Lots of folks came out to see the draft plan and talk to city staff from offices of Traffic Engineering and Planning and GIS mapping. We didn’t see anyone from Parks and Recreation, however. Stay tuned for the next meeting to flush out more details. Here is the summary:
Join us at the Optimist Recreation Center (703 Oakwood Ave. NE) on June 12th from 6-8PM for a reveal Small Area Master Plan.
Over the past eight months, city planning staff in coordination with the Northeast Huntsville Civic Association and the Five Points Historic District Association gathered opinions and ideas from residents in a series of public meetings to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
This will be an open house-style event with no formal presentations or exercises, so you may come and go as you please. Staff from many departments will be represented.
The plan highlights several issues considered important by the residents of the study area, including:
Parks: Residents identified the neighborhood parks and Land Trust access as a strength of their community, but some improvements can be made. Come and tell staff how you want to use the parks: Bierne Park, Oak Park, Philpot Park, and Lewter Park.
Streetscape: Improving streets in accordance with the new city-wide Complete Streets policy. Come find out what that means and how you want to use the ribbons of asphalt and concrete in the area.
Pedestrian Connectivity: Highlighting new sidewalks and crosswalks to make access to amenities easier and safer. If you were in charge of spending limited $$, what are the priorities?
Zoning: Encouraging development that complements the surrounding architecture and land uses. What should houses and stores look like? Is there enough diversity?
This plan is still a draft, and comments will be gathered at the meeting.
Charles Marohn, renowned civil engineer turned city planner, will be in town on June 14th, from 5-7 pm at the Museum of Art.
Gardeners appreciate rain, and Rain We Got on the 2nd Garden Gathering April 14, 2108. Still, people came out with freshly dug perennials, cuttings, and vegetable starts. The rain did not dampen our spirits. Neighbors made new connections and revived aquaintences.
Greg Parker and Brent Avery of city Parks and Recreation hosted the Pizza Garden station, and the city Landscape management division supplied the soil. Sabrina also set up stations for the kids to make “seed bombs” and decorate their own tin can to use for a planter.
We all took delight in the joy of lil’ Nicholas’ romp and the Garden Music Station that Emily Bodnar built. The Worm Hotel from Jerry King was a big hit…and Mrs. Mary Howe, Master Gardener, helped everyone identify unmarked contributions. Adornments from “Wood and Beam” were available for sale to show our affinity for nature.
Original artwork by @Brandy Baird was appreciated in the raffle as well as:
Cunningham’s Pot Yard gift certificate
Tea Basket and Olde English tea pot
Bonsai trimmed by Sabrina
Sabrina’s hand made Herb Garden Tower
Quilted mug rug by Heather Ross, @mrsdragon
Rain or Shine, come on out…No garden thing-y to share? Bring a poem about gardens or plants. April is National Poetry Month!
Our vision for improvements in our area begins to take shape with the help of professional planners and engineering staff. Imagine if Andrew Jackson Way had stores and apartments above them as in this picture; a lot of people liked that configuration! This sort of preference can/may lead to new zoning policy to make it a bit easier for a developer with vision to accomplish the makeover.
Check out the results of the last two meetings here:
We live in the BEST city in the state because leaders and residents show up and communicate!
The riders came from all points of the compass and they discovered the businesses on Meridian Street- our western border of our service area. At the end of the ride, the staff at Mad Malts welcomed everyone with fire pits and smiles, the Josh Couts Jazz Band warmed spirits, and the two food trucks Beast Mode and Doctor BBQ were a great complement to one another. If the joy of bicycling is something you want to promote for our area and you will help out for the next ride, contact Brandy at
Brandy is intentional about building a group who will keep it going. In this, the inaugural event, the NE Hsv Civic Association contributed some money and provided the hot tea in the park along. This type of riding is an international phenomenon.
Incidentally, George Hamilton of Old Town hosts a casual bike ride held on the last Sunday of the month. Gather at Huntville Middle School and leave at 2 pm, for a short distance 6-8 miles. The pace is conversational, no spandex needed. Sorta like a mini tweed ride, w/out the old fashioned clothes.
The Homeowners Association of Saddletree needs an audit of its books by a Public Accountant. If you know an accountant who is a CPA or works at a CPA firm and will review the ‘books’ for this group either free or for a nominal fee, please contact the president of the HOA, Ms. Sherri Rhoads email@example.com
A great community of all of NE starts with your block!
Chapman School Merry Market Sat. Dec 9th 10 am – 2 pm
Yes, there are auto shops, a party rental store, and electric supply stores on Meridian. There are also iconic and out-right uber cool new retail sites now, and the success of the Lincoln Academy and Village can’t be understated. And NOW, just for FUN, this Sunday is the inaugural Tweed Ride in Huntsville starting and ending at businesses right off Meridian Street. It is a regional draw….yes, it’s a thing and we are just now hearing about it!
Tweed Rides are an internationally popular way to mix it up with people devoted to leisure for an afternoon, wearing fine or vintage street clothes, exploring the city on slow bikes, talking to each other, enjoying a spot of tea at the park and picnicking with a jazz band. A group from Memphis is coming to Meridian Street with their Bone Shaker Bikes!
Beth Norwood, host at WLRH public radio and a resident of our area, interviewed Brandy Baird and me, Frances, on Nov. 8th to learn more about the NEHCA and the ride. The Darwin Downs neighbors received a special shout-out as the Original Tiny House Community.
Shakers and Movers since 2006
Ten years ago people would have thought you crazy to visualize Meridian Street as home to a renovated Lincoln Mill business center (thanks Ana and Jim Byrne and Wayne Bonner), an uber cool retail stores in a renovated Lincoln Mill Commissary (thanks, Butler family), a flourishing Lincoln Village Ministry (thanks Mark Stern, Southward Presbyterian, First Baptist, and other churches). The Downtown Master Plan of 2006 put Meridian street on the radar, and the private investments were complemented by attractive street lights, long sidewalks, bike lanes, and new construction design standards.
When you hear the call to participate in the Master Planning Process or The Big Picture this winter, please make every effort to attend, will you?
In any event, make a visit to the interior of Lincoln Mill, check out the shops in the Lincoln Mill Commissary, volunteer at Lincoln Academy, and while you are here, enjoy the sound of old fashioned commerce rolling through our area! (Warren Buffet is watching BSNF, too.)
The first session of the Five Points and Northeast Huntsville Master plan was productive. Have a look at the list of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats! More to come in January.
To: Your Highnesses of Five Points and All other Points in NE Huntsville, being kings and queens of your castle
From:Your humble and professional Staff of Huntsville Planning and Zoning and the elected leads of the NE Huntsville Civic Association
You are invited to the first Big Picture planning session for our small area, to scheme and dream of the perfect community surrounding your castle, and to clarify what you want done with our tax dollars and contributions earmarked for the city budget!
Join the BIG Picture planning session on October 17th at 6PM at the Cooper House (405 Randolph Ave. SE). You will be able to participate in interactive exercises to help your civil servants create a Small Area Master Plan for the neighborhoods. This event is free and open to the public. People who RENT or Own Rentals are also welcome!
Before the meeting, please consider asking yourself: “When money is no object, and I am in charge, I will ( build, tear down, improve) ___________ for my community. What do I enjoy most about the area and what do I want to improve? What are the opportunities to create a close knit, healthy community? What will I spent my cajillion dollars on?
Is this worthwhile?
Your highness, as king and queen of your castle, be assured this process is important because it will inform future capital expenditures in the area.
For example, so far:
- the Ditto Landing Master Plan resulted in new programming and construction on the river
- the Downtown Master Plan fostered new private investment in housing and commercial services, and at the commoner’s street level, the construction of dedicated bike lane and improved walk ways.
Planning staff has identified six principles that will guide the final plan:
- Build a Live/Work/Thrive Community
- Expand a Sustainable, Resilient Economy
- Design a Mobile and Accessible Transportation Network
- Maintain a Network of Exceptional Education
- Support Local Arts and Culture
- Develop Healthy and Active Neighborhoods
Small Area Plans are created from public input and are tailored to the unique challenges facing neighborhoods and opportunity sites. Do mark your calendar, your highness:
Oct. 17, 6 pm, at the Cooper House (405 Randolph Ave. SE)
Special thanks to the Central Presbyterian Church for the use of their facility.
More information on this event and the BIG Picture can be found at