Culver Comp Plan Implementation Meeting

As a partial rebuttal to my own post yesterday, I attended the Culver Comprehensive Plan Implementation Meeting on Tuesday night.  This meeting was held at the Depot and was part of Houseal Lavigne‘s contract for preparing the Comprehensive Plan.  Several of us on the initial comprehensive plan steering committee requested that this be included in hopes that the seed would be planted with Town officials on why the plan needs to be a reference document and not something just completed and set aside on a shelf.

Here’s the partial rebuttal part…  The Town Council, Plan Commission, Redevelopment Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals as well as the original Steering Committee were requested to attend.  Drumroll please…  4 0f 5 Town Council members were there, 4 of 9 Plan Commission members were there, 3 of 5 Redevelopment Commission members were there and 2 of 5 Board of Zoning Appeal members were there.  For Culver, that’s a damn fine turnout!  It’s a partial rebuttal because this was the regular night for the Plan Commission and they also had a plat review on their agenda.  There shouldn’t have been any issue getting a quorum there on their regular night!

Houseal Lavigne went through several scenarios of how to handle things not directly addressed in the new Comprehensive Plan.  They discussed when the Plan should be amended and a brief discussion on how that should be handled.  They emphasized that the Plan should be included in every board and commission’s meetings and how decisions should always be based in the direction of this document.  “The Plan represents the community’s thoughts and input on the direction the Town should be taking.”  They discussed the importance of the Plan to future grants.  All and all it was a good meeting with good information.

But Houseal Lavigne also chastised the Town for not making the plan available.  “We checked your website and despite having adopted the plan early this spring, the link on the Town website still directs people to the old plan.  The current plan needs to be accessible online, at the Library and at the Town Hall.  It needs to be a document that residents can access.  It needs to be a document that businesses interested in moving to Culver can access.”

While it took longer than I hoped, I think this is a good start on my “20/20 Vision for Culver” effort that I began in 2011.  As was discussed at the meeting, a comp plan should be looking as much as 20 years into the future, but should be reviewed and updated at a minimum of every 5 years.  Since we completed the plan in 2014 and 2020 is more than 5 years away, I’m going to count that as a win.

But why am I calling it a “Good Start”?  Because Houseal Lavigne gave homework assignments.  Aside from keeping the Comp Plan up to date and using it as an active reference, they also strongly recommended that the Town Council use the Comp Plan to create an Implementation Plan and Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).  The Implementation Plan should take the things discussed in the Comp Plan and create a check list which prioritizes them and focuses the Town’s efforts on completing these items.  The CIP is then put in place by the Town Council with budget numbers associated with the improvements.  This helps focus the Town and the various departments on making sure that any repairs and improvements fall in line with the goals of the Comp Plan.  A prime example would be checking the CIP when an emergency sewer or water repair comes up.  Should the “opportunity” created by the repair be used to move toward completion of a CIP goal?

While there is no doubt that this needs to be a continuing process, Culver has made a major, positive step forward.

Source: 20/20 Vision Image borrowed from call2all


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