Corinth’s recently commissioned comprehensive planning process is beginning to meet the public.
Bob Barber of Orion Planning + Design talked about the process of building a vision for Corinth’s future at a lunch with civic club members on Thursday. It served as a sort of soft launch for what will be a lengthy process with community input.
“My view of Corinth, after investigating a little more, is that you have a really vibrant community already,” said Barber. “You’ve got history that’s unparalleled. You’ve got natural resources — Pickwick and all the other places around … You’ve got all the pieces there for a really, really top-shelf community.”
Barber was a planning director for 25 years, the last 16 of which were in Hernando. He is proud of the success created there, with the city recognized as a “top 100 small town” by Forbes.
“Much of that occurred through the way the city was planned and developed over time,” said Barber. “It was a community effort supporting the best that the community could become.”
He said it is an opportune time for Corinth to revisit its vision — the last official city plan is believed to have been done in 1963 — and its codes. He also talked about the value of commercial sprawl as opposed to places that persist through time, such as downtowns.
The process will include several phases.
“To be a great community, you must envision a future,” he said. “There must be a practical, acceptable, reasonable way to get to the vision. We do it in three ways — policies, projects and management.”
In addition to Orion, others involved with the project will be the Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development at Mississippi State University and Alta Planning + Design, which will look at transportation.
Public feedback will be a key part of the plan.
“We are all about trying to get the community engaged in the process,” said Barber. “We don’t want to sit in a room and do it and say, ‘Here you go.’ We want you creating what we come up with.”