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ATHENS, Ala. — City officials want community members to take part in a master plan for urban development set to complete in time for Athens’ 222nd anniversary in 2040.

The series of planning events is called ‘Planapalooza’, and workshops to interact with the planning consultants and organizers directly take place May 15-19.

City planner Lakeisha Johnson says that Limestone County earning the status of fastest-growing Alabama county also plays a role in wanting to expand and revitalize urban development.

“This is an event that’s open to the public,” Johnson said. “It’s hands-on, and it’s talking about all entities of planning, from historical preservation, community development, economic development, downtown revitalization, focusing on different areas. So this is an opportunity to truly have a hands-on in-depth experience dealing with the city of Athens and where we want the city to go.”

Johnson said that this master plan will end up with an Athens that can rival any other city in north Alabama for tourism, education, and housing market.

For those in and around Athens, the first chance to share your thoughts will be Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at the city council chambers downtown for a mapping workshop.

Then Sunday through Tuesday planners and some city staff will work in a temporary design studio at Athens State University’s Center for Lifelong Learning on the square, from 9 in the morning to 7 p.m. Masks will be encouraged.

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