Comp plan meeting draws 25

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The first of three public meetings on proposed revisions to the comprehensive plan drew about 25 citizens to King’s Fork Middle School on Tuesday night.

Folks got the chance to chat with elected and appointed officials as well as city staff and consultants who are working on the plan.

Greg Dale of consultant firm McBride Dale Clarion said a major theme of the revisions to the 2026 Comprehensive Plan is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”


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“Your plan has worked really well for the city,” he said. “When cities do comprehensive plan updates every five or six or seven years like they’re supposed to, you shouldn’t be reinventing the wheel.”

The proposal recommends increasing the allowed density in certain growth areas and holding the line — for the most part — on what’s defined as a growth area. Three extensions to the downtown growth area are proposed along Godwin Boulevard and near Lake Cohoon and Manning Road.

Visitors to Tuesday night’s meeting also got the chance to weigh in on design guidelines and transportation improvements, among other topics.

Byron and Jean Carmean said they came because they were concerned about the lack of water access and walking and cycling trails.

“There’s not really a lot of opportunities for walking and biking in the area, not unless you want to take your life in your hands,” Byron Carmean said.

Other participants, such as Tim Johnson, had concerns with traffic improvements. Johnson said the proposed Kenyon Road Connector, which will take truck traffic off Kenyon Road and through the CenterPoint development, is a waste of money and doesn’t help relieve the burden of traffic on Route 58, where a widening project also is planned.

Deputy City Manager Pat Roberts, participating in the discussion, said the city is getting good value on the project because it is only paying for about a third of the cost. CenterPoint and the state each are paying about a third.

“It’s not intended to boost the capacity of the corridor,” Roberts said.

Roberts said later he was pleased with the turnout and thought people had come with good questions and ideas.

The current plan — officially the 2026 Comprehensive Plan — was done in 2006 and covered the next 20 years of development. The first iteration of the plan was crafted in 1973, and state code now requires it to be reviewed every five years.

The city began the latest process of reviewing the plan in 2011. It now is nearing its completion, with final edits underway and approval by city staff, the Planning Commission and City Council expected by the summer.

Wednesday’s meeting is set for 6 p.m. at East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 S. Sixth St. The meeting for Thursday will be held at 7 p.m. at Creekside Elementary School, 1000 Bennetts Creek Park Road.

Call 514-4060 for more information on the comprehensive plan or on the meetings.