Parrish Civic Association
Planning for the Growth and Development of Parrish
by Mimi Sheffer
The Mellgren Planning Group was selected to work with Manatee County and the Parrish community to create a Neighborhood Action Plan for the Village of Parrish. In January of 2019, they participated in an open meeting at the Parrish United Methodist Church to gather information and ideas about what issues were important to local citizens. Further study took place as well as interviews and input from members of the community.
The plan’s purpose was to identify community needs and priorities, conduct an analysis for the suitability of development, and assess the market and trade conditions. The group was tasked with developing a conceptual plan and establishing strategies for implementation of the plan. The three primary goals of the NAP were business and economic development, improvements in infrastructure and creating public spaces with a plan to make those spaces accessible and vibrant.
In September, the Mellgren Planning Group presented their Neighborhood Action Plan findings to the County, stating that the NAP was a “product of committed community planning efforts by the Parrish Village citizens and Manatee County Neighborhood Services Department. The two joined forces to coordinate a citizen-driven improvement effort using the neighborhood action plan process.” Parrish is experiencing massive growth and development. The report highlighted the importance of planning for employment centers for the future viability of the Parrish community. The suggestion was made for a public-private partnership for the coordination and facilitation of the planned redevelopment of the Village of Parrish.
Parrish Central Park will be an ‘anchor’ in the redevelopment area, located close to the new Parrish Community High School, and serve as green space and community recreation area. A collaboration with the YMCA was suggested for the area. A Main Street project has been suggested, comprised of shopping and dining venues, to serve as a second anchor. Infrastructure improvements need to be made to the water and sewer system, updates and improvements to the area’s sidewalks and realignments and changes to some of the roadways. There are several academic campuses that will soon be built in Parrish, forming an academic ‘corridor’. This provides an opportunity to create partnerships to preserve land and create historic and cultural areas. The Mellgren Report represents a plan to incorporate the growth and development of the Parrish area with planned community spaces, providing green space and recreation areas while preserving the culture and rich history of the Village of Parrish.