city blueprint

A citywide vision and guide for future growth and development in Oak Ridge

A Living Plan

City Blueprint, a “living” plan for future growth and development, was first approved by the Oak Ridge City Council in May 2019.  It represents the spirit and philosophy of planning in Oak Ridge, through broad community participation.  The intent is that the Municipal Planning Commission will regularly revisit the Plan in order to gauge progress, update conditions or strategies, and ensure there is alignment with community values and goals.

In 2016, Oak Ridge was experiencing exciting new commercial development and the newly formed National Historical Park.  With input from other boards and City leaders, the Municipal Planning Commission decided to begin crafting an updated long-range development plan, called “City Blueprint,” to provide guidance in future growth and decisions.

Creating a meaningful plan would depend greatly on receiving input from the people of Oak Ridge. The City Blueprint Kickoff Event was held on Thursday, January 26, 2017, at High Places Church in Historic Grove Center.  The entire community was invited and more than 500 people attended.  Attendees had the opportunity to visit booths representing various City services and organizations, and to provide feedback on what Oak Ridge is doing right, which City services can be improved, and what innovative ideas should be implemented.

Following the kickoff, 26 subareas were identified that covered the entire city – thirteen residential and twelve nonresidential areas.  Over a period of 16 months from May 2017 to August 2018, eleven community open house meetings were held in these areas to collect more focused feedback and identify potential projects.  Subarea reports were prepared by Staff, identifying issues, opportunities, and recommendations for each subarea.

Meeting Timeline

Jan 26, 2017
Historic Grove Theater
Kickoff EventInfographicProposals

Response Cards
May 15, 2017
Woodland Elementary
WoodlandWoodland ReportWoodland Feedback
July 27, 2017
Oak Ridge Country Club
Country Club / Southwood, High Ridge WestCountry Club and Southwood

High Ridge West
High Ridge West Country Club Southwood
Aug 24, 2017
Jefferson Middle
Emory Valley / Briarcliff, Lakeview ResidentialLakeview Residential

Emory Valley Briarcliff
Emory Valley-Briarcliff Lakeview Residential
Sept 28, 2017
Glenwood Elementary
East Side Residential, PalisadesReport_Palisades

Report_East Side Residential
Feedback_East Side & Palisades Residential
Oct 26, 2017
Robertsville Middle
Midtown ResidentialAbout Blueprint Report Midtown ResidentialFeedback_Midtown Residential
Dec 2017Midpoint ReportAbout Blueprint Report Midpoint
Jan 25, 2018
Scarboro Community Center
Tuskegee, West Side, and Agriculture Low Density ResidentialReport_AGRICULTURAL LOW DENSITY PLAN


Report_WEST SIDE Residential
Feedback_Scarboro Community Center
Feb 8, 2018
The Discovery Center
The Preserve at Clinch RiverReport_The PreserveFeedback_The Preserve at Clinch River
Mar 29, 2018
Chamber of Commerce
Warehouse Row, Jackson Square, Industrial / Office, Midtown Mixed Use, West Side Mixed UseWestside Mixed Use

Industrial Office

Jackson Square


Feedback all_Chamber of Commerce Blueprint survey responses
April 26, 2018
Civic Center
Rocks and Flowers, City Parks / Open Space, TVA, Water Plant, Horizon Center, Heritage Center & Bionomics, IncCITY PARKS.OPEN SPACE

Heritage Center




Civic Center April 2018 Blueprint survey responses
May 10, 2018
Central Services Complex
Department of Energy - Oak Ridge ReservationDOE RESERVATIONDOE
Aug 23, 2018
Civic Center
Main Commercial Core / City CenterCity Center

ORNL SOM study letter Nov 30 2018
City Center Feedback
Nov 2018Values and Goals SurveyOutreach Strategy PosterValues and Goals Survey Results
Jan 2019Recommendations SurveyRecommendations Survey Results
Feb 5, 2019
Oak Ridge High School

Feb 7, 2019
Historic Grove Theater
Draft Blueprint Plan RecommendationsDisplay Boards for Voting on RecommendationsRecommendations Survey Results

Online Value

Open House Comments

Openhouse Highest Ranking Recommendations
May 21, 2019Approved by Planning CommissionTransmittal Letter
May 13, 2019Approved by Resolution
Resolution adopted by City Council

More Public Involvement

Beginning in November 2018, content of the draft Blueprint Plan became available for public input through the City website, online surveys, and an informational room in the Community Development Department.  Comment boxes with posters were also displayed at the Library, Chamber of Commerce, and Municipal Building lobby.  Communication involved news media, social media, local organization meetings and presentations, and a growing e-mail contact list.

All of the feedback generated during the Blueprint process, as well as analysis of existing conditions and plans, were translated into recommendations in the plan.  At the final draft stage in early February 2019, two community open houses were held where everyone was invited to vote for their top five recommendations.  The first open house took place at the Oak Ridge High School following a regular school day, where 74 people signed in to vote by placing dot stickers on presentation boards.  Two days later, another 56 people voted at the open house at Grove Theater.


The visionary document produced at the end of the two-year planning effort, approved in May 2019, is the first step in a continuous planning process.  This initial Blueprint Plan is intended to be a clear and straightforward document that inspires action in achieving the community’s widely accepted vision and goals.