Mayor-President Kip Holden on Tuesday announced plans to guide the implementation of the parish’s new land use and growth plan, called FutureBR.
He also named six team members who will work with him to coordinate city-parish departments in implementing the plan and developing funding mechanisms.
“Vision without action is a daydream,” Holden said. “Action without vision is a nightmare. … FutureBR is not a daydream.”
Holden named the following people to his implementation team:
• Troy Bunch, city-parish planning commission director.
• Chip Boyles, city-parish urban development director.
• Walter Monsour, executive director of the parish Redevelopment Authority.
• Sam Sanders, director of the Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance.
• Elizabeth “Boo” Thomas, president of the Center for Planning Excellence.
• Davis Rhorer, executive director of the Downtown Development District.
The project’s Oregon-based planning consultant, John Fregonese, outlined the priorities for implementing the plan for the first three years.
For transportation, Fregonese said, a tax-and-bond issue should be sought to improve and expand the parish bus system as well as upgrade roads, by improving connectivity and sidewalks.
Fregonese identified the mid-city area as one of the first areas for urban renewal. He said revitalizing Florida Boulevard and Government Street will attract private investment.
Fregonese also said the city-parish zoning codes need to be updated to reflect FutureBR’s changes.
Finally, Fregonese said, the Baton Rouge housing market should move toward creating walkable neighborhoods that are near retail and restaurants.
“People need more than a house,” Fregonese said. “They need a neighborhood.”