Community Background

A 2009 Great Place in America, Franklin, Tennessee, invited a CPAT during the summer of 2013.

The original Town of Franklin, Tennessee, dates back to 1799 and is located on the Harpeth River just south of Nashville. One of the commercial gateways into the Historic Downtown (5th Avenue North) is located in the 100-year floodplain. The city's land use plan encourages redevelopment of this corridor while modifying floodplain boundaries to create an urban gateway into downtown. However, this appears unrealistic based on the city's level of protective floodplain regulations and the depth of floodplain.

Fifth Avenue North contained marginal commercial uses prior to the May 2010 Nashville Flood, and multiple buildings have been vacant since that time. The city recently amended the zoning ordinance and passed a resolution in an effort to provide some flexibility for property owners while the city pursues a study by outside expertise.

The city sought national-level, objective, interdisciplinary recommendations regarding the potential futures of the 5th Avenue North corridor.

Historic Franklin: Development & Floodplain Constraints

Community Planning Assistance Teams Report

The Team has prepared final recommendations to the City of Franklin to guide their community dialogue and efforts as they move forward with determining the policy framework of future development and related regulations with regard to building construction within the City’s floodplain and adjacent properties.

Project Updates

September 15-19, 2013
On September 13, the full team arrived in Franklin to spend a week exploring the issues of flooding and development in the Franklin downtown core. The team had a walking and driving tour of the study area as well as the city of Franklin to become familiar with the needs of the community. The team held various stakeholder meetings with local community organizations, property owners, elected officials, and city staff to receive each group's vision for the study area and hear all the concerns. On September 17, a community workshop was held, where all residents were invited to come and speak to the team. Each team member had a table covering a specific topic of economic development, open space, mobility, flooding, and architecture and design. The next two days were spent brainstorming ideas and working through specifics of what to present on Thursday evening to the community. The preliminary recommendations were outlined in a public meeting, but the meeting served also a time to receive more feedback from the community. Now the team will work to write a full report, with more specific recommendations and steps that the community can take towards development in the study area.

May 8-9, 2013
Franklin CPAT Team Leader, Rich Roths, AICP, and APA project manager, Thomas Bassett, conducted a preliminary visit to Tennessee. They toured the city and project site to get an on-the-ground look to decide what kind of expertise will be needed when the full team returns. Along with City Planner of Franklin, Kelly Dannenfelser, the two met with multiple stakeholders from the public, private, and NGO worlds. They all had dinner with Franklin Mayor Ken Moore to discuss his vision for the city. The team will need to balance development with the safety concerns of flooding.

News Coverage of the Franklin, Tennessee Project

The Tennessea: "After flood, Franklin looks to revitalize corridor"

Meet the Team


Rich Roths, AICP
Team Leader

Rich Roths, AICP

Rich Roths, AICP, is a semi-retired Principal Planner with URS Corporation. He is a nationally recognized expert in floodplain management and mitigation planning. He has provided mitigation assistance to at least 20 States and their communities.

Kimberly Burton, AICP
Team Member

Kimberly Burton, AICP

Kimberly Burton, AICP, is an experienced program and project manager, in addition to a professional engineer and certified planner. She has 14 years of experience working in the public and private sectors. In addition, Burton teaches energy, sustainability & resiliency planning courses at Ohio State University. During her career, Burton has worked on a wide variety of planning, engineering, and environmental projects. Her skills include city and multi-modal transportation planning, community and economic development, environmental documents, grants, noise and air quality analyses, safety studies, and public involvement activities.

William Harris, FAICP
Team Member

William Harris, PhD, FAICP

Bill Harris, PhD, FAICP, presently is Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Georgia Regents University. His research interests focus upon inner city economic development and citizen empowerment.

Gail Henrikson, AICP
Team Member

Gail Henrikson, AICP

Gail Henrikson, AICP, earned a master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Henrikson is currently the Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, a coastal community of 23,000, that is located approximately 20 miles south of Daytona Beach. As Director of Planning and Zoning, Henrikson was involved in drafting the city's first neighborhood plan and in establishing a Neighborhood Council to assist in creating a citywide vision for future growth. In addition to her work for the City of New Smyrna Beach, Henrikson is also the incoming Vice-President of the Surfcoast Chapter of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association.

Marc Yeber
Team Member

Marc Yeber

Holding degrees in architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture from University of Southern California (USC), Marc Yeber currently serves as Planning Commissioner for the City of West Hollywood. Previously, he served on the Historic Preservation Commission. He is a member of ASLA and AIA as well as APA where he serves on California Chapter of APA Board of Directors as the Commission & Board Representative. In his current practice, CONT-X Studio, Yeber is focused on urban design and landscape infrastructure projects. He is also consults for others involved in the entitlement process by identifying key elements of a project and producing presentation materials to effectively communicate the design intent to various stakeholder groups.