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Goshen Plan Commission reviews first three chapters of city's comprehensive plan update

The Goshen Plan Commission got its first look at a plan that will help guide the city’s development over the next 10 years.

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 7:25 p.m.

GOSHEN — City planners have gotten their first peek at Goshen’s comprehensive plan update that will help guide development over the next decade.

The Goshen Plan Commission reviewed draft copies of three chapters Tuesday, May 20, that focus on neighborhoods and housing, land use and economic development. The chapters were revised using surveys, data that was collected about the city and community meetings where the public was invited to weigh in.

Goshen is among 10 cities working alongside the American Planning Association’s Sustaining Places Initiative for a pilot program to help shape comprehensive plans around the country.

Plan commission member Connie Garber had some recommendations for the plan, including addressing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, or GLBT, issues in terms of promoting cultural diversity. Abby Wiles, an assistant planner for the city, said she is waiting to hear back from the Goshen Community Relations Commission, which may have recommendations.

Garber also suggested adding a goal of encouraging local businesses to reach out to high school students through mentoring and internships.

Wiles said the land use chapter probably changed the least out of all the sections in the comprehensive plan, though one new goal was added. She said the public expressed interest at community meetings in encouraging small-scale commercial development in neighborhoods.

While the land use chapter changed the least, the section on economic development changed the most, Wiles noted.

“I think our 2004-2013 plan had a real focus on maintaining an attractive environment for employment districts and encouraging business practices that have positive impacts on the community, which is something we retained in the update, but we’ve broadened it to include more content on the diversification of the local economy, workforce, which wasn’t really addressed in the 2004-2013 plan, infrastructure, and travel and tourism, which is also a brand new goal,” Wiles said.

The plan commission will review more draft chapters of the plan at its next meeting on June 17.

OTHER BUSINESS

  • Goshen Community Schools requested the city vacate part of the East Purl Street right-of-way east of South 10th Street to accommodate future construction. The plan commission recommended approval of the request to the city council.
  • The plan commission granted primary and secondary approval to the River Race subdivision, which has four lots between Madison and Douglas streets on the west side of Third Street to the Millrace Canal. The Goshen Redevelopment Commission has agreements in place to transfer one lot to Matthews LLC for up to 24 townhouses and another lot to Millrace Neighborhood LLC, which plans to build roughly 17 units. The city plans to retain two lots for greenspace.

Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.


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