BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – The city of Bristol, Virginia held a public workshop to get community input for their new comprehensive plan on Thursday night at the Bristol Train Station.
Bristol Forward is the name of the community-driven process that will develop a new plan for the city.
The process is facilitated by Quantum Consultants with the help of city leaders and the community.
Bristol, Virginia Mayor Neal Osborne said every several years the city updates their comprehensive plan and said they want as much community feedback as possible.
He said the new plan will be the city’s roadmap for the next several years and that it’s important to hear everybody’s perspective.
“You want to have plenty of input and engagement from all kinds of people across across all spectrums of the city, because we all live here,” Osborne said. “Whether you make $200,000, or you make $10,000, we live in the same city.”
The Bristol Forward workshop had an interactive activity where people answered real-time polling questions about the city.
Some of the questions were about what traffic/roadway concerns they have, what they value most about the city and where they go for recreation.
Different stations were set up where community members could write suggestions as to what they would like to see done for the city as well.
“We have a housing shortage, a lack of good housing,” Osborne said. “And then also, we want to address bringing in new jobs. People always want to have new jobs or be able to go to work. And they want to be able to afford where they live to go to work.”
Larry Davis is a business owner who services clients in Bristol, Virginia. He owns a vehicle detailing business and is in the housing business. He said he came to the workshop to see how to tailor future city plans to his housing business.
“That was the main focus of the reason that I was curious to see,” Davis said. “What was going on with some of the houses in the neighborhood, some of the houses that are run down and how my business would be able to help get them back up on the tax rolls and that kind of stuff.”
A large amount of feedback also had to do with public infrastructure.
“A lot of people here were interested in walkability, you know repairing streets and making them more walkable as far as sidewalks, ” Osborne said.
Osborne said people can still submit feedback and see polling results on Bristol Forward’s website.
Bristol, Virginia plans to hold more workshops. They hope to have a confirmed comprehensive plan by late spring 2024.