Planning and Development Strategies for Holy Trinity, Alabama
Rhodes, John, Jr.
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The Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity (MSMHT) own and oversee parcels of rural land in Russell County, Alabama. The Missionary Servants are currently exploring and assessing how best to develop and utilize these major land holdings. By developing the land, members hope to provide services to their constituents, meet and help the needs of the larger community, and ensure a reliable source of income to fund Mission activities, all while promoting the principles of the Catholic Church as enunciated by MSMHT founder Father Thomas Judge, “Be good, do good, and be a power for good.” Towards this goal, the Missionary Servants have sought out the services and expertise of the School of City and Regional Planning Department of the Georgia Institute of Technology. MSMHT looked to Professor Michael Dobbins and professional planner Ray White for advice and guidance on how to best develop the land. The School subsequently formed a graduate level studio planning course around the project. Over the course of the Fall 2011 academic term, graduate students in the studio conducted site visits, interviewed stakeholders, solicited advice and guidance from subject-matter experts, examined the underlying data, engaged in quantitative analysis, created projections, generated maps and spatial analyses, and assessed various ideas and project proposals. Hundreds of hours were devoted to this project, with Professor Dobbins and Mr. White providing overall coordination, management, and expert guidance. The final report is presented here. It takes the form of a land management evaluation and proposal. The report is broken down into four major sections. The first section, “Description of Holy Trinity and Environs,” provides the background and context for the property located at the Holy Trinity site. Items in this section include a discussion of pertinent economic, housing, and demographic issues. This section addresses the composition of the land and environment, examines the social, cultural and business forces in the surrounding community and region, and provides an overview of the Church’s activities in the area. The second section focuses on “Land Management.” This part of the report assesses current and potential revenue streams and amounts for the Mission. It also identifies and explores opportunities for Holy Trinity to partner with various businesses, investors, community and nonprofit organizations, and local and regional government offices and consortiums in furthering the goals of development, community service, and environmental preservation. The third section is devoted to “Development.” This portion analyzes and assesses various development possibilities for the property. It focuses on four potential scenarios for the land, consisting of agriculture industry, service provision, a town center concept, and/or environmental preservation. It also addresses land development from a functions perspective, examining how certain projects and programs could realize the interests and meet some of the goals of the Mission and the larger community. Issues of infrastructure, design, policy and legal mechanisms, and recommendations are also contained in this section. A timeline for project planning and implementation accompanies these three sections. The report concludes with final land management recommendations, addresses long-term planning efforts, and furnishes contact and resource information.