Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency met with citizens, civic leaders and Murray State officials last night to discuss sustainable rural development strategies. Such strategies include how to increase green spaces, promote more biking and walking and adjust zoning for new and aging neighborhoods. EPA contractor Milton Herd said Murray is not alone in wanting to sustain its growth as well as its rural nature.
“Almost every strong, viable community does it and Murray’s doing it and I commend them for that,” Herd said. “And this effort is to help strengthen their planning effort to basically help them insure their vitality ongoing into the future.”
Herd and other EPA officials will tour the city again today and then meet with city officials to discuss long-term and short-term development strategies.
The goal of the two day workshop is to bring ideas on how to support rural landscapes, help existing places thrive and create sustainable new spaces. City Planner Justin Crice says it’s important to have a serious conversation about the future of Murray’s development.
“Really getting people to thing about the future not only of our zoning ordinance but our transportation issues, our relationship with Murray State University and how it continues to grow,” Crice said. “Rethinking all those things from time to time is not a bad thing.”
Murray requested assistance to review a menu of quick fixes that rural and small-town governments can make to their zoning codes and planning documents to protect community character and quality of life.
In coming months the city will try to develop an action plan to address some of the concerns at the workshop.