Strategic Planning Equips New Albany to Address Growth Concerns

January 25, 2024

At Monday evening’s NAPLS Board of Education meeting, school leaders shared a Cooperative Strategies presentation to reveal projected enrollment growth within the district.

The report studied all active and potential residential developments according to existing zoning and land-use entitlements, identifying the possibility of 1,455 additional students enrolling in our school district over the next 10 years. For this study, the City of New Albany provided maximum growth estimates to NAPLS to ensure that the district would be adequately prepared for the potential influx of students.

Growth is nothing new for our community as New Albany’s population increased from roughly 7,700 residents in 2010 to over 11,000 in 2022. Navigating this growth through strategic planning is at the core of who we are as a community. We’ve proudly worked for years with important partners like our schools, Plain Township and others and will continue to do so.

The City of New Albany regularly updates its Strategic Plan with the most recent update taking place in 2022. The Strategic Plan has helped to guide our growth by attracting development that maximizes revenue for our schools without placing a heavy burden on the district’s student population. Data centers and age-restricted housing are just two examples of growth that has benefitted our schools.

Additionally, our Strategic Plan prioritizes parkland and open space. Counting Rocky Fork Metro Park, nearly 15% of land (more than 2,000 acres) in or abutting New Albany is green space or open space. Our development of more than 100 acres at Taylor Farm Park and our purchase of over 70 acres to be leased to New Albany Parks and Recreation for a community fieldhouse are just two recent examples of creating green space as part of a strategic vision for responsible growth and development. This is land that could have been 170 residential units but is now parkland for the community to enjoy.

We at the City of New Albany work hard to ensure our community goals and standards are at the forefront of development conversations. We encourage developers to build residential projects that have minimal impact on student population while generating significant revenue for the district. By and large, the City has been successful in attracting and directing development that meets our community needs and expectations, and we will continue making these efforts a priority.

We must also note that all of central Ohio is experiencing growth. The news headlines for the past several years have focused on growth across the Columbus region – new employment centers, retail offerings, residential projects, even a new terminal at the airport. This growth is not due to any single economic development investment but rather a growing interest in the region as a whole. As far back as 2015, prior to any announcements of major employers moving to the region, MORPC’s Insight2050 report had forecasted significant development and population growth for the Columbus region.

New Albany has successfully managed growth in the past and will work with community partners and developers to do the same both now and in the future.