Imagine a different Abbeville, one that embodies the essence of a thriving, dynamic community that radiates health and vibrancy, starting from its downtown core and extending outward. Abbeville, like countless other downtown areas across the United States, boasts a treasure trove of historic spaces and a cityscape that exudes charm and character.

In this reimagined Abbeville, visionary leaders have taken proactive steps by reaching out to regional and state planning groups, forging collaborative partnerships to breathe new life into the city. Together, they are embarking on an exciting journey of transformation, working hand in hand with the public to gain valuable insights into the desires and needs of residents and businesses alike. Through open dialogue and active engagement, they aim to chart a collective vision for Abbeville’s future.

This shared vision will serve as the foundation for a meticulously crafted Master Plan, designed to attract fresh waves of development and businesses that align with the community’s aspirations. Abbeville will evolve into a place where the past seamlessly meets the future, where history and innovation coexist, and where the downtown area becomes a hub of activity, culture, and opportunity. In this reimagined Abbeville, a reinvigorated spirit of community will flourish, creating a brighter and more promising future for all who call it home.

What's Next?

As part of our ongoing outreach and planning efforts, we would like to invite you to join us on Thursday, April 11th, at the RiverFront Banquet Room (503 W Port Street), next to the downtown bridge, for a community open house beginning at 4 PM. This is an opportunity for the residents of Abbeville to help create our first city-wide master plan by sharing your hopes, concerns, and dreams for the future. The meeting is open house style where participants will work through a series of stations, each providing information and activities to participate in. Participants can drop in anytime between 4 PM and 6:30 PM to provide input. The planning team will be on hand to facilitate the activities and to answer community questions.

Community engagement lies at the core of this process, and we want YOUR VOICE to be heard. Let’s come together and share our ideas for a brighter future in Abbeville! See you there!

WHEN & WHERE: April 11, 2024

Abbeville's Master Plan

Planning for the Future

April 2024

Recap of Abbeville’s Community Input Sessions from Master Plan Open House and 4 District Meetings

There was an incredible turnout of residents on April 11th and 12th, when residents came together in full force to help shape the future of Abbeville. Here’s a quick recap of the events that unfolded:

At the Abbeville Master Plan Open House, residents from all districts, with different ideas and motivations, actively participated in giving feedback that was crucial in helping create the overall master plan. It was a total success, and we truly appreciate the commitment to the future of our community.

At the District Level Meetings, we dove deeper into discussions. The input and feedback are invaluable as we continue to develop the Abbeville Master Plan. The contributions will help shape the direction and priorities of our community planning efforts, ensuring they align with the needs and aspirations of all residents.

Throughout the process, we have expressed and hope you understand that community involvement is vital to the success of any endeavor, and we are committed to keeping you informed and engaged every step of the way. As such, we will make sure to keep you updated on future events, meetings, and opportunities for involvement related to the Abbeville Master Plan.

Together, we can create a vibrant and sustainable future for our community. Please know there will be other opportunities for the public to be engaged and have discussions.

February 2024

We were delighted to share the exciting news that Abbeville was chosen by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) in the second round of Strategic Planning Awards. This program is dedicated to creating more resilient and healthier communities throughout the United States by fostering local economies from the middle out and bottom up, ensuring that opportunities were accessible without the need to leave home.

The City of Abbeville was granted $150,000 for strategic planning, with a focus on developing effective strategies for job creation, entrepreneurship, and equity. This Strategic Planning Program helps empower public entities across the DRA’s footprint to address long-standing issues and craft a roadmap for economic growth and revitalization.

We recently invited residents to a Walking Visioning Tour on Monday, Feb 26th, right outside City Hall! This was a unique opportunity to explore, brainstorm, and share ideas for the vacant spaces in our community. Participants joined representatives from Place + Main Advisors, CPEX, and other community members as we embarked on a journey to envision the future of our downtown. The public voices are crucial in shaping our shared vision for Abbeville’s transformation.

The overwhelming support from our city during the events has been truly inspiring. In fact, the recent turnout for the Walking Visioning Tour was one of the largest on record, leaving Place + Main Advisors, LLC pleasantly surprised by the community’s enthusiasm.

As part of the City’s comprehensive Master Plan, Place + Main and the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) were hard at work on a Real Estate Redevelopment Plan. Residents’ participation mattered, and we are thrilled that over 70 residents had joined us on the walking tour to share their visions and ideas.

Together, with input and dedication, Abbeville is poised to embark on an exciting journey of community transformation. Let’s shape a future where opportunity thrives for all who call Abbeville home.

Complete Streets Demonstrations

What Are Complete Streets?

December 2023

Complete Streets is a transportation policy and design approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient, and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation.

Thanks to a generous grant from Well-Ahead, a partnership has been established with LSU Ag Center and CPEX to implement the Complete Streets demonstration along North State Street and around the courthouse. The primary goal is to enhance safety and promote alternative transportation modes, ultimately making the streets safer for everyone. Notable changes include the addition of a dedicated bike lane and alterations around the courthouse square.

Residents were encouraged to test out various features such as bike lanes, crosswalks, and back-in angled parking. After actively participating in the Complete Streets demonstration, we asked for public feedback. We created an online survey that allowed residents to share their thoughts on the demonstration. This input is instrumental in finalizing the permanent design. Together, the community aims to shape a safer and more accessible Abbeville that caters to the needs of all residents.

Mayor White took time to answer some of the public’s questions about the demonstration by responding to the complaints and questions received about what was going on downtown. The Center for Planning Excellence was able to provide a few renderings of what the built environment could be like if concepts are implemented.

After a month-long demonstration, information and feedback were collected from residents, including a survey, one-on-one conversations, studies, phone calls, and an Open House at LSU AgCenter.

Following the Complete Streets Open House event, Mayor White took the opportunity to address the public at a city council meeting. The significance of community engagement in Complete Streets development was emphasized. With the unveiling of plans aimed at enhancing safety and accessibility on Abbeville’s streets, Mayor White’s remarks served as a crucial bridge between municipal authorities and residents. Emphasizing the importance of public participation, Mayor White highlighted the city’s commitment to transparency. In case you missed the meeting, we would like to remind citizens of the availability of council meetings on the city’s YouTube channel.

All concerns are being taken into consideration before any final decisions are made.

Downtown Revitalization:

Learning and Launching in Abbeville

2022

The City of Abbeville collaborated with the Acadiana Planning Commission, Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality, and Kansas State University – Technical Assistance to Brownfields, alongside local community members and businesses, to conduct a thorough study of Downtown Abbeville and brainstorm innovative uses for vacant spaces. This inclusive process included specialized focus groups and culminated in a city-wide Town Hall Meeting, providing residents with the opportunity to review and vote on their favorite ideas.

While we are waiting for the Environmental Assessment Engineer’s report, we anticipate gaining crucial insights into the condition of affected areas, informing our restoration efforts. Simultaneously, we proactively initiated grant applications to secure financial support vital for revitalizing Downtown Abbeville, transforming it into a vibrant community hub.

In November 2022, Abbeville hosted a public meeting featuring Jeffrey Smith from Holly & Smith Architects, who shared the success story of Hammond’s Downtown Development District’s preservation-based commercial revitalization. Mayor White encouraged the community to draw inspiration from Hammond’s achievements, envisioning Abbeville as a similarly thriving destination.

Like Hammond, Abbeville prioritizes community engagement as pivotal to our success. Smith detailed Hammond’s history, the development of its Downtown Development District, associated incentives and benefits, and outlined how Abbeville could replicate this success.

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