All Aboard Comprehensive Plan

All Aboard Award TrophyIn 2024, the Town of Thompson's Station won the Tennessee Chapter of American Planning Associations' Award for Outstanding Plan - Small Jurisdiction for the All Aboard Comprehensive Plan.

The Town of Thompson’s Station is located in southern Williamson County, 30 miles from Nashville. The population has been increasing rapidly since 1990, with a significant increase from 2010 to 2017. The 2020 Census showed a population of 7,485. Thompson’s Station is located between Franklin and Spring Hill and is approximately 22 square miles in size.

The Town is bisected by Interstate 840 and includes a very diverse mix of current land uses ranging from intensive light industrial to active agricultural uses. However, the size and diversity of current land uses also provides challenges in ensuring growth and development does not occur at the expense of the Town’s prized character and natural resources. For decades, the Town has endeavored to prevent growth from overwhelming the existing community character. A major objective of this planning process is to ensure that balanced approach to preservation and growth continues.

The Town of Thompson’s Stations' previous policy and regulatory framework for environmental protection, land use, and transportation were adopted from 2015-2019 as separate documents. The Town’s proposed Regional Wastewater Facility Upgrades, scheduled to be completed in 2025, will open the Town to tremendous growth pressures. The Town analyzed all relevant data, existing and future market conditions, study current and future development patterns, and transportation issues to establish goals and objectives to allow the Town to develop both policy and regulatory strategies that will help reflect the community’s vision for future growth and development while preserving and enhancing the quality of life in Thompson’s Station.

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The All Aboard Comprehensive Plan

The All Aboard Comprehensive Planning process includes simultaneous updates to the following documents:

The Town of Thompson’s Station obtained the services of the Kimley Horn in the Fall of 2021 to assist in the development of a comprehensive planning process for the Town. The planning process, called All Aboard, facilitated the development of two separate, yet interconnected Plans: the General Plan and the Major Thoroughfare Plan. Kimley-Horn helped the Town through the process by co-hosting informal public workshops throughout. 

The following set the Town’s general expectations for the All Aboard Comprehensive Planning Process:

Comprehensive Public Engagement, to include at a minimum: a Steering Committee, a series of public input meetings, online engagement, and other activities to help ensure the planning process is a reflection of the community. The selected planning consultant will be expected to offer a robust public engagement process that mixes both in person and virtual activities.

The Town’s General Plan functions as a comprehensive framework plan for Thompson’s Station. The public engagement process  lead to the creation of a Vision Statement for the Town of Thompson’s Station that encapsulates and distills the All Aboard Comprehensive Planning Process. Town Staff praises the community engagement, leading to and informing a set of guiding principles for the Town’s future growth and development. This process resulted in an updated General Plan that will augment and better focus each existing plan element to ensure the Plan guides future growth while assuring preservation of the Town’s natural environment and cultural resources. At a minimum, the guiding policies are expected to equip the Town to:

  • Bolster neighborhood and Town character, 
  • Incorporate sustainability and low impact development measures, 
  • Balance preservation and growth, 
  • Ensure economic vitality and equity, and 
  • Promote fiscal stability for the Town.

The Town’s Major Thoroughfare Plan (MTP) was adopted in 2023 and functions as a comprehensive transportation policy plan for Thompson’s Station. This process resulted in an updated MTP that refreshed the policies and projects from the 2019 MTP, while providing realistic opinion of probable costs for recommended projects and a realistic framework for Town project prioritization. A major emphasis of the MTP update  incorporated specific and achievable multimodal elements, Town-wide.

The Town’s Land Development Ordinance (LDO) was adopted in 2015 and updated comprehensively in 2024, and includes the Town’s Subdivision Regulations and Zoning Ordinance. This process worked within the existing LDO regulatory framework and result in a turn-key LDO that is clear, predicable, and establishes standards and regulations to enact the guiding principles of the General Plan and the Major Thoroughfare Plan. Town Staff identified the following LDO updates to include: updated and simplified thoroughfare standards; the creation of a PUD process that ensures the Town accrues benefits from any PUD developments; simplified and clarified permitting processes; simplified signage standards; and creation of comprehensive development standards as part of the zoning process, with an emphasis on commercial and mixed use standards. Town Staff fully expects other LDO changes to be identified as part of the All Aboard Comprehensive Planning process. 

The Town's Parks Master Plan was adopted in 2024 and serves as a pathway for the future of Town Parks. The goal of this comprehensive parks and recreation master plan is to serve as a long-range strategy for decision making and financial investments for the creation, optimization, and maintenance of Thompson’s Station’s parks and recreation assets over the next 10 years. It is fundamental for the end goal to ensure the community, stakeholders, and the data align around a central vision as noted and outlined throughout this document.