FRANKTON — The Frankton Town Council put its community on a course toward the future Monday when members unanimously approved a 20-year comprehensive plan.
But some residents, who asked not to be named, said they felt the council presented them with a bait and switch when they spoke extensively of being able to update the town’s zoning ordinance. At a hearing on Thursday and in the document itself, the emphasis has been on revitalization and economic development.
Town Council members Katherine Hudson and Victoria Hart, however, insisted zoning issues and revitalization are not only not mutually exclusive but each necessary in their own way. They admitted updated zoning was a driver of the plan after running into repeated governance issues and said it’s needed to proceed with effective revitalization.
“It’s kind of like you start at the bottom and work your way up,” Hudson said.
She said the town’s current zoning ordinance is a simplified version of what other communities already have in place.
Imagine Frankton is a first-ever comprehensive plan for the town, developed over 15 months and two public meetings. The plan addresses Frankton’s identity, its future direction and how it will get there.
Among its provisions are establishing a Main Street organization that will allow the town to pursue grants that will help it execute the plan.
“The Main Street certification is something we are going for,” Hart said.
Main Street certification is necessary to apply for many grants.
Meanwhile, Frankton resident Larry Shively, a member of the comprehensive plan’s steering committee, could hardly contain his excitement at the possibilities. Earlier in the day, he posted on the town of Frankton’s page a call for ideas on how Frankton could start with economic development.
Overwhelmingly, responses included a coffee shop and family-friendly restaurants, a bank and a hardware/garden center.