6 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, Auburn Hall
Planning begins for city’s future
Comprehensive plan group set to meet July 31
AUBURN – A group tasked with plotting future development in the city will start its work later this month with a look at the past.
The 40-plus-person comprehensive plan committee is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. July 31 in Auburn Hall.
“The first few meetings will be staff explaining the history of Auburn and how we got where we are today,” Planning Director David Galbraith said. The group will work for the next year writing the new planning document.
The city’s last plan was written in 1995 and designed to guide planning and development decisions through 2005. It looked at all aspects of life in the city, including population, transportation trends, possible commercial development and public finances.
“Until we adopt a new one, that one stays in effect,” Galbraith said. The longer a city stretches that time frame, Galbraith pointed out, the more likely the city won’t have that backing for its decisions.
Comprehensive plans are different from zoning codes and other ordinances. Those determine what can legally be done in the city. Comprehensive plans help city staff and elected officials decide what should happen and how to get there.
“For example, if you wanted to set aside one area for commercial development, you’d have to show how to get there,” he said. It could require zoning changes, as well as spending money on roads to support traffic and encouraging new telephone, electrical and water lines to the area.
“It helps specify what you want to happen over the next 10 to 15 years, step by step,” Galbraith said.
The committee is comprised of people who volunteered during City Council ward meetings this spring. Others contacted Mayor John Jenkins with suggestions or to volunteer their help. He expects the larger group to break into smaller subcommittees, each studying a different aspect of the city.
The results should be presented to the City Council in the fall of 2008, then sent to the state planning office for review.