GOSHEN — The steering committee charged with updating the city’s comprehensive plan met for the first time Thursday, Oct. 31, to get acclimated and begin their discussion of what changes should be made.
The 15-member committee, made up of various individuals from the community, met to discuss its role, the timeline for the comprehensive plan update and to go over a survey members had completed prior to the meeting.
Goshen is coming to the end of its current comprehensive plan, which laid out the city’s objectives for future development.
State statute does not actually require an update from city planners; Goshen has generally done an update every 10 years, and 2013 is the last year of the previous plan.
An updated comprehensive plan is necessary to gauge what the city has accomplished, what has yet to be completed and to identity what areas should receive the most attention in the coming 10-year period.
In advance of the meeting, committee members were provided various facets about the community and were asked to rank them on a scale of needs little attention, needs some attention or needs a lot of attention.
The major points of focus, based on the members’ initial responses, appeared to be transportation and traffic issues and diversifying the business landscape.
Members noted that they didn’t necessarily choose the transportation- and business-related topics because they felt enough wasn’t being done, but that they believed those aspects of the city should be of higher priority during the next few years.
On the other end of the spectrum, the items the committee initially responded should be lower priorities were parks and the downtown’s vibrancy.
The survey was given just to provide a foundation for how to proceed, and there will be multiple avenues for residents to provide the committee with their input.
Beginning in November, the committee and planning department will hold monthly public meetings to discuss what goals should be considered for the main categories within the plan.
There will likely be about four categories discussed at the meetings, including people, neighborhoods and housing; land use, infrastructure and transportation; economic development and redevelopment; and quality of place.
Surveys will be available at the meetings and the city’s planning department staff is aiming to also have surveys online, provide updates on the city’s Facebook page and provide notice of public meetings through the web, local news organizations, newsletters and church bulletins.
City planning staff said that since the update is being completed in-house, the city is likely saving between $75,000 and $100,000.