Growth strategy sits well with folks

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Suffolk residents are generally pleased with the city’s efforts to control growth and, in fact, would like to see those efforts strengthened.

Planning Director Scott Mills told City Council Wednesday that preliminary data gathered during the city’s current review of its 2018 Comprehensive Plan indicates that people would like to see growth continue to be directed toward urban areas of the city and suburban neighborhoods.

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The review of the 2018 plan was launched in mid-January and remains in the data collection stage, Mills said, which should be completed by the month’s end.

He was reporting at the council’s work session on feedback received at three public &uot;visioning&uot; meetings held last month to receive resident input.

A survey will be conducted in coming weeks to get additional input from residents, Mills said.

Major areas of concern appeared to be the rate of residential growth, land use and development styles, transportation, preserving agricultural space and natural areas and education, Mills said.

&uot;I think people are satisfied with the smart growth strategies of the city,&uot; Mills said. &uot;We should continue those.&uot;

The growth strategies call for commercial and residential development to be directed downtown, and along routes 10 and 17.

Specific concerns of residents are that residential growth is too fast; the cost of residential growth; the availability of affordable housing; too much growth in rural areas; improving roads; supporting agriculture as a viable business; and keeping schools close to neighborhood and population centers to cut down on travel times and distances for students.

Mills told council that the review of ordinances and development of the revised comprehensive plan should be complete by April 2005, when public hearings will be held.