Open house events offer glimpse at 2045 planning work

Published 5:15 pm Friday, June 16, 2023

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Suffolk residents came out last week to hear the latest updates on the city’s 2045 comprehensive planning process at open house events.

The city held two events, Tuesday, June 14 and Wednesday, June 15 at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront. 

Each open house had stations and information boards that provided details on the values of the plan and current growth areas in the city. They also provided residents an opportunity to offer feedback on the look and feel of different parts of city areas. 

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Likewise, those attending were able to learn more information from city staff at the stations that covered areas such as broadband, economic development and parks and recreation. 

Director of planning NEXT Sarah Kelly provided stats on the attendance of both open houses saying that “roughly 55 attendees” took part in the sessions. The firm based in Columbus, Ohio, is assisting the city with the new 2045 plan’s development.

“So today we’re here to share some updates with you on our planning process,” Kelly said as she spoke at the event. “You’ll see some information on some of the boards on some of the work that we’ve been up to. Most importantly we want to hear from you about what you think about the direction that we’re starting to take for the plan.”

Suffolk resident Jacinth Passic, who moved here from New York City just more than a year ago, said she attended to learn more about what was going on in Suffolk.

“I wanted to take part in keeping Suffolk moving forward,” Passic said at the open house. “I am glad to have come.”

Kelly said that these are “preliminary thoughts” and drafting for the 2045 plan document has not yet started, but staff wanted to test some ideas with those attending to see what they think.

“This opportunity to engage and share your thoughts is going to be available this month and next month, so through the end of July. So I think there’s quite a bit of time to hopefully absorb all of this and share your opinions with us,” Kelly detailed. “We will then move into the fall and to drafting a plan document – there will be a review and adoption process and will finalize the plan by the end of 2023.”

The next open house is from 9 am to noon Saturday, June 24 at City Hall. 

For more information on the 2045 comprehensive plan or to make your voice heard online, go to