City staff plans to enhance public engagement in the City’s Land Use Study, designed to evaluate land areas in the city’s utility service area beyond the city limits in unincorporated Polk County.
City Manager James Slaton said, “The presentation at the public forum on October 27 was disorganized and less favorable. We'll be working with the consulting firm retained for this project to reconstruct our plans with the intent to give residents more opportunity to engage in the creation of the Land Use Plan.”
Part of the new engagement efforts will include another public forum and potential workgroup sessions.
The goal of the Land Use Study is to develop a comprehensive Land Use Plan to identify areas suitable for development as it relates to property annexations. Types of development include: agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial.
Director of Development Services, Mark J. Bennett said, “It’s essential we be proactive and focus on responsible growth.”
The Land Use Plan will help city commission and staff consider certain urban planning techniques, such as transfer of development rights, conservation easements and/or agricultural conservation easements as possible methods to protect and preserve environmentally sensitive lands while addressing potential concerns to property rights. The Land Use Plan will also be used as a basis for future utility and transportation infrastructure planning.