News Release: March 12, 2014

Volunteer Planning Team Makes Final Recommendations for Franklin, Tennessee

CHICAGO — A five-member volunteer team of planning experts, part of the American Planning Association's Community Planning Assistance Teams program, worked with Franklin, Tennessee, residents, business leaders, and officials to offer recommendations about future development within the city's floodplain.

The team's overall recommendations include:

  • Prohibiting redevelopment or development, including new residential development, in select floodplains;
  • Allowing limited low-scale or non-residential development in the identified subareas;
  • Revising city regulations and policies to increase the number of permitted non-residential uses and to eliminate non-compatible uses;
  • Requiring pervious pavement for all redevelopment and new construction projects;
  • Retaining city ordinances requiring elevation of non-residential structures;
  • Requiring the elevation of rebuilt residential structures;
  • Encouraging efforts to modify existing buildings to mitigate flood damage;
  • Encouraging open space, and recreation uses in areas where development is not recommended;
  • Reinforcing an urban design framework;
  • Protecting historic buildings from future flooding and associated damage; and
  • Developing a comprehensive urban design strategy to position 5th Avenue as a gateway.

Specific recommendations are identified for each of the four subareas within the 94-acre study area. The subareas include: Hill Property (including properties west of 5th Avenue, north of Mount Hope Road); Bicentennial Park Area; properties on the east side of 5th Avenue, south of Margin Street; and properties on the west side of 5th Avenue, south of Mount Hope Road.

The recommendations are designed to create a balanced and sustainable approach for potential economic development without ignoring the risks associated with development in the floodplain. The individual subarea recommendations reflect the varying conditions and related challenges of individual parcels within the study area. The team also recognized that there are strong differing opinions on how the areas should be used, but these opinions, while entrenched, are not unbridgeable.

"We were honored the American Planning Association's Community Planning Assistance Team could come to Franklin and review this uniquely challenged floodplain area," said Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore. "We are in the process of reviewing the team's recommendations and look forward to improving this very important gateway into our beautiful city. Planning staff will provide an overview of the report and major recommendations to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and Planning Commission at the March 27 Joint Conceptual Workshop."

Read the final report from the Franklin, Tennessee Planning Assistance Team.

The Franklin Community Planning Assistance Team was led by Richard Roths, AICP, semi-retired principal planner with URS Corporation. Team members included: Kimberly Burton, AICP, assistant professor at Ohio State University; Bill Harris, FAICP, adjunct professor at Georgia Regents University; Gail Henrikson, AICP, director of planning and zoning for the City of New Smyrna Beach, Florida; and Marc Yeber, planning commissioner for the City of West Hollywood, California.

The American Planning Association's Community Planning Assistance Teams program helps communities with limited planning resources. Through the program, teams of professional planners are matched with communities requesting assistance on a variety of planning topics such as economic development, sustainability, transportation, and housing. The team works with the community and provides recommendations on how to enhance planning and envision a better future.

The community planning assistance team program was established in 1995 by the American Planning Association's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners. Previous teams have worked in Augusta, Georgia; La Feria, Texas; Crestdale, North Carolina; Buzzard Point, Washington, D.C.; and Henderson Point, Mississippi, among other locations. Learn more about the Community Assistance Team program.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic, and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, with almost 40,000 members worldwide in nearly 100 countries.


Roberta Rewers, APA Communications, 312-786-6395;