Council’s mission to increase public input accomplished

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 2, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Tuesday’s community forum to consider updates to the city’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan drew a record turnout, with nearly 100 people sharing their visions for the city’s growth over the next two decades.

&uot;The council wanted to make sure we had talked to enough people,&uot; said Eric Nelson, project manager for URS Corp., the Virginia Beach firm working with city planners on the document’s revision.

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&uot;This is by far the largest turnout we’ve ever had at any of these meetings,&uot; he said. &uot;Usually, we’re thrilled to have 30 or 40 people.&uot;

Scott Mills, the city’s planning director, echoed similar sentiments.

&uot;This is great,&uot; he said, looking out at the crowd overflowing from the auditorium of the Tidewater Agriculture and Extension Center in Holland.

Mills is hopeful turnout will be as strong at other meetings related to the comprehensive plan update.

&uot;Citizen input is critical to the revisions,&uot; he said. &uot;We really want to hear from residents.&uot;

The company and city, over the past few weeks, have sponsored a series of informational meetings for residents throughout the city. The last meeting this year will be held at 7 p.m. tonight at King’s Fork Middle School,

350 Kings Fork Road.

URS, working with city planners, will use information gathered at the latest round of public meetings and from citizen surveys to create various growth scenarios for the city, Nelson said. The company will determine how each scenario would affect the city’s long-term growth, finances, infrastructure use and the like.

Then, in February or March, the company will share that information with residents at another round of public meetings in February or March.