Athens: “How Do Ya Like It Here?”

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Athens city leaders are asking residents what they like about the city, and what can be done to make it a better place to live. It’s part of a year-long study to help plan for the city’s future. A survey’s on-line for residents to complete, but that’s just the beginning of the process.

Athens residents are being encouraged to visit the city’s website, http://www.athensal.us to answer a few questions about life in Athens. The city’s Planning Department is conducting the survey as part of the city’s Future Land Use Plan that’s now under development. City Planner Mac Martin says there are three objectives.

“We want to provide better services and more efficient services to the community,” Martin said. He added, “Secondly, we want to try to insure that development over time takes place in a harmonious fashion, and also we want to elevate the quality of life for our citizens.”

The questions range from:

  • How would you rate the quality of life in Athens,
  • What types of commercial developments would you most like to see,
  • How would you rate the city’s recreational opportunities, and what changes would you make,
  • And questions about your perception of safety.

“We want to become the best place to work, live and play in the Tennessee Valley, and we want to be able to increase the level of the quality of life in our community for its residents, for this generation and future generations. I think it’s going to be key in keeping that next generation of Athenians here in Athens,” Martin told WHNT News 19.

Martin says both the goal and the challenge of completing the land use plan is finding the harmony, the balance between keeping what has made Athens what it is while taking advantage of future opportunities and growth.

That survey will be on-line through March 1st. It’s available from the City of Athens website at http://www.athensal.us. For those who don’t have access to the internet, hard copies are available at the Athens Police Department, on Hobbs Street, and at Athens Planning Department on Elm Street. The Planning Department will host a series of public hearings the week of March 18th to get more specific ideas from the public for their land use plans.

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