs, residents— and the developers who design and build subdivisions for them—may oppose the connection of streets internally and from one neighborhood to another. But, a balance must be struck between accommodating residents’ desires for minimal traffic and the general welfare and safety of the community overall. Greater connectivity in street networks increases walkability—regardless of whether or not there are sidewalks—by providing connected walking routes. By contrast, in a subdivision with a large number of cul-de-sacs, a person must walk (or bike) a greater distance to reach another part of the same neighborhood. Street connectivity can be ensured in new development through the City’s development regulations through maximum block sizes and other connectivity standards based on the type and intensity of development. Land Use+Transportation 69 draft Be Sensitive to Roadside Contexts Throughout the community involvement process, citizens expressed concerns about maintaining quality of life in their community. Perceptions about quality of life and aesthetics are often heavily influenced by transportation facilities. Throughout the United States one can find numerous examples of roadways that were “improved” in a way that increased capacity and travel speed, but did significant damage to the appearance and quality of the adjacent community. An alternative approach is to consider the roadside context when making transportation decisions. Mobility, typically measured as capacity or level of service, is not the only important consideration for transportation improvements. Instead, transportation decision making should consider a wide range of issues, including but not limited to safety, community values, environmental impacts, aesthetics, cost, and mobility for all modes. Prattville has some streets that will have deficient capacity and less than desirable traffic operations in the coming years. For some of those streets, adding capacity would mean a significant trade-off for adjacent land uses. As Prattville considers future projects and priorities, it is strongly recommended that a collaborative public process be used to encourage broad consideration of the impacts and opportunities created by those projects. Consider All Transportation Users The City has been proactive in pushing for consideration of pedestrian accommodations on state- funded projects within the city; and the City adopted a Complete Streets resolution in 2010. It is recommended that City leaders use the existing Complete Streets resolution to guide developers on the appropriate typical sections (including number and width of vehicle lanes, bicycle facilities, buffer zones, sidewalks, and/or parking lanes) required for future development based on the magnitude, location, and land use of the proposed development. “Complete Streets” is a name adopted by the National Complete Streets Coalition to describe a process of planning and design that considers the entire roadway area (travel way, shoulders, and adjacent space) and all potential users. Complete Streets cross section Project Prattville 2040 70 draft Implement Access Management Access management is the planning, design, and implementation of various land use and transportation strategies to maintain traffic flow and safety along primary roadways, while still considering access needs of different land uses and development types. Allowing unlimited or unrestricted access to development eventually degrades the carrying capacity and safety of a roadway. By managing roadway access however, a governing agency can increase safety, extend the functional life of a major road, reduce traffic congestion, support alternative modes of transportation, and improve the appearance and quality of the built environment. The Montgomery MPO is currently sponsoring the development of an Access Management Policy for local and county roads. When complete, the City of Prattville should consider adopting the guidelines to assist with subdivision and site plan approval processes. It is also recommended that the City designate important roadways as “access management corridors” where the City would either retrofit access management where feasible or enforce access management principles during the course of redevelopment. A list of the recommended access management corridors is provided in the recommended projects subsection of this report. Support Alternative Modes of Travel The City of Prattville is currently quite limited in availability of choices for travel. There is a modest network of sidewalks, even fewer acceptable bicycle routes and no fixed route transit service. Encouraging the design and construction of new bike and pedestrian facilities is an excellent way to support and encourage citizens to make alternative choices for their transportation. Establishment of park and ride lots for commuters to Montgomery would help to encourage carpooling. Within the next decade, it may even be feasible to start a small transit or rideshare initiative to provide service to Maxwell Air Force base since it is a major employer of Prattville residents. Access management optimizes spacing between intersections, between driveways and between driveways and intersections to maintain traffic flow and safety. Access management standards are typically higher on roads where the amount of traffic and driving speeds are higher. ALDOT applies access management rules on state roads and US highways under its purview. The City of Prattville is responsible for these issues on local streets. The following strategies can be incorporated into the City’s development regulations to manage access on Prattville’s major streets: • Separate conflict points The distance be- tween intersections of arterials and collec-tors and driveways should be regulated. • Restrict turning movements Where drive- ways and unsignalized side streets intersect major streets, turning movements may need to be limited, such as the use of right-in, right-out access points. • Design standards Design standards that address access spacing, the length of turn lanes and tapers and driveway dimensions should be developed for Prattville’s major streets and applied through zoning and subdivision regulations. • Traffic signal spacing Signals should only be installed when appropriate studies indicate their spacing and interconnection can be accomplished without significant impacts on corridor capacity. • Turn lanes Left and right turn lanes should be required for developments on major streets. In some cases, acceleration lanes may be required. • Shared driveways and access Joint use driveways and inter-parcel interconnec- tions, including alleys, should be required to reduce the proliferation of driveways to preserve the capacity of major streets. Land Use+Transportation 71 draft study corridor recommendations Analysis of the twelve study intersections showed that significant queuing often occurs during peak hours near the schools, especially on the east-west minor street approaches. This is consistent with a lack of east-west connectivity on the north side of the city. Recommended improvements include overall signing and marking improvements, signalization, non- conventional intersections, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, system management and ITS improvements, street connectivity and capacity improvements. These are high level recommendations that should only be considered for implementation after more detailed engineering studies are conducted. Concepts of recommended improvements are included in the Appendix. Traffic Signalization Unsignalized intersections can be evaluated to assess the feasibility of installing traffic signals to improve safety and operations. Traffic signals promote the orderly movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and prevent excessive delay to traffic. Although installing traffic signals may increase rear end crashes by 50 to 60%, angle and left turn crashes may be reduced by 60 to 70%. Traffic signals are expected to reduce fatal and injury crashes by 30 to 40%, which is reasonable as left turn and angle crashes typically involve injuries whereas rear end crashes are usually limited to vehicle damage. Traffic signals should not be installed unless one of the warrants specified by the MUTCD has been satisfied. Further, the satisfaction of a warrant is not in itself justification for a signal. When traffic volumes return to normal levels after the COVID-19 pandemic, conduct a complete signal warrant analysis at the following intersections: • Powell Road at US-31 • Powell Road at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (also evaluate the need for dual left turn lanes on south-bound and westbound approaches which would require widening each roadway to four lanes in proximity to the intersection). Non-Conventional Intersections Roundabouts/Mini-Roundabouts Roundabouts reduce vehicular speeds, improve safety at intersections through eliminating angle collisions, help traffic flow more efficiently, and reduce operational costs compared to signalized intersections. Single-lane roundabouts can reduce approximately 80 percent of injury crashes compared to a stop-controlled intersection. Roundabouts also help create gateways indicating entry a special district or area. The inscribed diameter of a single- lane roundabout is typically 100 to 130 feet. Similar to the roundabout, a mini-roundabout can Figure 23 Roundabout Project Prattville 2040 72 draft be used in place of stop-controlled or signalized intersections to help improve safety problems and reduce excessive delays at minor approaches. A mini- roundabout may be used as an alternative to a larger, single-lane roundabout due to a desire to minimize impacts outside of the existing intersection footprint. The mini-roundabout features an inscribed diameter of 45 to 90 feet and has lower construction costs than a typical roundabout since the footprint is usually within existing travel way boundaries. Roads with speeds of 35 mph or lower and total entering intersection volumes from all approaches less than 1,600 veh/hr are good candidates for mini-roundabouts. The safety and operational benefits of a mini-roundabout are similar to that of roundabouts. Roundabouts and mini-roundabouts can be used in the vicinity of schools to improve traffic safety and operations. The photo at right shows an example of a roundabout near Windermere Elementary School in Windermere, Florida. It has an inscribed diameter of 100 feet and school crosswalks at all approaches. Figure 24 Mini-Roundabout Land Use+Transportation 73 draft Potential installation of roundabout/mini-roundabout should be evaluated for the following intersections: • Bridge Creek Road at Upper Kingston Road: in addition to the safety and operational benefits, a roundabout/mini-roundabout at this study intersec- tion would create a gateway to the area north of the intersection that includes residential neighborhoods and Prattville High School. The roundabout/mini- roundabout would also reduce speeds prior to the school zone. Further, a roundabout/mini-roundabout would improve the existing intersection design, a skewed intersection that might cause drive confu- sion. • Moses Road at Upper Kingston Road: a mini- roundabout at this study intersection would improve safety, operations, and reduce speeds at the Prat-tville High School zone that begins just south of the intersection. • Wilberforce Avenue/Ridgewood Road at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive: in addition to the safety and operational benefits, a mini-roundabout at this study intersection would improve the existing alignment of both minor roads and reduce speeds. The speed reduction is important as the Prattville Junior High School zone begins just north of the intersection. • Greencrest Lane at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive: a mini-roundabout at this study intersection would improve safety, operations, and reduce speeds at the Prattville Junior High School zone that begins just south of the intersection. Other Intersection Considerations • Old Ridge Road at US-31: a signal would most likely not be warranted at this intersection. Delays are acceptable except during the AM peak hour when westbound left turns are high. Because of the high approach speed at this intersection, a mini-round- about might not be a good alternative. Further evalu- ate crash data and operations to determine the most feasible alternative to improve safety and operations at this intersection. • Ridgewood Road/Henderson Lane at US-31: east- bound right turn volumes are high; however, there already is a channelized right turn lane with an acceleration lane at the intersection. A signal is not likely to meet the warrants at this intersection. No improvements are recommended at this intersection. Conduct further evaluation of crash data to assess the need for safety improvements. • Gardner Road at Upper Kingston Road: a signal is not likely to meet the warrants at this intersection during off-peak hours. Conduct turn lane warrant analysis at the intersection. • Moses Road at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive: although eastbound volumes are high, the northbound and southbound conflicting volumes are low. Conduct turn lane warrant analysis at the intersection. • Gardner Road at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive: although the AM peak hour and School peak hour traffic volumes might meet signal warrants, the off-peak traffic volumes are not likely to meet the warrants. Conduct turn lane warrant analysis at the intersection. If delay at the minor road approach becomes critical, traffic may shift from Gardner Road to other roads that could also provide access to Prat-tville High School, Prattville Junior High School, and downtown Prattville. Project Prattville 2040 74 draft other recommendations System Management and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Projects • Traffic Signal Optimization. Update traffic signal timing at the following locations: US-31 system from East Main Street to Fairview Avenue; Down- town traffic signals; SR-14 @ I-65 ramps • School Traffic Management Plans. Conduct a detailed traffic study and traffic management plan for each public school within the City of Prattville. Fund and develop Safe Routes to Schools Plans for City of Prattville elementary schools • Neighborhood Traffic Management Plans. Conduct neighborhood traffic management plans for neigh-borhoods with documented traffic concerns. • Install fiber optic cable for traffic signal com- munication and other ITS applications along the following corridors. McQueen Smith Road from SR-14 to US-31 (the section from East Main Street to US-31 is planned to be accomplished as part of the McQueen Smith Road widening project) Street Connectivity Projects • Construct a bridge to connect Poplar Street across Pine Creek (this could be a connection for bicycle and pedestrian traffic only). • Extend Jay Street from Chantel Drive to McQueen Smith Road. Capacity Projects A. US Highway 82 • Complete widening to a four-lane median divided cross section for all portions of US-82 between US- 31 and SR-14. This project is being construct- ed by ALDOT as part of the Rebuild Alabama First Year Plan 2020. • Add a second left turn lane to the northbound and westbound approaches at US-82 and US-31. B. McQueen Smith Road • Widen the southern portion of McQueen Smith Road between East Main Street and US-31 to a four-lane median divided cross section. • In the area just south of East Main Street, provide a center turn lane instead of a median in order to accommodate access to the adjacent commercial businesses. • Include a multi-use path on the west side of McQueen Smith Road throughout the limits of the project. • Modify the intersection at East Main Street to provide two through lanes for the southbound movement on McQueen Smith Road. • If traffic volumes meet the necessary warrants, install a traffic signal at Tara Drive at McQueen Smith Road and coordinate its timing with all other signals between East Main Street and US-31. • Modify the existing traffic signal at US-82 to ac- commodate additional travel lanes on McQueen Smith and include a protected left turn phase for McQueen Smith Road. • Modify the intersection at US-31 to provide dual left turn lanes from McQueen Smith Road to southbound US-31 and install a traffic signal (cur-rently under design). Land Use+Transportation 75 draft c. Fairview Avenue. Add left-turn lanes on Fair-view Avenue at its intersections with Edgewood Avenue, Sycamore Drive, Brookhaven Drive, and Diane Drive. d. East-West Connector. Construct a new roadway to extend from existing SR-14 near Jasmine Trail to US-31 at Powell Road. A conceptual drawing of this improvement is shown in the Appendix. e. Cobbs Ford Road @ I-65. Commission an inter- change modification study to identify appropriate measures for improving capacity and operations. f. US-31 north of 6th Street to I-65. Conduct a cor- ridor study to evaluate the potential to widen to a four-lane median divided cross section with bike/ pedestrian accommodations. G. US 31 @ Pine Level Interchange. In conjunction with planning for additional development near this interchange, conduct a detailed traffic evaluation to assess capacity and safety improvements. h. Old Ridge Road. Improve the curvature and cross section of this existing two-lane rural road from SR-14 to US-31. The number of future travel lanes will depend on intensity of development in the sector north of SR-14. One option would be to construct a two-lane median divided facility within right-of-way that is sufficient to contain an ulti-mate build-out of four travel lanes with median. i. New Connector road between Martin Luther King Drive & US-31. Evaluate the feasibility of a new east/west local street south of Greencrest Lane to improve east-west mobility on the north side of the city. J. Realign the Gardner Road and Powell Road intersections along Martin Luther King Jr Drive to consolidate these into one intersection. A concep- tual drawing of this improvement is shown in the Appendix. Park & Ride Lots Coordinate with the Central Alabama Regional Planning Commission to designate one or two park and ride lots at locations to be determined. Access Management Corridors Evaluate the following corridors to identify opportunities for access management improvements and/or new access standards for development or re-development. • SR-14 between CR-4 & US-82 • US-31 between US-82 and Fairview Avenue • East Main Street between US-31 and Jeanette Drive • Cobbs Ford Road between US-82 and Silver Hills Drive • Old Farm Lane • McQueen Smith Road Implement policies to promote access management consideration as part of subdivision and site plan approval processes. Project Prattville 2040 76 draft scenario Analysis An alternative scenario was evaluated for the future 2040 conditions, which included modeling the impacts of improved east-west roadway connectivity north of downtown. Specifically, a road connection between Fairview Avenue and US-31 was included in the regional travel demand model to determine the overall changes in travel demand in the city. The travel demand results indicated that a connector road extending from US-31 at Powell Road to Fairview Avenue would carry approximately 8,000 ADT for a two-lane roadway and approximately 15,000 ADT for a four-lane roadway, illustrating that this is a feasible alignment from a travel demand perspective. The forecast volumes for the four-lane roadway are approaching the 20,000 ADT thresholds normally used to justify a four-lane cross section. The roadway would also improve traffic conditions on US-31 north of Main Street and on Fairview Avenue west of the proposed connector. The regained capacity on US-31 would allow additional development along US-31. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements This plan outlines the future vision for Prattville and is underpinned by technical analysis and community and stakeholder input. Both the technical analysis and public/stakeholder input indicated that the city has opportunities to support future economic development by improving the city parks and recreation centers. Improving pedestrian and bicycle accessibility between these attractions and the surrounding neighborhoods is a key aspect of improving the overall parks and recreation system. Connecting these attractions to Downtown Prattville, commercial areas, and schools was also identified as a priority by the public and stakeholders. Figure 25 Recommended Transportation Improvements Land Use+Transportation 77 draft Pedestrian, bicycle and transit accommodations in Prattville are very limited. There are no current striped or designated bicycle facilities outside of sharrows on Old Farm Lane., and beyond the Creekwalk, Prattville does not have a path/trail system. Opportunities exist to develop a path/trail system to connect parks, schools, downtown and other local attractions. Off-street trail options include multi-use paths, greenway trails and bicycle paths. Sidewalks and on-street bicycle lanes and sharrows can be used to complete the path/trail network. General and policy recommendations to support multi- modal travel include: A. Develop path system as described in Figure 26. An initial feasibility analysis of the proposed trail system should be conducted to identify challenges related to steep grades around waterways, envi- ronmental impacts, and overall constructability. B. Connectivity for non-motorized travel needs to be improved. Large gaps occur between areas devel- oped with sidewalks, and bicycle facilities do not exist beyond the sharrows along Old Farm Lane. Gaps in existing sidewalks exist along Main Street, Cobbs Ford Road, McQueen Smith Road, Old Ridge Road, US-82, and the neighborhoods south of the downtown area. It is recommended that the city work to reduce the gaps in the network by funding and conducting a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian plan for the city and adjacent areas. c. Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) data was processed for Maxwell Air Force Base. This data illustrated that the highest con- centrations of workers at Maxwell Air Force Base live in census tracts located in the Prattville area. Given the number of city residents who com-mute to Maxwell Air Force Base, the city should coordinate with the Montgomery MPO to explore implementing carpool and/or shuttle service be- tween Prattville and Maxwell Air Force Base. Refer to Figure 27. Off-Street Greenway Trail Off-Street Shared Use Path On-Street Bicycle Path On-Street Shared Lane Project Prattville 2040 78 draft Figure 27 Maxwell AFB Commuting Patterns Figure 26 Bicycle-Pedestrian Concept (with parks and schools) Land Use+Transportation 79 draft Junior High and High School Areas Prattville High School and Prattville Junior High School (as well as nearby Mac Gray Park) should be a focus for evaluating possible pedestrian and bicycle improvements in greater detail. A distance of 0.25 to 0.50 miles is often used as typical walking distances, which correspond to 5-minute and 10-minute walks, respectively. Students that live within 1.0 mile from the school may also choose to bike (6-minute bike ride) to school. Prattville High School To improve safety conditions for pedestrians and bicycles in the vicinity of the high school, the following are recommended: • Reduce speeds within the school zone with round- about/mini-roundabout on Upper Kingston Road at the Moses Road intersection. • Build sidewalk(s) on Upper Kingston Road from Parkview Drive to Moses Road. • Add School Crossing assembly; designate school crossings on Upper Kingston Road at Parkview Drive and at Kingston Oaks Drive. • Evaluate the feasibility of marked crosswalks on Upper Kingston Road at Parkview Drive and at Kingston Oaks Drive. • Add Share the Road assemblies along Upper Kingston Road from Bridge Creek Road to Crows Pass: Upper Kingston Road has narrow lanes with no shoulders, which represent hazardous condi-tions for bicyclists. Prattville Junior High School To improve safety conditions for pedestrians and bicycles in the vicinity of the junior high school, the following are recommended: • Reduce speeds within the school zone with mini- roundabouts on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at the Wilberforce Avenue/Ridgewood Road and at the Greencrest Lane intersections. • Extend sidewalk on the west side of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive from Hughes Street to Gardner Road. • Add School Crossing assembly: designate school crossings on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at the proposed mini-roundabouts at Wilberforce Av- enue/Ridgewood Road and at Greencrest Lane. Install assembly on northbound, southbound, and westbound approaches. • Remove existing crosswalk and associated signs in front of the Prattville Junior High School: the crossing location does not connect the school to any pedestrian generators or sidewalks. • Add Share the Road assemblies along Martin Lu- ther King Drive from 6th Street to Powell Road to alert the motorists of unexpected entries into the roadway by bicyclists, and other crossing activities that might cause conflicts. Project Prattville 2040 80 draft downtown parking A parking analysis was performed for Downtown Prattville. This study included analysis of the existing parking patterns to determine the occupancy and turnover characteristics. The study area includes both public on-street parking and usable parking lots. The weekend parking inventory was conducted on Saturday, March 14, 2020 during two strategic periods of time during the day. These times were from 11:30am – 1:30pm and 6:00pm – 8:00pm, to obtain data and observations from the primary lunch and dinner time periods for businesses located in the area. The data collection process included an inventory of the total number of parking spaces and the number of parked vehicles. Vehicles were identified and distinguished using video to note the general vehicle description (color and model) along with the last three digits of the license plate. This information helped to note the occurrence of vehicle turnover. The inventory was conducted in 30-minute intervals for the duration of the two hour study periods. None of the parking spaces inventoried were metered or had specified time restriction signage. The data collected from the parking inventory was used to determine the occupancy and turnover rates for the parking areas. The occupancy rate can be defined as a percentage, resulting from the number of vehicles recorded in a specified parking area at a given time in relation to the total number of spaces contained within the parking area. Turnover can be defined as the average number of vehicles which occupied given parking spaces in a parking area over a specified period of time. For example, a turnover value of zero would imply that there was no change in which vehicles were occupying a given parking space during the study period, while a turnover of four would imply that four different vehicles occupied the parking space during the study period. For on-street parking occupancy, 85% is generally considered to be the optimal occupancy rate. Anything less than this is thought to be underutilized, while rates above 85% are considered to be over-utilized. Total parking availability is shown in Table 2. On-street and off-street parking occupancy and turnover characteristics are shown in Table 3 and Table 4, respectively. Public and private parking and turnover characteristics are shown in Table 5. Graphs showing parking occupancy for both on-street and off-street parking in relation to the total parking supply in the area are shown in Figures 28-31. Land Use+Transportation 81 draft Table 2: Total Parking Availability Parking Type On-Street Parking Public Off-street Parking Private Off-street Parking Total Parking Total Spaces 148 (39%)109 (39%)120 (32%)377 Table 3: On-Street Parking Location Supply Occupancy Rate Turnover Rate Saturday Lunch Saturday Dinner Saturday Lunch Saturday Dinner Main St 87 66%74%1.3 1.4 Court St 42 43%43%0.9 0.9 Chestnut St 19 26%16%0.3 0.2 Total On-Street Spaces 148 54%57%1.1 1.1 Table 4: Off-Street Parking Location Supply Occupancy Rate Turnover Rate Saturday Lunch Saturday Dinner Saturday Lunch Saturday Dinner South of Main St & West of Chestnut St 67 22%24%0.5 0.5 East of Chestnut St 42 2%0%0.0 0.0 Total Public Off-Street 109 14%14%0.3 0.3 Mid-Block South of Tichnor Ave*67 53%44%0.7 0.5 Mid-Block between Main St and Tichnor Ave*24 18%31%0.2 0.5 Corner of Chestnut St and Tichnor Ave*29 25%24%0.3 0.2 Total Private Off-Street 120 39%37%0.5 0.4 Total Off-Street Spaces 229 27%26%0.4 0.4 * Private parking lot Table 5: Combined Occupancy and Turnover Rates Parking Type Occupancy Rate Turnover Rate Saturday Lunch Saturday Dinner Saturday Lunch Saturday Dinner Public Parking Areas 37%39%0.8 0.9 Private Parking Areas 37%37%0.5 0.4 Total Parking 38%38%0.7 0.7 Project Prattville 2040 82 draft For the studied weekend lunch and dinner peak periods in Prattville, the occupancy rates for both the on-street and off-street parking were generally observed to be well below the 85% threshold of utilization. This implies that sufficient parking is available in the downtown area for these peak weekend periods. One concern is that some of the private parking lots were being used by drivers who should be utilizing public parking areas. For this reason, additional analysis was performed to determine the effects of potentially restricting access to the private parking lots north of Main Street. For the purposes of this analysis, since parked vehicle counts were performed on a Saturday, the total number of occupied spaces in private parking lots was added to the total occupied public parking spaces. It was determined that even with the added parking volume to the public parking network, the occupancy rate for the public parking network during both the Saturday lunch and dinner time periods would only be 56%, still well below the utilization threshold. With the added volume to the public parking system, it would be expected that a higher occupancy rate than what was observed would be present for the on- street parking facilities under these conditions. This is important to note as the occupancy rates on Main Street were 66% and 74% during the Saturday lunch and dinner time periods respectively. Increasing parking demand on Main Street could lead to the possibility of Main Street becoming over-utilized in the future without mitigation measures. Figure 28 Saturday Lunch – Public on- and off-street parking demand Figure 29 Saturday Lunch – Private off-street parking demand Land Use+Transportation 83 draft The previously referenced average on-street parking turnover rate of 1.1 signifies healthy turnover conditions along the streets. A lower turnover rate is present for the off-street parking lots. This shows that a majority of the vehicles parking for only a short period are able to use on-street parking options, which is desirable. Maps showing the number of vehicles that used each individual on-street parking space during each two- hour period surveyed for this study, including the rate at which turnover for each parking space occurred are shown in Figure 32 and Figure 33. Due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated changes in travel and life patterns for the City’s residents, the parking inventory was unable to be conducted in March 2020 as planned for a typical weekday as it was for Saturday, as previously shown. Aerial photos from November 2020 showed the parking areas located within the study area for two intervals during the peak weekday lunch period, at 11:30 AM and 12:00 PM. This data was used to determine an occupancy rate for each of the studied parking areas. On-street and off-street parking occupancy and turnover characteristics are shown in Table 6 and Table 7, respectively. Public and private parking and turnover characteristics are shown in Table 8. Figure 30 Saturday Dinner – Public on- and off-street parking demand Figure 31 Saturday Dinner – Private off-street parking demand Project Prattville 2040 84 draft Figure 32 Parking Turnover Map - Weekend Lunch Figure 33 Parking Turnover Map - Weekend Dinner Land Use+Transportation 85 draft Overall, there is approximately 6.5% more parking demand in the study area during the peak periods on Friday than on Saturday. One notable change between the two days is the closure of the two city government buildings on weekends, which accounts for a majority of the difference between overall parking demand in the study area. The increased demand on Fridays is still expected to result in acceptable occupancy rates for parking locations within the study area. For the weekday lunch peak period, occupancy rates for on-street and off-street parking were generally observed to be well below the 85% threshold of utilization. This implies that sufficient parking is available in the downtown area for the peak weekday lunch period. When comparing the weekday lunch peak periods to the weekend lunch period, it is noteworthy that, with the exception of the Main Street on-street parking, each of the counted parking areas revealed a higher rate of occupancy during the weekday lunch period than the weekend lunch period. Additional analysis was conducted to identify potential worst-case scenario parking needs and to determine a standard expected relationship between weekday and Saturday evening parking needs. For the purpose of analyzing the parking conditions under typical peak usage conditions, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Parking Generation Manual (5th Edition) was used to create rough parking estimates for weekday and Saturday conditions. Table 9 shows the results of the parking generation when comparing the weekday and Saturday peak parking periods. Table 6: On-Street Parking Weekday Midday Location Supply Occupancy Rate Main Street 87 55% Court Streeet 42 69% Chestnut Street 19 47% Total On-Street Spaces 148 58% Table 7: Off-Street Parking Weekday Midday Location Supply Occupancy Rate South of Main St & West of Chestnut St 67 25% East of Chestnut St 42 26% Total Public Off-Street 109 26% Mid-Block South of Tichnor Ave*67 54% Mid-Block between Main St and Tichnor Ave*24 19% Corner of Chestnut St and Tichnor Ave*29 41% Total Private Off-Street 120 44% Total Off-Street Spaces 229 35% * Private parking lot Table 8: Combined Occupancy Rates Weekday Midday Parking Type Occupancy Rate Public Parking Areas 44% Private Parking Areas 44% Total Parking 44% Project Prattville 2040 86 draft Figure 34 Weekday Lunch – Public on- and off-street parking demand Figure 35 Weekday Lunch – Private off-street parking demand Overall, there is approximately 6.5% more parking demand during the peak periods on Friday than on Saturday. One notable change between the two days is the closure of the two city government buildings on weekends, which accounts for a majority of the difference between overall parking demand in the study area. The increased demand on weekdays is still expected to result in acceptable occupancy rates for parking locations. However, the estimated 79% weekday evening occupancy rate on Main Street is approaching the threshold of 85% which implies parking demand is approaching capacity on Main Street. Specifically, the Main Street corridor is currently estimated to be 5 parking spaces away from exceeding the optimal parking threshold of 85% Land Use+Transportation 87 draft Table 9: Parking Trip Generation Location Supply Peak Time Periods Parking Demand Saturday Lunch Saturday Dinner Saturday Lunch Saturday Dinner Government Office Building (LU 730)29,000 9:00am – 2:00pm Closed 80 0 Shopping Center (LU 820)56,500 12:00pm – 6:00pm 11:00am – 5:00pm 140 197 Drive-In Bank (LU 912)35,000 11:00am - 4:00pm 9:00am -12:00pm 128 107 Fast Casual Restaurant (LU 930)56,500 12:00pm – 1:00pm 2:00pm & 6:00pm 507 495 Totals ---855 799 Table 10: On-Street Parking Weekday Evening Estimate Location Supply Occupancy Rate Main St 87 79% Court St 42 73% Chestnut St 19 50% Total On-Street Spaces 148 74% Table 11: Off-Street Parking Weekday Evening Estimate Location Supply Occupancy Rate South of Main St & West of Chestnut St 67 27% East of Chestnut St 42 28% Total Public Off-Street 109 28% Mid-Block South of Tichnor Ave*67 58% Mid-Block between Main St and Tichnor Ave*24 20% Corner of Chestnut St and Tichnor Ave*29 44% Total Private Off-Street 120 47% Total Off-Street Spaces 229 37% * Private parking lot Table 12: Combined Occupancy Rates Weekday Evening Estimate Parking Type Occupancy Rate Public Parking Areas 47% Private Parking Areas 47% Total Parking 47% Project Prattville 2040 88 draft Recommendations The parking analysis illustrates there is sufficient parking supply to meet the demand in Downtown Prattville. While the analysis indicates there is sufficient parking supply, there are a number of strategies and improvements the City could consider to improve the visibility of parking to local residents and tourists as well as accommodate future parking demand as downtown Prattville continues to grow and revitalize: • Add signage at parking lot entrances to delineate whether specific lots are intended for public or pri- vate use. • Add wayfinding signage along Main Street, South Court Street, and South Chestnut Street to direct drivers to available on and off-street parking • Implement access management and clearly stripe parking spaces on Tichnor Avenue between South Court Street and South Chestnut Street • Construct a mid-block pedestrian path between South Court Street and South Chestnut Street to connect the Main Street businesses to on and off- street parking on Tichnor Avenue • Purchase and pave the existing gravel parking lot on the southeast corner of South Court Street and Tichnor Avenue; paving and striping parking spaces in this lot would improve the parking capacity and circulation at this location facilities + infrastructure Project Prattville 2040 90 draft The following section describes investments in facilities and infrastructure that the City of Prattville will pursue, in partnership with other public authorities, to address current needs, support economic development and prepare for continued growth in the city—all in accordance with the goals and growth strategy of the Comprehensive Plan. Most of these efforts will need to be incorporated into the city’s capital improvements program. To give City officials a sense of the community’s priorities on these future investments, a survey was conducted, the results of which informed the preparation of the Implementation Strategy and are included in the appendix to the plan. INFRASTRUCTURE water system Prattville Water Works provides water service to about 11,500 residential and 950 commercial customers. The system operates 15 deep artesian wells in the Tuscaloosa Aquifer, 11 storage tanks and over 500 miles of distribution line. To accommodate the City’s growth, it was necessary for the Water Works to have an additional water source. In 2001 the Five Star Water Supply District was formed by Prattville, Wetumpka, Millbrook, Holtville and the Tri-Community Water Authority as a surface water supply. • The City of Prattville will support the Water Works in expanding the local supply to reduce costs and the inefficiency and potential for problems in trans- mitting water from Five Star’s supply in Wetumpka, about 15 miles away. • The south side of Prattville is served by a stor-age tank adjacent to the South Industrial Park. As industries continue to develop in the area, there will soon be a need to increase water storage capacity to serve the area. Investments will also be needed to increase water flows to better serve industrial growth and meet fire protection demands. • The Water Works, in conjunction with the Public Works department, will continue to upgrade wa- ter lines in older parts of the City to improve water flows, eliminate leaks and increase the longevity of the system. Facilities+Infrastructure 91 draft sewer system Prattville’s sanitary sewer system is operated by a division of Prattville Public Works. The system, which includes over 11,500 residential and about 860 business customers, covers most of the city limits with the exception of the more rural western parts of the city, where residential development is of a density that does not require sewer access. As new residential and business areas are built at the edges of the community, private developers install sewer facilities, which expand the sewer coverage area. The system has enough treatment capacity—about 9.7 million gallons per day—to accommodate growth for several more years. The following investments have been identified by the Public Works Division to better prepare for continued growth, improve efficiency and maintain the integrity of the sewer system. • The Autauga Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, one the city’s two sewer treatment plants, is located in southwest Prattville between Washington Ferry Road and CR-4. The facility has a treatment capac- ity of four million gallons per day. The Public Works Department intends to invest in technology and other upgrades to modernize the older plant so that it functions safely, effectively and efficiently. • To accommodate continued development expected on the city’s east side, the Public Works Department will improve the interceptor system to collect and transport increasing sewage volumes to the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. • As described in the Land Use and Transportation Section, achieving any substantial development potential at the northernmost I-65 interchange (Exit 186) will require a significant extension of the sewer system, about four miles from the current sewer coverage area. Because the interchange is outside the city limits, a partnership with Autauga County should be considered in extend sewer service to the area. However, it is recommended the City and County evaluate sewer extension and other associ- ated costs against the potential for development surrounding the interchange, which is constrained by the area’s hilly terrain. • The Public Works Department will continue to upgrade sewer lines in older parts of the City to improve sewage flows, eliminate leaks and increase the longevity of the system. Project Prattville 2040 92 draft transportation system Street Improvements Projects recommended to reduce congestion and improve mobility are described in the Land Use and Transportation Plan. Key projects include: • Construction of connector road from Fairview Av- enue to US-31 • Capacity improvements at the intersection of US-31 and US-82 • Widening of US-82 between US-31 and County Road 4 • Creation of school traffic zones around the Junior High and High Schools • Widening of McQueen Smith Road south of Cobbs Ford to US-31 • Realignment of the intersection of McQueen Smith Road with US-31 • Extension of Ridgewood Road (western portion) eastward to US-31 • Extension of Jay Street to McQueen Smith Road Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements Efforts to increase “walkability” in Prattville, as well as proving safe accommodations for bicycle travel within the city are described in the Land Use and Transportation Plan. Key projects include: • Preparation of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan • Construction of a trail or shared use path along Pine Creek • Inclusion of bicycle and/or pedestrian accommo-dations on existing roads as they are widened (i.e., US-82 and McQueen Smith Road) • Inclusion of bicycle and/or pedestrian accommoda- tions on the proposed connector road from Fairview Avenue to US-31 Figure 34 Recommended Transportation Improvements Facilities+Infrastructure 93 draft CITY FACILITIES In 2015 the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts (PRCA) Department conducted an analysis of the programs and facilities it operates and established priorities for the department. In 2016 the City conducted a study of city facilities to identify capital improvements needs. That process resulted in a Long Range Facilities Plan, of which several investments have since been completed. The following recommendations carry forward many of the remaining projects from those plans along with additional projects that arose from the comprehensive planning process. parks, recreation and cultural Arts The City of Prattville has long placed importance on providing its residents with quality parks, recreational and cultural arts facilities. Public parks, recreation and cultural arts offerings benefit not only residents but can also be an important component in Prattville’s efforts to bolster tourism. The 2015 and 2016 plans included an in-depth assessment of existing facilities, comparisons against national standards and peer communities, and a robust community engagement process to help focus future spending. Several of the major projects identified in that plan have not yet been completed and remain priorities, based upon public input. Refer also to Figure X. Civic Center A civic center or similar multipurpose facility—able to host performances, graduation ceremonies and other community events larger than the performing arts center or Doster Center can handle—was identified as a priority in the capital improvements long range plan and remains a project with considerable community support. Ideally, the proposed facility would be located as close to Downtown Prattville, as possible, though potential sites are limited due to the likely size of the facility and attendant parking. The PRCA plan recommended an alternate location in east Prattville, where larger sites are available. Locating the civic center in or near downtown would help generate nighttime activity for downtown restaurants and could spur additional private investment around it. Addressing other cultural facility space needs, such as a new library, larger Creative Arts Center and/or interpretive center, should be evaluated when planning for this project. Senior Center As the city’s population has grown, so has its senior population. The Gillespie Senior Center is in need of additional space to accommodating the increasing number of seniors participating in the program. The Long Range Facilities Plan recommends, at a minimum, an addition that could increase the size of the main room to handle larger group activities and meals. Cultural and Performing Arts Center The performing arts center is located in a former church on the west side of Downtown Prattville. The existing facility, which features the 80-seat Way Off Broadway Theater and meeting space for community organizations, has space limitations, circulation challenges and other building issues. The Long Range Facilities Plan recommends constructing a new facility on the site over two phases and relocating the Creative Arts Center’s classroom activities there. The proposed facility would combine all arts administrative functions on site and feature a 250-seat theater, whereas the future civic center would be capable of hosting much larger events and performances. Project Prattville 2040 94 draft Creative Arts Center The Creative Arts Center is located in a small, historic building in Downtown Prattville. The building has limited space for arts classes and associated storage. The Long Range Facilities Plan recommends arts instruction activities be moved to the Performing Arts Center, when the new facility is constructed. The existing building would be renovated for use as gallery space and for special events. Library The Prattville Library, operated by the Library Board, is undersized for the city’s population and has some building issues, including small restrooms, roof leaks and wall and window cracks. The Long Range Facilities Plan recommends the current 12,000 sf building be replaced with an 18,000 sf facility, either on the same site or another central location. Relocating the library to another location, either in an existing building or a new one, would eliminate the need for finding temporary space for the library during construction. This would also allow the existing library site to be used to create additional parking for the Doster Center and other adjacent facilities. This effort would be led by the county Library Board but may involve support from the City of Prattville. Doster Center Doster Memorial Community Center is a widely used meeting and event space located near Pratt Park, the stadium and library. While various repairs have been completed over the years, additional investment is needed to address building needs and optimize the function and efficiency of the center. Stanley-Jensen Stadium Stanley-Jensen Stadium is in need of significant renovations, including new restrooms and locker room facilities. The stadium is operated by the Autauga County Schools and located on City of Prattville property. The PRCA plan recommends greater financial participation by the school system in capital and other costs since the school system is the primary user of the facility. Improvements to the stadium could be funded jointly between the City and county school system, as well as business and community fundraising. Recreational Trail The City is currently evaluating the construction of a recreational trail on land adjacent to Mac Gray Park. The trail would be primarily for hiking and biking, but if connected to other bicycle and pedestrian facilities, including those described conceptually in this plan, the trail could also serve a transportation function. Facilities+Infrastructure 95 draft Future Parks The previous citywide plan, as well as the PRCA plan, recommended additional parks be created to keep pace with population growth. Community input during this planning process reinforced previous recommendations, agreeing that parks should be distributed so that there is a park in a reasonable distance of the city’s neighborhoods. Because most parks facilities are located west of US-31, additional parks facilities should be considered in east and northeast Prattville, where residential growth has been focused for some time and is expected to continue in the coming years. This includes two new community parks—larger park sites that typically include both passive recreational space and sports facilities—in the Old Farm Lane and Old Ridge Road areas. Development of a sports complex was also suggested by residents during community meetings and surveys. Several noted that such a facility could be planned to leverage sports tourism activity. In addition, undeveloped, flood-prone land between Lower Kingston Road and US-82 west of downtown, presents an opportunity to create a large park with natural areas and trails. Such a park would be a citywide amenity, connected into the Autauga Creek Canoe Trail and other recreational tourism amenities, as well as providing park space convenient to the neighborhoods on Prattville’s far west side. Figure 35 Recommended Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Capital Projects Project Prattville 2040 96 draft public safety facilities Since the development of the Long Range Facilities Plan, the City has opened a new Public Safety Center adjacent to downtown, which resolved space needs for the police department and opened up space to be reconfigured at City Hall. The City is also nearing completion of its fourth fire station, which is located in east Prattville. Additional capital projects the City will need to pursue to better accommodate public safety functions as those needs grow with the city’s expanding population and footprint include the following (refer also to Figure 2): Fire Station 1 Fire Station 1 is located on Main Street one block east of US-31. While it is an ideal site for the area it serves, there is inadequate parking and some interior space limitations. Also, pulling out directly onto this heavily traveled portion of Main Street can be a safety concern when responding to emergency calls. Eventually, additional property will need to be acquired adjacent to the station to allow it to be reconfigured and improved or completely relocated to a larger site nearby. Fire Station 2 Fire Station 2 in Downtown Prattville is considered undersized. Because of the building’s size, only small shifts can be accommodated and several spaces are cramped. The site also does not have adequate parking. The Long Range Facilities Plan recommended, as an option, the acquisition of adjacent property to accommodate a building addition and larger parking area. Fire Training Center The Fire Training Center is located on a 10-acre site on County Road 4. The Long Range Facilities Plan recommends construction of a permanent building for the full-time administrative staff on site. New Fire Station: South Prattville With the recent addition of the James Hardie plant and prospects for other industries locating in south Prattville, a new fire station to serve the southern portion of the city will eventually be needed. Police Training Facilities During the planning process, the need for outdoor training facilities for the police department was indicated. A possible location for this is adjacent to the Fire Training Center. other city facilities Other remaining capital projects identified in the Long Range Facilities Plan include construction of a permanent building for the street department and various improvements at the Doster Road Public Works Yard, including constructing a trail along Autauga Creek at the rear of the property. implementation Project Prattville 2040 98 draft The major theme of this Comprehensive Plan is to support and encourage responsible growth and maintain the character of the city. The City has prepared this plan to guide decisions regarding land use, development and conservation, zoning and capital improvements. The plan is also intended to help residents, property owners, merchants, builders, and developers invest in Prattville by providing a reasonable expectation of its future physical layout and character. The Comprehensive Plan is to be carried out through a combination of public and private investment, decisions by the City Council, Planning Commission and other public boards and commissions. The plan’s recommendations will continue to be translated into action through revision and enforcement of the city’s development regulations; through transportation improvements and access management programs in cooperation with County roads and transportation departments (county roads) and the Alabama Department of Transportation (US and state highways); through city budgeting and capital improvement programming and through public and private decisions in support of planned, cost-effective annexation. Prattville is a municipal corporation, formed under powers granted by the State of Alabama. The City uses this police power to enforce local ordinances and development regulations. And, the City uses its taxation power to plan for and implement a budgeting system that includes capital investments for infrastructure and other city facilities and services that it uses to help shape growth and development. All of these tools will continue to be used together to shape Prattville in accord with the community’s vision for itself as embodied in this Comprehensive Plan. COMMUNITY PRIORITIES As plan strategies and projects were identified, the community was asked for their input on the relative importance of these recommended efforts through a community meeting and an online survey. Input from these engagement efforts, as well as the initial survey, was synthesized to prepare an action plan consistent with community opinion. capital projects Noted in the following Action Plan are capital projects ranked most highly during development of the plan, and, in particular through the final survey. Because the survey reflected only a small sample of the population, it should not be interpreted to represent a citywide consensus but a rough indicator of the community’s attitudes toward plan objectives. Implementation 99 draft ACTION PLAN The following matrix categorizes recommended actions according to the plan’s five main goals and an infrastructure category. Each action is assigned a phase based on its importance to the community, sense of urgency, cost considerations, expediency and other considerations. Low-hanging fruit—projects that are inexpensive and relatively simple to accomplish—are typically assigned early timeframes. Accomplishing these tasks shows progress and helps build confidence. Major projects can be complicated, expensive and take considerable time to complete but they may have initial steps that need to be taken early on to avoid unnecessary delays. timefrAme This represents a combination of the relative importance of the task to the community and the likely duration necessary to complete related actions: short (1-5 yrs), mid (6-10 yrs), and long (11+ yrs). Tasks referred to as “long-term” may be extraordinarily important to the community but will likely take a considerable amount of time to complete because of costs or other complicating factors. Initial steps for some mid- and long-term tasks may need to be taken relatively soon to assure they can ultimately be accomplished within a ten or twenty year horizon. LeAd - pArtners These are local and state entities whose involvement—which may vary from political support to technical assistance—may be essential in pursuing and completing the task. The lead organization is listed first followed by potential partner organizations. Additional partners, such as private foundations, may also be available depending on the nature of the action. potentiAL resources These are organizations and programs that offer funding, technical assistance or other types of assistance relevant to the particular task. Project Prattville 2040 100 draft TRANSPORTATION Action Timeframe Lead - Partners Potential Resources Develop plan and begin right-of-way acquisition for East-West Connector Mid-Term City ATRIP Construct East-West Connector Long-Term City ATRIP Expand intersection of US-82 and US-31 Short-Term City - ALDOT ATRIP Widen US-82 west of US-31 Short-Term ALDOT - City ATRIP Build roundabouts adjacent to Junior High School Mid-Term City ATRIP Build roundabouts adjacent to High School Mid-Term City ATRIP Widen McQueen Smith Road Short-Term City ATRIP Realign intersection of McQueen Smith Road and US-31 (in con-junction with widening project)Short-Term City - ALDOT ATRIP Extend Ridgewood Rd (west) to US-31 Long-Term City ATRIP Extend Jay Street to McQueen Smith Road Mid-Term City ATRIP INFRASTRUCTURE Action Timeframe Lead - Partners Potential Resources Expand water source/supply Long-Term Prattville Waterworks ADEM, EPA, ADECA, EDA Improve water system in south Prattville to support industrial growth Long-Term Prattville Waterworks ADEM, EPA, ADECA, EDA Upgrade aging water lines Ongoing Prattville Waterworks ADEM, EPA, ADECA Upgrade aging sewer lines Ongoing City ADEM, EPA, ADECA Improve sewer interceptor system in east Prattville Short-Term City ADEM, EPA, ADECA, EDA Modernize Autauga Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Short-Term City ADEM, EPA, ADECA, EDA Support extension of sewer to Exit 186 Long-Term Autauga County - City ADEM, EPA, ADECA, EDA Construct permanent building for street department Short-Term City 1 1 1 3 3 1 2 2 3 Implementation 101 draft BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN FACILITIES Action Timeframe Lead - Partners Potential Resources Prepare Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Short-Term City Build recreational trail adjacent to Mac Gray Park Short-Term City ADECA Recreational Trail Program Plan and build greenway trail along Pine Creek (between East Main Street and US-31, may be done in phases)Mid-Term City ADECA Recreational Trail Program Install bicycle-pedestrian facilities when widening streets Ongoing City ATRIP Install bicycle-pedestrian facilities on future East-West Con-nector Mid-Term City ATRIP RECREATION AND CULTURE Action Timeframe Lead - Partners Potential Resources Plan and build multipurpose/civic center Mid-Term City State Council on the Arts Expand Senior Center Short-Term City Build new Performing and Cultural Arts center (may be in-cluded in multipurpose center)Mid-Term City State Council on the Arts Build larger space for Creative Arts program (may be included in multipurpose center or Performing and Cultural Arts center) Mid-Term City State Council on the Arts Build new, larger library (may be included in multipurpose center)Short-Term Library Board - City Federal funding, private foundations Acquire land and build new park in Old Farm Lane area (con- sider park development for community use and sports tourism purposes) Mid-Term City LWCF, NPS, private foun- dations Acquire land and build new park in Old Ridge Road area Long-Term City LWCF, NPS, private foun-dations Acquire land and build nature park in west Prattville Mid-Term City LWCF, NPS, private foun- dations Renovate stadium Short-Term City - Autauga Co Schools private foundations, com-munity and corporate fundraising Develop indoor recreation center in East Prattville (possibly on-site of future park in Old Farm Lane area)Long-Term City Complete renovations of Doster Center (may include re-pur- posing if mulltipurpose center developed) Ongoing City 1 1 3 1 2 2 3 Project Prattville 2040 102 draft PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITIES Action Timeframe Lead - Partners Potential Resources Expand or relocation Fire Station #1 Mid-Term City FEMA Expand Fire Station #2 Short-Term City FEMA Build permanent structure for Fire Training administrative offices Long-Term City FEMA Acquire land and build fire station in south Prattville (contingent on rate of industrial growth) Long-Term City FEMA Develop police training facility (may be adjacent to Fire Training Facility)Mid-Term City Department of Justice ECONOMY Action Timeframe Lead - Partners Potential Resources Continue recruitment, retention and expansion of local busi-nesses and industries Ongoing Chamber - City US SBA, Opportunity Zone Develop tourism master plan, marketing campaign Short-Term Chamber - City Alabama Tourism De- partment Develop strategy for revitalization of Prattmont business area Short-Term Chamber - City, prop-erty and business owners US SBA, Opportunity Zone incentives Continue revitalization of Downtown Prattville Ongoing Redevelopment Authority - City US SBA, Main Street Alabama Encourage participation in and expansion of workforce develop-ment programs of Central Alabama Community College Short-Term Chamber - City, CACC, local indus- tries 1 2 3 Implementation 103 draft COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT Action Timeframe Lead - Partners Potential Resources Develop and implement design standards for new develop- ment on selected image corridors Short-Term City Enhance gateway signs (lighting and landscaping)Mid-Term City - Chamber Develop wayfinding master plan for and install signage sys- tem Mid-Term City Develop plan for and install landscaping, banners, lighting (as appropriate) on image corridors Long-Term City Develop and implement strategies to encourage reinvestment in distressed business and residential areas Ongoing City - Chamber, non- profit organizations Opportunity Zone incen- tives EDUCATION Action Timeframe Lead - Partners Potential Resources Evaluate opportunities to increase funding for Autauga County Schools (property tax increase, sales tax revenue agreement with Elmore County) Short-Term City - Autauga County Schools, Elmore County Conduct feasibility study for creation of City or City-County School System Short-Term City - Autauga County Schools ALSDE Plan for development of future school in east-northeast Prat- tville Mid-Term Autauga County Schools - City Encourage participation in and expansion of workforce devel-opment programs of Central Alabama Community College Short-Term Chamber - City, CACC, local indus- tries Project Prattville 2040 104 draft GROWTH MANAGEMENT The city’s growth management system includes the zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations and flood damage prevention ordinance. These regulations address land use, density, the size and location of buildings and other structures, street standards and signage. They are intended to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community. Each must also respect the principles of due process, non-discriminatory application, profitable use of land, freedom of speech, and the balancing of individual costs against anticipated public benefits. Zoning ordinance Prattville enforces a Zoning Ordinance to regulate the types of uses that may be permitted within various zoning districts, as well as, building heights and setbacks, residential densities, parking and other development characteristics. The Comprehensive Plan and its Future Land Use Map should not be confused with the Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map. The Comprehensive Plan has been prepared as a guide to public and private investment in land development and infrastructure. In contrast, the Zoning Ordinance is a regulatory tool used by the city to influence and direct development in ways that reflect the desired direction and form of growth described in the Comprehensive Plan. There is an important relationship between the land use plan and zoning ordinance. The following is a list of the land use categories in the land use plan together with the existing zoning districts to which they are most comparable. It should not be assumed that a property designated within a particular future land use category is automatically eligible for rezoning to one of the “comparable” zoning districts. Rather, the city, in reviewing development requests, will consider all other related policies and practices in this plan, together with the Future Land Use map and an evaluation of the particular site and its surroundings, to make decisions regarding rezoning and other types of permitting. Future Land Use Category Comparable Zoning District Very Low Density Residential and Agriculture R-1 Single-family Residential District FAR Forest, Agricultural, Recreation Low Density Residential R-1 Single-family Residential District R-2 Single-family Residential District Medium Density Residential R-2 Single-family Residential District R-3 Residential District Neighborhood Business B-1 Local Business District Mixed-Use Residential B-1 Local Business District B-2 General Business District O-1 Office District R-4 Multifamily Residential District R-6 Townhouse District Mixed-Use Commercial B-1 Local Shopping District B-2 General Business District O-1 Office District R-4 Multifamily Residential District R-6 Townhouse District Commercial B-3 Community Shopping District B-4 Highway Commercial District O-1 Office District Light Industrial M-1 Light Industry/Manufacturing District General Industrial M-2 General Industry/Manufacturing District Institutional varies Conservation and Green Space FAR Forest, Agricultural, Recreation Implementation 105 draft Prattville intends to revise the Zoning Ordinance to better respond to current development practices and to align with the policies of this plan. The following recommended changes will improve the functionality of the Zoning Ordinance and better align it with this plan’s land development policies: • Update use regulations to address uses not identi- fied in the current ordinance, resolve conflicts and vagueness • Create an institutional district • Modify PUD District to establish planning objectives and public benefits a proposal must meet to obtain the flexibility available through PUD designation • Include a “conservation subdivision” option in residential districts to allow density-averaging to encourage preservation of steep slopes, flood-prone areas, etc. • Include a “cottage subdivision” option in higher density residential districts to allow detached single-family dwellings on smaller lots to be oriented around common open space (rather than requiring all to front on street) • Establish screening standards for waste containers and outdoor work and storage areas • Establish buffer standards for separation between incompatible uses • Create a stand-alone article addressing parking and loading; update parking requirements • Create a stand-alone article addressing uses that pose specific impacts or that require specialized standards, i.e., townhouses, home occupations, bed and breakfast inns, short-term rentals, etc. • Update sign regulations to comply with First Amend- ment case law • Waive or provide alternate foundation landscaping standards when business and mixed-use buildings extend to the sidewalk in more urban, walkable pat- tern subdivision regulations The Land Use Plan recommends standards for public improvements suited to the land uses, densities and locations within the city – whether the development is centrally located and relatively “urban” like Downtown Prattville or whether it is further out and relatively rural. For example, in the case of street networks, the right-of-way width, alignment, number and size of the travel lanes and edge treatments – including drainage improvements, lighting, sidewalks and planted buffers between the sidewalk and street – should vary according to differences in land use, intensity and location. Similarly, street connectivity may be assured in new development through standards calibrated to the type of development and its location within the community. The following elements are recommended to enhance the Subdivision Regulations to better implement the land development policies of the Comprehensive Plan: • Encourage street connectivity in new development to disperse traffic and assure adequate routes for emergency response • Conserve natural drainage patterns to reduce the need and added costs of earthwork, clearing and drainage improvements • Require sidewalks in commercial activity centers and medium or higher density housing develop- ments and in development close to parks, schools or other community destinations. • Require subdividers install or contribute to the cost of bicycle and pedestrian facilities planned in areas embraced by subdivisions • Plan and design streets to discourage speeding • Address access management concerns to preserve street capacity and improve safety Project Prattville 2040 106 draft KEEPING THE PLAN UPDATE Comprehensive planning is often viewed as an occasional activity overseen by the Planning Commission, while preparing the city budget is an annual responsibility of the City Council. As a result, the comprehensive plan can become less useful as a guide to city budgeting if not reviewed and updated over time. This can be avoided by coordinating plan updates with budgeting processes every year or so. Coordinated updates may help the Mayor and Council better determine capital budget priorities, consider plan and development regulation amendments, and coordinate public investments toward reaching the vision set out in the plan. To coordinate plan policies and their implementation, each city department, board and commission (and non-city groups that may be eligible for city funding assistance) should review the comprehensive plan and submit a report to the city that would include the following: • All tasks essential for accomplishing elements of the comprehensive plan during the coming year that are or should be the responsibility of the respondent. • Suggested changes in city programs – including but not limited to regulations, capital investments, operation and maintenance, and intergovernmental coordination – that the respondent feels to be in the best interests of overall plan implementation. • Suggested changes in city policy toward growth and development as described in the comprehensive plan. • Suggested changes in the respondent’s responsibil- ity or authority that would better enable implementa- tion of any parts of the comprehensive plan. • A preliminary budget proposal, including capital equipment and investments needed to deal with the above, and the portion of those costs it is requested that the city bear. The mayor’s office would collect this information for consideration in drafting a capital budget and suggested plan amendments for the coming year. After discussions with department heads and others, the mayor’s office would forward a draft capital budget and suggested plan amendments to the Planning Commission, who would review it in light of the comprehensive plan. The Planning Commission would report to the mayor’s office the findings of its review of proposed capital investments, recommendations for plan amendments, and adjustments to development regulations. The mayor’s office would prepare and present a proposed capital budget and revenue forecast to the City Council. The Planning Commission would take action regarding any recommended changes to the comprehensive plan and/or subdivision regulations and suggest zoning ordinance amendments, as needed, to the Council. appendix Project Prattville 2040 108 draft APPENDIX: First Impressions A-1 LOCATION Figure 1 Location within the River Region The City of Prattville is in Autauga and Elmore Counties in south-central Alabama, just north of the Alabama River. South of the river is Montgomery County and the state capital, Montgomery. Prattville is the largest city in both Autauga and Elmore Counties. Prattville is bounded on the east by Millbrook. Immediately southeast of Prattville is Maxwell Air Force Base with a working population of 12,500 active duty, reserve, civilian and contract personnel. Montgomery Airport, which provides military and civilian air service to the region, is just over 15 miles south by way of US Highway 31. Prattville’s eastern border is along Interstate 65, which provides convenient access to Montgomery, the regional center, as well as to Birmingham (80 miles north), the state’s largest city. Interstate 85, only 7.5 miles south along I-65, provides access to Atlanta (175 miles northeast), the third largest metropolitan area in the Southeast. Project Prattville 2040 A-2 ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS topography Prattville lies within the East Gulf Coastal Plain region of Alabama, with the southern portion of the city along the Alabama River in the Alluvial-Deltaic Plan and the rest of the city in the Fall Line Hills District. In essence, Prattville and its greater river region are at a transition point between the Appalachian Mountains and the Gulf Coast. As a result Prattville exhibits varied topography with the lowest elevations on the south side of the city nearest the Alabama River at about 130 feet above sea level. These low-lying areas are part of the Alluvial- Deltaic physiographic region and follow the river eastward, curving northward in Elmore County. A complex of hills and valleys run throughout much of the city. Steep slopes line the valleys through which Prattville’s major streams flow south toward the river. This is typical of the Fall Line Hills District, the physiographic region representing most of Prattville’s developed areas. Elevation increases to the north, reaching between 400 and 450 feet in the northernmost parts of the city. Gin Shop Hill, just south of Autauga Creek near downtown also rises above 400 feet. Continuing west, immediately south of Highway 82, the terrain is rugged and hilly with hilltops reaching 440 feet. Figure 3 USGS Topographic Map Figure 2 Physiographic Regions of Alabama APPENDIX: First Impressions A-3 Figure 4 Floodplains hydrology Water is a key feature of Prattville’s natural environment and is integrally related with its topography. There are three major streams—Autauga Creek, Noland Creek and Pine Creek—that traverse the community, all flowing south into the Alabama River. Other notable waterways include Breakfast Creek, which drains into Autauga Creek in northwest Prattville, and Fay Branch which flows southward from Cobbs Ford Road and joins Pine Creek before it empties into the river. Robert F. Henry Lock and Dam in nearby Benton keeps the river at a minimum depth of nine feet. The reservoir along the river between the Henry Dam and the Bouldin Dam in Wetumpka is referred to as R.E. “Bob” Woodruff Lake. Cooter’s Pond just west of Interstate 65, is Prattville’s largest body of water. There are extensive floodplains along the Alabama River. The 100-year floodplain extends nearly three miles inland near International Paper, over one mile inland near Lipscomb Court and well over one mile inland near Cooter’s Pond and I-65. floodway: the channel of a watercourse and the adjacent land areas reserved to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increas- ing the water surface elevation more than a designated height. 100-year floodplain: land area that has a 1-percent chance of being flooded in any given year. 500-year floodplain: land area that has a 0.2-percent chance of being flooded in any given year. Project Prattville 2040 A-4 Floodplain areas of varying width follow Prattville’s major streams. Floodways, shown in dark blue, are notably wide along Autauga Creek west of downtown, Noland Creek as it approaches the river and along Bear Creek west of Prattville. The floodplain complex along Autauga Creek from the nearby Booth community to just south of downtown is wide. Most of Downtown Prattville falls within a 100-year floodplain; and the business and residential areas immediately east fall within the 500-year floodplain. The City of Prattville has been proactive in acquiring property in areas that have experienced repeated flooding using funding assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Numerous wetland areas occur throughout the planning area, generally along Autauga Creek, Noland Creek and Pine Creek and Fay Branch. Other major wetland areas are located between Grouby Field and Old Autaugaville Road in west Prattville, between Noland and Autauga Creeks south of County Road 84 and south of the bluff near Lipscomb Court. These larger wetland complexes tend to fall within flood prone areas associated with Prattville’s waterways. However, there are isolated wetlands among the low-lying southern portions of the city. Figure 5 Wetlands wetland: land or areas, such as marshes or swamps, that are covered often intermittently with shallow water or have soil saturated with moisture APPENDIX: First Impressions A-5 Figure 6 Commercial Development DEVELOPMENT Prattville was settled in the 1830s by its namesake industrialist, Daniel Pratt. The city initially developed around Pratt’s gin complex along Autauga Creek. The downtown business area and surrounding neighborhoods were laid out similarly to those Pratt knew from his early life in New England. Prattville became host to a diverse industrial economy in a mostly agricultural region, producing goods from locally-grown cotton as well as cotton gins that were sold throughout the world. Up to the 1940s Prattville’s development had extended east from downtown only to the Norfolk Southern railroad. By the 1950s Prattville had expanded east of the railroad to Memorial Drive (US 31) into the area known as Prattmont. This initial eastward expansion occurred along Wetumpka Street and along Memorial Drive south Main Street. Over the next twenty years residential development continued east of Memorial Drive, north along the highway in the Camellia Estates area and southward on Gin Shop Hill and along Doster Road. By this time, Memorial Drive had become the new spine for business development. As the city continued to grow in the 1980s and 1990s, commercial and residential development moved eastward along Cobbs Ford Road east of Pine Creek. By the 2000s Cobbs Ford Road had become the primary business corridor for the city; and the business areas that developed in the Prattmont area had begun to decline. Regional shopping amenities developed near the interstate in the 2000s as well as a Robert Trent Jones Golf Course and convention center. Today, Prattville is growing northward in the Old Ridge Road area as farming land is developed for housing and new highway-oriented businesses have sprung up along Fairview Avenue near Exit 181. Project Prattville 2040 A-6 Prattville’s development beyond the original downtown area has been greatly influenced by the eastern area’s rolling topography and network of creeks. And, like most city development over the last seventy years, Prattville’s development has been anchored to its major roads, particularly Main Street/Cobbs Ford Road, Memorial Drive and more recently McQueen Smith Boulevard. While the downtown business area has experienced considerable reinvestment, older commercial areas have not fared well in competing with the new business areas on the east side of the community. industrial development While Prattville was a burgeoning industrial city in the 1800s, there was only modest industrial growth for most of the next century, with the notable exception of the Union Camp paper mill in south Prattville in 1967 (purchased by International Paper in the 1990s). However, in recent decades industries have located in the West and South Industrial Parks, both south of the US Highway 82 Bypass. Existing tenants include Medline distribution center and Pearson Industries, a rope manufacturer. Construction of an 850,000 sf facility for James Hardie, a building materials manufacturer, is underway. While the parks are not located with immediate access to the interstate, the construction of the bypass has greatly improved interstate access to the parks. A cluster of industries located further east along the bypass take advantage of available rail access there. The recent construction of a bridge over the railroad serving International Paper, improving access between the bypass and the South Industrial Park, is expected to accelerate growth in the park. The Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce assists the community in attracting new industries to the area. Figure 7 Industrial Development APPENDIX: First Impressions A-7 Figure 8 Residential Development Infill housing development adjacent to Downtown Prattville housing development According to data collected by City-Data.com, single- family home construction took off in the early 2000s and peaked in 2006 with over 300 new homes before the national recession curbed housing construction throughout most of the country. Housing construction slowed to just over 100 new homes per year in the next several years but has continued at a steady but lighter pace. In 2019 the City approved 242 single-family housing permits. Prattville’s housing stock is overwhelmingly single- family detached, with a small percentage of multifamily and attached single-family housing development. However, there has been increasing pressure to develop more multifamily housing. Most recent multifamily housing has developed along McQueen Smith Road north of Cobbs Ford Road. There are also several manufactured home communities in Prattville, including subdivisions along Doster Road and manufactured home parks in south Prattville. Project Prattville 2040 A-8 Figure 9 Median Housing Values by Census Tract Based on US Census estimates, median values of owner-occupied homes varied in 2018 from just under $80,000 to over $300,000. The highest median values occur in Census Tract 208.01 in the mostly rural southwestern portion of Prattville where single-family properties contain multiple acres. The lowest median housing values were in Census Tract 207 in south Prattville east of Autauga Creek, which includes most of the manufactured housing areas in the city. Newer neighborhoods in east Prattville (Census Tract 205) reflected relatively high values with a median of about $180,000. APPENDIX: First Impressions A-9 major institutions Prattville’s major institutions include the Prattville Baptist Hospital, Autauga County government, Autauga County Schools and the Prattville city government. There are a number of churches in Prattville, including several large churches in Downtown Prattville. Though located in nearby Montgomery, Maxwell Air Force Base is an important part of Prattville as many residents work or have worked on the air base. While there are a number of colleges and universities in neighboring Montgomery, there have been no colleges or universities in Prattville, until in 2018, when Central Alabama Community College opened a satellite campus in a shopping center at the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Old Farm Lane. The Prattville YMCA is also an important institution and is considered a partner to the City in providing recreational opportunities to residents through its three locations throughout the community. Built in 1952 Prattville Baptist Hospital is located at the corner of North Memorial Drive and Wetumpka Street Autauga County Courthouse, built in 1906, is located on Court Street just a few blocks north of Downtown Prattville Project Prattville 2040 A-10 historic Areas Much of the downtown area, including adjoining residential areas, are within the Daniel Pratt Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Prattville’s Historic Preservation Commission was created in 2008 to promote historically sensitive investment in the district. While the district is locally designated by the City of Prattville and a design review process is in effect, a Certified Local Government program has not been established, which could provide additional technical resources to the Preservation Commission from the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC). The Preservation Commission plans to update the design guidelines established in 2008. The downtown commercial district is made up of historic storefronts mostly along West Main Street between Court Street and Chestnut Street. The streetscape was improved in the early 2000s with brick pavers, curb extensions, street trees, planting beds and decorative lighting. Since then the downtown business area has made a significant comeback; and features a number of successful restaurants and other businesses today. To accommodate increased demand for parking, several early homes on the south side of Tichnor Avenue were demolished to create parking lots for the businesses fronting Main Street. Despite this and the angled parking on Main Street, there is still a concern there is not adequate parking for the bustling downtown. Parking needs for the downtown area will be studied during the planning process. The Daniel Pratt gin complex, which served as the economic foundation of the town’s early development, remains largely in place, although Pratt’s original home, some mill housing and other individual structures have been lost over time, including, sadly the loss in 2002 of the Gurney Cotton Factory building to fire. A private investor intends to adapt five remaining structures in the complex into housing. Figure 10 Daniel Pratt Historic District APPENDIX: First Impressions A-11 Further east from Prattville’s original settlement, the Prattmont community that developed in the first part of the 20th Century represents another important period in the city’s history. As the community’s business activity continued eastward, the business areas along Memorial Drive, particularly south of Main Street have declined. Today, the City and business owners have initiated discussions on how they might work together to revive the area.Lower Left: Historic Downtown Prattville Lower Right: 1911 Sanborn Map of Downtown Prattville Law office in historic home on Chestnut Street Project Prattville 2040 A-12 TRANSPORTATION Prattville has a well-developed street network featuring several major transportation corridors, including Interstate 65, US Highway 31, US Highway 82, Fairview Avenue and Selma Highway. Major local roads include Main Street/Cobbs Ford Road, Old Farm Lane, McQueen Smith Road, Sheila Boulevard, Doster Road, East Sixth Street, Upper Kingston Road, Martin Luther King Drive and others. As the city has grown, the emerging street system has maintained a relatively high level of connectivity despite limitations posed by terrain, streams and railroads. A well interconnected street network provides route choices to drivers, rather than forcing most trips on to a limited number of major roads. neighborhoods In Prattville, most residential developments connect to one another by way of local streets except where streams and other obstacles make street connections more difficult. Most have multiple access points to surrounding streets, while a few have cul-de-sac street layouts. Very few residential areas have grid patterns for the street layouts, though there are a few grid sections near the Main Street corridor. Though neighborhood streets are largely interconnected, much of Prattville’s commercial development over the last forty years has occurred along Cobbs Ford Road and a few other major arterials. Because these corridors are essential for traveling across the city and beyond, accommodating traffic for businesses along the roadway is a competing need. This has resulted in greater congestion, uneven traffic flow and greater potential for accidents at higher speeds. Figure 11 Street Network APPENDIX: First Impressions A-13 Figure 12 Road Classifications Accessibility Regional vehicular access to Prattville is provided by I-65 and two federal highways, US-31 and US- 82. I-65 and US-31 provide north/south access from Prattville to Birmingham and Montgomery. US-82 extends westward and connects Prattville to I-20/59 in Tuscaloosa, and it also extends eastward toward Eufaula and then into Georgia. Additional regional access is provided by SR-14 which extends in an east/west direction, connecting Prattville with Wetumpka and Selma. Access to I-65 is provided by three interchanges: one at US-82/Cobbs Ford Road (Exit 179), one at Fairview Avenue (Exit 181), and one at US-31 (Exit 186). Overall, Prattville has a well-connected system of arterial and collector streets. North of Main Street, however, there are few east/west routes which makes travel in those directions challenging. roadway characteristics Roadways within the study boundary exhibit the following characteristics: • I-65 is a six-lane, divided, north-south roadway that is classified as an interstate. It has a posted speed limit of 70 mph. In 2018, the AADT for the portion of the interstate adjacent to Prattville was approximate- ly 62,600 vehicles. • US-31 (SR-3), north of 6th Street, is a two-lane, undi-vided, north-south roadway. South of 6th Street, US- 31 expands to become a four-lane, divided roadway. US-31 is lined by various land uses, including com- mercial, residential, wooded, and agricultural. US-31 is classified as a minor arterial north of Wetumpka Street. South of Wetumpka Street, US-31 is classi- fied as a primary arterial. It has a posted speed limit of 45 mph. In 2018, the Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) for this roadway ranged from approximately 10,900 to 24,700 vehicles. Project Prattville 2040 A-14 • US-82 (SR-6) is an east-west roadway containing segments of two-lane, undivided and four-lane, divided roadway. US-82 is classified as a primary ar- terial. US-82 is lined by various land uses, including commercial, residential, wooded, and agricultural. It has a posted speed limit of 55 mph to the west of the US-82 junction with Cobbs Ford Road. A posted speed limit of 45 mph is present to the east of that junction. In 2018, the AADT for this roadway ranged from approximately 6,400 to 17,400 vehicles for the segment west of the US-82 junction with Cobbs Ford Road. East of this junction, the AADT increased to approximately 35,100 vehicles. • SR-14 is collocated along I-65 (between Exits 179 and 181), Cobbs Ford Road, US-82, and Selma Highway. These roadways are interstate and primary arterial functional classes, respectively. SR-14 is lined by various land uses, including commercial, residential, wooded, and agricultural. Posted speed limits along SR-14 include posted speed limits of 55 mph to the west of the US-82 junction with Cobbs Ford Road, 45 mph to the east of that junction, and posted speed limits ranging from 45 to 55 mph along the Selma Highway segment. In 2018, the AADT for this roadway ranged from approximately 7,600 to 35,100 vehicles. • Fairview Avenue is a northeast-southwest roadway that is classified as a primary arterial. It has seg- ments consisting of a two-lane, undivided roadway and a five-lane roadway which includes a two-way left turn lane. Fairview Avenue is lined by various land uses, including commercial, residential, and wooded areas. It has a posted speed limit rang- ing from 40 to 45 mph. In 2018, the AADT for this roadway ranged from approximately 13,900 to 32,200 vehicles. • Cobbs Ford Road is a five-lane, undivided, east- west roadway that is classified as a primary arterial. Cobbs Ford Road is surrounded by commercial land uses. It has a posted speed limit of 45 mph. In 2018, the AADT for this roadway ranged from approxi-mately 25,700 to 35,100 vehicles. • East Main Street is an east-west roadway with seg-ments classified as a primary arterial and a minor arterial. East Main Street includes two-lane, three- lane, four-lane, and five-lane undivided segments, along with a four-lane divided segment. East Main Street is lined by commercial and residential land uses. It has a posted speed limit ranging from 15 mph in the downtown area, increasing to 45 mph as it proceeds to the east. In 2018, the AADT for this roadway ranged from approximately 14,200 to 20,700 vehicles. • Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (North Chestnut Street) is a two-lane, undivided, north-south roadway that is classified as a minor arterial. The roadway is lined by various land uses, including residential, wooded, and agricultural. It has posted speed limits ranging from 35 to 40 mph. In 2018, the AADT for this roadway ranged from approximately 2,400 to 3,400 vehicles. • Upper Kingston Road is a two-lane, undivided, north-south roadway, with segments classified as a minor arterial and a major collector. The roadway is lined by various land uses, including residential, wooded, and agricultural. It typically has a posted speed limit of 35 mph. In 2018, the AADT for this roadway ranged from approximately 2,200 to 3,700 vehicles. congestion status The Montgomery MPO regional travel demand model was used to identify congested roadways in Prattville. The travel demand model volume/capacity ratio was used to illustrate existing areas that are currently experiencing congestion. It should be noted that the Montgomery MPO travel demand model’s current base year is 2010. Additional analysis was conducted on historical traffic counts between the years 2010 and 2018 to account for recent growth, and the travel demand model volumes were factored accordingly to more accurately reflect existing conditions. APPENDIX: First Impressions A-15 Some congestion is present during the peak periods near Prattville High School and Prattville Junior High School on Upper Kingston Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, respectively. This increased congestion is generally seen during the school drop-off and pick-up times due to an increase in traffic and delay from student drop-off and pick-up, school bus entry and exit, and student and faculty commuters. A traffic study being produced in conjunction with this Plan analyzes selected intersections and locations within the Prattville area, studying the current and projected traffic conditions at these locations. The results of this study are located in the Appendix. As shown in Figure 13, roadway segments exhibiting heavy to severe congestion based on analysis of the 2018 factored model volumes include: • 4th Street, between Lower Kingston Road and South Washington Street • East Main Street, between South Washington Street and New Moon Drive • Fairview Avenue, between US-31 and Jasmine Trail • Fairview Avenue/SR-14, on the eastbound and west- bound approaches to the I-65 interchange • Cobbs Ford Road, on the eastbound and westbound approaches to the I-65 interchange • East Main Street, between Sheila Boulevard and McQueen Smith Boulevard • McQueen Smith Road, northbound approach to East Main Street • US-82, between Selma Highway and US-31 • US-31, south of US-82 • I-65, north of Fairview Avenue • I-65, south of Cobbs Ford Road Figure 13 Congestion Status Project Prattville 2040 A-16 updates since the previous plan Since the previous transportation plan, several transportation improvement projects have been implemented. These include: • Addition of protected left turn phases for both Mc- Queen Smith Road approaches at its intersection with the US-82 Bypass • Installation of left turn lanes along both US-82 By- pass approaches at Gin Shop Hill Road, along the westbound US-82 Bypass approach at Indian Hills Road, and along both US-82 Bypass approaches at Northington Road • Widening of the US-82 Bypass to a four-lane, divided section between Selma Highway and Malone Court • Addition of a second northbound through lane on the McQueen Smith Road approach to East Main Street • Completion of the widening of Old Farm Lane to a four-lane, divided section with bike lanes and sidewalks between Cobbs Ford Road and Fairview Avenue • Extension of Old Farm Lane north of Fairview Av-enue with installation of a roundabout at North Old Ridge Road. • Installation of an Automated Traffic Signal Perfor- mance Measures (ATSPM) system on Cobbs Ford Road which implemented an advanced detection system and also gives the City the ability to collect traffic count data at intersections. • Construction of an industrial access road from US- 82 to CR-4 East current transportation projects • An ongoing construction project to add turn lanes at the intersection of US-82 and US-31 • Realignment, widening, and bridge construction of US-82 at its crossing of Pine Creek, just west of US-31 • US-82 widening between US-31 and SR-14 is planned for construction under the Rebuild Alabama Act; this project will complete the four lane expan- sion of the US-82 bypass in Prattville. Opening of the South Industrial Park bridge APPENDIX: First Impressions A-17 transit Transit service in Prattville is provided by Autauga County Rural Transportation. This is a “first come, first serve” paratransit service that provides transportation to the Montgomery Cancer Center and doctors in the Montgomery area for Autauga County residents only. A 24-hour advance notice is required. Fares range from $3-$6 with discounts available for seniors, disabled, and riders under the ages of 16. There is currently no fixed-route transit service in Prattville. pedestrian facilities Sidewalks are present downtown and in adjacent historic neighborhoods. For many periods of the city’s growth—beyond the downtown area, sidewalks were not included along streets. Most neighborhoods that developed prior to about the 1980s do not have sidewalks. As subsequent residential growth extended east of Pine Creek, neighborhoods began to once again include sidewalks, typically on one side of the street or both sides of a subdivision’s collector street. Sidewalks are not present on major roads such as East Main Street, Cobbs Ford Road, Memorial Drive and McQueen Smith Road. Sidewalks are present near some, but not all, of the local schools. No sidewalks are present along Upper Kingston Road near Prattville High School or near Autauga County Alternative school. A sidewalk is present along the northbound approach to Prattville Junior High School, located on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. There is no buffer between the roadway and the sidewalk, however, which decreases the safety of sidewalk usage. Sidewalks are also present on the northern and western sides of Daniel Pratt Elementary School, connecting the school to many neighborhoods in the area. Sidewalks are present along Old Farm Lane approaching Prattville Christian Academy. The City constructed a walking path along Autauga Creek near downtown in 2006. The path was extended eastward to Chestnut Street in 2014; and the City plans to continue extending the path along the creek. The City has begun the process to improve existing sidewalks around Prattville to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards by installing curb ramps at intersections. Bicycle facilities There are no designated on-street bike lanes or off- street bicycle paths in Prattville, though there appears to be increasing interest for these. The City has marked sharrows—travel lanes intended to be shared by motorists and bicyclists—on Old Farm Lane in east Prattville. Prattville’s street design standards require new local streets to be 27 feet wide curb to curb. This width would accommodate marking of sharrows depending on whether on-street parking occurs along streets. Natural surface trail along Autauga Creek Project Prattville 2040 A-18 UTILITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE sanitary sewer The City of Prattville Public Works Department operates the city’s wastewater (sanitary sewer) system. Sanitary sewer service is widely available throughout the city and a few small areas just beyond the city limits. Unsewered areas are primarily those that have either not developed yet or that developed at a density below that which requires sanitary sewer service. As development of commercial and residential areas continue in the Old Farm Lane and Old Ridge Road areas, for example, unsewered areas will be tied to the city’s sanitary sewer system. The City is replacing older sanitary sewer lines, such as in the downtown area, and upgrading undersized main sewer lines. Parts of the sanitary sewer system in areas developed over the last 30-40 years are generally considered to be in good condition. The City recently upgraded the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, using green infrastructure and new technologies to enhance treatment and increase design flow from 3.0 to 5.7 mgd. The Public Works Department’s Wastewater Division intends to upgrade the Fay Branch interceptor line to add capacity and to modernize the Autauga Creek wastewater treatment plant. Figure 14 Sewer Coverage Area APPENDIX: First Impressions A-19 stormwater management The Public Works Department oversees management of stormwater drainage, a relatively new responsibility for the department. Due to the city’s topography and as development has increased, the velocity of runoff as it flows downstream along areas creeks is causing erosion along the waterways. The department is preparing an overall plan to address these issues, including re-routing some storm sewer lines, and to respond to tighter rules on stormwater management issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. water system Prattville Waterworks operates the local water system. The water system extends north to Exit 186, roughly three miles north of the city, and south to the Alabama River, and from I-65 on the east to Bear Creek Swamp in the west. The system has a storage capacity of 11 million gallons per day (GPD) and purchases four million GPD from Five Star in Wetumpka. Water usage varies from about 4.5 million GPD to just under nine million GPD during peak periods. The water supply comes from wells generally on the west side of the community. Geologic conditions on the north and east sides limit potential for tapping ground sources in these areas. The waterworks continues to upgrade aged and undersized lines in older developed areas. Because the water from Five Star must travel up to 20 miles, increasing the potential for transmission problems, the waterworks plans to move large transmission mains to be able to move water from the west to east side to enable the system. This will allow the system in the future to become independent of Five Star. The waterworks also foresees the need to increase storage capacity to serve industries on the south side of Prattville as industrial development grows. New headworks added as part of the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades Project Prattville 2040 A-20 CITY OF PRATTVILLE FACILITIES The City of Prattville owns about 1,300 acres of land, which includes Prattville-Grouby Field (227 acres), West Industrial Park (40 acres) and South Industrial Park (490 acres). 208 acres are used for parks, recreation and cultural facilities (this does not include city parks and recreation facilities at Cooter’s Pond, which are on US Army Corps of Engineers property). In addition to these functions, city properties include the City Hall and City Hall annex, a public works facility, three fire stations, a public safety center, a fire training facility, a 16-acre cemetery and two wastewater treatment plants. In addition, the city has acquired considerable flood prone land throughout Prattville. city hall City governmental offices are located in the City Hall building and City Hall annex, both on Main Street in Downtown Prattville. parks, recreation and cultural Arts Prattville’s parks, recreation and cultural facilities include fifteen parks, the Pratt Pool, the Stanley- Jensen Stadium, the Gillespie Senior Center, Doster Community Center, Upper Kingston Community Center, the Prattauga Museum and Way-off Broadway Theater/Cultural Arts Building. Due to considerable growth in sports programs, the department took over management of many of these from parent-run associations. The city prepared a parks and recreation master plan in 2015, which identified priority actions and investments for the department over a six year period. Parks Parks are reasonably distributed throughout the city, except that there are relatively few parks in east Prattville where considerable residential growth has occurred and will continue for the foreseeable future. The city’s sports complexes (excluding the football stadium) are located on the far north and south ends of the community. Cooter’s Pond Park, a regional park featuring a dog park, boat launches and other passive recreational elements is located along the Alabama Figure 15 City Parks APPENDIX: First Impressions A-21 River in southeast Prattville. In support of the work done by the Autauga Creek Improvement Committee, who has worked to develop a 13-mile canoeing trail along the creek, the City developed and maintains a park space at the south end along Reuben Road. An Olympic-sized community pool is part of Pratt Park, which also includes a splash pad, pond and playground. Several parks, recreation and cultural arts facilities are located next to the park, including the Doster Community Center and Gillespie Senior Center. The City is in the process of adding a softball complex and is planning hiking and biking trails, both adjacent to Mac Gray Park. The department also sees a need for additional soccer fields. The City also acquired flood prone land on the west side of US 31 near Pine Creek and the Candlestick Park manufactured home community that is being considered for hiking and biking use. Recreation and Cultural Facilities All of Prattville’s cultural and recreational facilities, with the exception of the Upper Kingston Community Center, are located in Downtown Prattville. According to the department participation in programs has outgrown the city’s available recreation and cultural facilities; and there is a need for a larger event venue, such as a civic center. An Olympic-sized community pool is part of Pratt Park, which also includes a splash pad, pond and playground. Several parks, recreation and cultural arts facilities are located next to the park, including the Doster Community Center and Gillespie Senior Center. Doster Memorial Community Center Project Prattville 2040 A-22 PUBLIC SAFETY fire department The Prattville Fire Department maintains an Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating of “1,” the best possible score offered under the ISO system, which evaluates fire departments based on staffing, training, equipment, response time and related criteria. The department’s exceptional level of service and strong ISO rating help keep property insurance costs low. The department’s facilities currently include three fire stations, a training facility and administrative offices in the Public Safety Building. Existing stations are located: downtown, in the Prattmont area and on McQueen Smith Road near Wal- Mart. A fourth fire station will be soon be constructed on the far east side of the city to help ensure adequate response times as the area continues to develop. police department The police department is housed in the Public Safety Building near downtown and has an unmanned substation in the Prattville Town Center shopping development on the city’s east side. A manned substation will be incorporated into the soon-to-be-built Fire Station #4. The department has approximately 90 officers and estimates additional officers will need to be added as the city continues to grow. According to the police department, property crimes (theft, burglary) is the most prevalent issue the department deals with. The City adaptively reused the former Continental Eagle Building for city police and fire department administrative functions, the City’s informa-tion technology offices and Autauga County EMA The overall crime rate in Prattville has trended down significantly, having dropping from 309 in 2005 to 232 in 2018 (US average is 274). APPENDIX: First Impressions A-23 PRATTVILLE AREA SCHOOLS Prattville is one of the few cities in Alabama of its size that has not established a city school system. Prattville children attend Autauga County or Elmore County Schools. There are eight Autauga County Schools and four Elmore County Schools serving Prattville students. Roughly three-quarters of the students in Autauga County Schools in Prattville are from Prattville. Only about 350 students from Prattville attend school in the Elmore County system. Elmore County Schools serving Prattville • Coosada Elementary (grades pK-2) • Airport Road Intermediate School (grades 3-4) • Millbrook Middle School (grades 5-8) • Stanhope Elmore High School (grades 9-12) Figure 16 Autauga County Schools (blue) and Elmore County Schools (green) Autauga County Schools in Prattville • Prattville Kindergarten • Prattville Primary School (grades 1-2) • Prattville Elementary School (grades 3-4) • Daniel Pratt Elementary School (grades 1-6) • Prattville Intermediate School (grades 5-6) • Prattville Junior High School (grades 7-8) • Prattville High School (grades 9-12) • Autauga County Technology Center Project Prattville 2040 A-24 According to Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) annual report cards, the two school systems are comparable in academic achievement (mid- to upper- 80s). Having risen out of proration, Autauga County Schools made notable progress in terms of student achievement with the state score increasing from 80 to 88. With level enrollment from year to year, the system is not experiencing overcrowding and does not project a need for new school construction within the system. The Elmore County School system is experiencing more growth, partly as a result of population shifts in the Montgomery metro area. The system is targeting capital funding at the Coosada, Millbrook and Airport Road schools to accommodate increasing enrollment. In addition to the Autauga and Elmore County schools serving Prattville, there are also two private schools: Autauga Academy and Prattville Christian Academy. Autauga Academy is a PK-12 school with just under 300 students located in far west Prattville on Golson Road. Prattville Christian Academy is a PK-12 school with about 670 students located in east Prattville on Old Farm Road. Ivy Classical Academy is a proposed charter school now seeking approval to open in Prattville. school funding Property and sales tax revenue are the main sources of local school funding. Because property tax rates in Alabama are relatively low, sales tax revenues often make up the bulk of local school funds. With much of the city’s sales tax revenue generated in shopping centers located in the Elmore County portion of Prattville, Autauga County Schools do not benefit from it. Instead, those revenues go to Elmore County Schools where only a small number of Prattville students attend. According to the ALSDE local funding per pupil among Autauga County Schools is $668, compared to $981 in Elmore County. The chart below illustrates the levels of federal, state and local funds per student for the two school systems serving Prattville in comparison to three peer cities in Alabama—Alabaster, Athens and Trussville—and the Town of Pike Road, a relatively new, but rapidly growing, suburb of Montgomery. APPENDIX: First Impressions A-25 SOCIOECONOMIC CONDITIONS For the following analysis, socioeconomic indicators for Prattville were compared to two other Montgomery suburbs—Millbrook and Pike Road, three peer cities in other parts of the state and the State of Alabama overall. Millbrook was selected because of its proximity to Prattville and similar location within the metro area. Pike Road is a relatively new suburb of Montgomery, but it is growing quickly in part due to it becoming a community of choice for those leaving the larger city. Alabaster, Athens and Trussville were chosen for the comparison because of their comparable size, interstate access and relationship to the large cities and employment centers in their respective metro areas. population Growth Prattville has continued to grow steadily over the last fifty years. The 1960s and 1970s were a time of tremendous growth, nearly tripling the size of the city. While the 1980s were a period of slow growth in the state and throughout the river region, Prattville began to accelerate again in the 1990s. By 2018 Prattville had nearly doubled its 1980 size. Athens was larger than Prattville in 1970 but has grown at a much slower pace. Millbrook, Alabaster and Trussville started the 1970s at similar sizes—considerably smaller than Prattville; and while they have all grown substantially, only Alabaster has come close to catching up to Prattville. Millbrook saw the greatest population gain between 1990 and 2010, but its growth rate had slowed by 2018. Pike Road incorporated just before the 2000 US Census but has grown rapidly over the last twenty years, largely due to aggressive annexation. Prattville’s annual percentage growth has been considerably higher than average growth rates of the US and the state at different times over the last several decades. As can be seen in the chart above, Prattville’s growth rate dropped considerably from 1970 to 1990 but rebounded over the next two decades until the national recession in 2008. More recently, housing development has picked back up in Prattville and so its population is likewise increasing. Project Prattville 2040 A-26 household size Prattville has a slightly higher percentage of smaller households (1- and 2-persons, total 59.9%) in 2018 compared to several peer communities but is generally consistent with national trends. While just over 60% of Millbrook households are 1- and 2-persons, Millbrook has a higher percentage of 4-or-more person households than Prattville. Athens had the smallest household sizes, while Pike Road had the largest. This reflects a higher percentage of empty nesters, retirees and widowers in Athens compared to the larger percentage of Pike Road family households with children present. median Age Prattville’s median age has increased over the years as has occurred in the state and the nation. According to the American Community Survey, Prattville’s median age had increased to just 36.9, while most peer communities experienced slightly greater aging, with the exception of Millbrook, with a 2018 median age of 34.5. Fluctuations in median age indicate whether a community is retaining and growing families with children, retaining and attracting young workers or losing families and young workers. racial diversity Like the peer communities evaluated, Prattville has a high proportion of White residents (73.4%). Trussville has the highest percentage of White residents at 87.4%. Just under one in five Prattville residents are Black or African American, compared to one in 16 in Trussville and one in three in Pike Road. While the Hispanic and Latino population has increased in different parts of Alabama, there are still relatively few Hispanic or Latino residents in Prattville (3.7%). Of the peer communities, Alabaster had the highest proportion of Hispanic or Latino residents (9.5%). APPENDIX: First Impressions A-27 economic indicators Income The median household income in Prattville was estimated at $59,822 and the median family income $73,726 in 2018. As can be seen in the following chart, Pike Road has the highest household incomes among Prattville’s peer communities with Trussville following close behind. While Millbrook’s income levels were similar to Prattville’s in 2018, Prattville’s median income grew slower in the 2010s than that of Millbrook. Cost of Living Like most communities in Alabama, Prattville is an affordable place to live. In 2019, the cost of living index (COLI) for Prattville was estimated at 85.8—the COLI for the United States is 100. Trussville had the highest estimated COLI at 89.2 and Athens the lowest at 81.8. Poverty Level The percentage of the population below the poverty level in Prattville in 2018 was estimated at 15%, similar to that of Athens (14.7%) but below that of the state (16.8%). Pike Road had the lowest percentage of residents below poverty level at 3.9%. Project Prattville 2040 A-28 Employment Characteristics Roughly 15,500 people in Prattville aged 16 and older were employed according to the 2018 ACS. The largest percentage of those workers were employed in health care, education and social services (19.6%); manufacturing (11.8%); and public administration (11.7%). A large proportion of the population working in health care, education and social services is common in the state and is no different among Prattville’s peers. Along with Millbrook and Pike Road, Prattville has a higher proportion of works in public administration due to the cities’ proximity to the state capital. Both Prattville and Athens had slightly higher percentages of workers in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, which includes accommodations and food services. The average commute of Prattville workers is about 22.5 minutes, slightly shorter than peer communities, with the exception of Athens (21.4). Like Prattville, the communities selected for peer analysis are suburbs to larger cities with more abundant employment opportunities. APPENDIX: First Impressions A-29 Unemployment Rate The unemployment rate according to the 2018 American Community Survey for Prattville was estimated at 5.2%, only slightly higher than peer communities, other than Athens, which had the highest estimated unemployment rate of 9.6% in 2018. Pike Road had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.2%. According to the Alabama Department of Labor, Prattville’s had dropped to around 3% by the beginning of 2020, as did the rate in all other cities. Educational Attainment Prattville residents 25 years and older have education levels consistent with that of the nation but less than that of some of its peer communities. Just under a third of Prattville residents have either a bachelor’s or higher college degree. In contrast, 57% of Pike Road residents obtained college degrees. About 11% of Prattville residents 25 years and older did not complete high school, and 29.2% had obtained a high school diploma or equivalency but no further education. Project Prattville 2040 A-30 housing indicators Renter and Owner Occupancy Based on the 2018 American Community Survey, Prattville had a higher percentage of renter-occupied housing units (34.6%) than peer communities, followed by Athens (33.5%). Pike Road and Trussville had the least amount of rental housing, 13.8% and 10.6% respectively. Prattville also has a higher percentage of manufactured housing than its peer communities. APPENDIX: First Impressions A-31 Housing Occupancy Prattville’s overall housing vacancy rate (7.3%) in 2018 was estimated to be similar to that of peer communities, with Alabaster having the tightest market with only 5.3% of its stock vacant. Athens had the largest percentage of vacant housing at 9.5%. To put this in perspective, the vacancy rate statewide is over 18% and nationwide 12.3%. More revealing is the low percentage of vacant owner-occupied housing (1.4%) and the high percentage of rental housing (7.8%) in Prattville compared to other communities. This indicates that either rental housing is in poor condition, too expensive or most likely a combination of these factors. Another variable in rental housing availability and demand for Prattville and nearby communities is the number of renters stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base, since they enter and leave the housing market more abruptly than other residents. Project Prattville 2040 A-32 Housing Costs Prattville’s housing costs are comparable to those in nearby Millbrook and Athens except that rental rates are much higher. Housing costs in Pike Road and in the two Birmingham suburbs are considerably higher than in Prattville. It is interesting to note how small a gap there is between monthly rental costs ($1,013) compared to monthly owner costs for homes with a mortgage ($1,167) in Prattville. As can be seen in peer communities, there tends to be a greater difference between monthly mortgage costs and monthly rental costs. Housing Age While Prattville has added a significant number of new homes in the last twenty years, the city is over 150 years old, and so the housing stock includes more older homes than in other communities, with the notable exception of Athens, which was founded twenty years before Prattville. As seen in the chart at right, Pike Road has seen the largest percentage of its housing stock built in the last ten years. The age of housing stock factors into Prattville’s modest housing prices. APPENDIX: First Impressions A-33 DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS The City of Prattville administers a zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations, stormwater regulations and flood prevention ordinance. The following is only a cursory assessment of these regulations. Deeper analysis and recommendations will be provided in later phases of the process. Zoning ordinance The zoning ordinance includes a total of 17 districts: five residential zones, three zones for manufactured housing, five commercial zones (including one office zone), one agricultural zone, two industrial zones and a planned unit development district. Several uses that are often specially regulated are not addressed, such as bed and breakfast inns, adult entertainment, payday loan/check-cashing stores, mini- storage facilities, short-term rentals (Air BnB), etc. The ordinance does not have screening requirements, such as for dumpsters and outdoor work or storage yards. Requirements for buffering between higher intensity and lower intensity uses are not clearly addressed. The zoning ordinance includes sign regulations that are content-based and therefore in conflict with the US Supreme Court ruling in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 2015. Application fees are included in the ordinance requiring amendment to change fees over time. subdivision regulations The subdivision regulations apply within the city limits and up to three miles beyond the city limits. Access management, such as separation between adjacent driveways and between driveways and street intersections, is not adequately addressed. Standards do not adequately address street connectivity in new development, an important strategy supporting traffic management and emergency access. Design standards establish minimum pavement widths based on roadway type but not lane assembly. Local street pavement widths are relatively high (29 ft face of curb to face of curb). The allowable length of cul-de- sacs is very generous (1,000 ft). Sidewalks are required on both sides of arterial and collector streets and on one side of all other streets. Curb and gutter is required on all streets except those with large lots. Whether different types of curb and gutter (valley or rollover curb, for example) may be permitted on certain roadway types or in different land use contexts is not addressed. Project Prattville 2040 A-34 COMPREHENSIVEMASTER PLAN