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First comprehensive plan update meeting held Wednesday

By Staff | Feb 1, 2019

The first of an estimated three to four meetings to update Pierce County’s Comprehensive Plan was held Wednesday morning at the Memorial Hall in Rugby.

The county’s comprehensive plan has not been updated since 1987.

Daniel Schwartz, of Nexus Planning & Consulting, LLC, presided over the meeting.

Schwartz started the meeting by explaining what a comprehensive plan is and its purpose. A comprehensive plan serves as a policy guide for decisions about growth and development and establishes goals and objectives.

The requirements of the plan include for it to be comprehensive, long-range, general, “focus on physical development”, and to “relate physical design proposals to community goals and social and economic policies”.

Schwartz showed a comparison of plan goals between the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan updated last year and the 1987 comprehensive plan. Goals of the former included implementing education and outreach programs about improving hazard awareness; improving administrative, technical, planning and regulatory capabilities to mitigate hazards; reduce hazard impacts; improve critical facilities and infrastructure resiliency; and provide early warnings and refuge for the public. Goals of the former included developing land use plans that contribute to the economic and aesthetic quality; developing a transportation system; develop a plan to encourage and accommodate economic growth; provide residents with basic human services; and provide adequate public services and facilities for residents.

Schwartz showed meeting attendees items of note in the 1987 plan. One of the items included was a comparison of population between 1940 and 1980. In 1940 the county’s population was over 9,200 people and in 1980 it was 6,166 people. In 1945 the number of farms in the county exceeded 1,000. That number had dropped to 589 by 1982.

Schwartz then went over “visionary” work with meeting attendees. Attendees were asked to give buzzwords as to how they would describe Pierce County, which included: “peaceful”; “rural”; “home”; “forward-thinking”; “neighborly”; “welcoming”; “safe”; “disconnected”; “needs updates” and “caring”.

Schwartz then asked attendees things they liked about Pierce County, things they didn’t like, and things they wanted to see preserved.

Prior to the end of the meeting, some discussion was held regarding questions for a planning survey. Attendees were asked to think of survey questions for the next meeting.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Memorial Hall.

– Tribune Staff Report

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