City Blueprint is a citywide vision and guide for future growth and development in Oak Ridge. Over the two-year planning process that began in January 2017, a great amount of input has been received from the community. A complete draft of the Blueprint Plan is now available for public review (see below). Please take the time to look through the document before it is considered for adoption by the Municipal Planning Commission. There will be a public hearing at the March 21st meeting, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Municipal Court Room.

Share your comments in the survey link below, or by contacting Nathalie Schmidt, Senior Planner, nschmidt@oakridgetn.gov.

Blueprint is intended to be a ‘living document’ that will be updated regularly and adapted to reflect growth and change in Oak Ridge. Look for opportunities to remain informed and engaged so that Blueprint is an inclusive and successful planning tool for City leaders.

Visit the Community Development office at the Municipal Building, 200 South Tulane Avenue, to view additional maps and information. Call (865) 425-3531 to contact department representatives or to request Planning Staff to give a brief presentation to your community group or organization.

Community Feedback

Two community open houses were held in early February, where attendees voted for their top five recommendations by placing dot stickers on presentation boards. On the afternoon of February 5 at Oak Ridge High School, a total of 74 people signed in to participate and another 56 people attended the Grove Theater open house on February 7. These tables show the overall top recommendations chosen by attendees, including a breakdown that identifies high school student votes.

Additional content:

View more information about the outreach strategy for Blueprint

Responses to Survey #1 - Values and Goals

Responses to Survey #2 - Recommendations

View Subarea Meeting reports and feedback

View Kickoff Meeting feedback

What the Plan will Include: 

The Blueprint Plan is intended to be a clear and straightforward document that inspires action in achieving the community’s widely accepted vision and goals. The Plan content is outlined here, and will integrate the findings and data generated over the two-year planning process. Visual graphics will support the content throughout the Plan in order to maximize its usefulness to a range of audiences.

OVER-ARCHING VALUES & GOALS – *Click here* to view the draft values and goals from a previous article.

PLANNING CONCEPTS – This section will illustrate some of the text book city planning concepts that support the goals for Oak Ridge, such as place-making and pedestrian and vehicular connectivity. These basic ideas and principles will also provide a foundation for the more specific Plan recommendations.

PLAN RECOMMENDATIONS – Feedback generated during the Blueprint process, as well as analysis of existing conditions and plans, are being translated into recommendations. Continue reading further below!

The list is still growing. The many comments, ideas and projects suggested by the community are organized into categories to convey them in a meaningful and effective way.

NEXT STEPS – Key recommendations will be prioritized to be completed within 5 or 15 years, and monitored each year for progress. The intent is that the Municipal Planning Commission will continually revisit the Plan in order to gauge the effectiveness of actions or re-prioritize strategies, and to account for factors that may have changed.

Draft Blueprint Plan Recommendations:

Below is a short list of recommendations, sorted into categories, to illustrate the some of the feedback that has been received. Not all of the feedback has been represented here. Dozens more recommendations will be added to the final draft of the Blueprint Plan, and additional ideas are welcomed. Leave your ideas in the survey!

Create fertile ground for sustainable, healthy population growth by diversifying our economic and employment base, and expanding housing quality choices.

  •  Plan for public projects that can attract and leverage private investment and revitalization projects
  •  Promote locally-owned and independent businesses
  •  Develop tourism and recreation as a steady base of the local economy
  •  Better engage with the knowledge, experience, and resources within the local senior population

Improve our housing stock to broaden choices, increase ownership opportunities and enhance our regional market position, which will add to housing values and tax base.

  •  Support the housing plan and strategy that is being developed by a consortium of local housing-related organizations and agencies to meet the economic and mobility needs of the community

Cultivate and maintain a beautiful and healthy natural environment that is accessible to everyone. 

  •  Improve pedestrian walkability and connectivity throughout the City, such as adding a network of urban trails that will connect the future CSX Rails-to-Trails greenway to neighborhoods and recreation areas.

Promote development patterns that encourage mixed land use, safety, and preservation of open space in order to serve a range of people and lifestyles.

  •  Focus land use policies and strategic public investment that will help create an active city center for Oak Ridge.

View a new advisory report about the Oak Ridge City Center by Skidmore Owings and Merrill

Provide a primarily safe network of vehicular and pedestrian circulation that produces a walkable environment of visual attractiveness, comfort, accessibility and connectivity.

  •  Improve safety and traffic circulation through regular monitoring and maintenance of roads and sidewalks.  Next, evaluate citywide road and intersection design, traffic control, etc, and recommend improvements, incorporating Complete Street design.

Foster a distinctive, attractive community with a strong sense of place.

  •  Coordinate visibility of the new National Park to promote the image of Oak Ridge.
  •  Build on community pride and support to generate positive incentives and property maintenance, beautification, and public art programs.
  •  Enable an educated and engaged citizenry to interact or participate in City Boards and  Commissions. Provide better communication to citizens about project review and decision-making.