City Launches Website for Community Involvement in Planning Process

City Staff and the members of the Northfield Planning Commission are pleased to announce the launch of a project website, www.NorthfieldPlan.org, which is designed to receive public comments and provide timely information on the process of revising our Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations. The Comprehensive Plan is the visioning document used by elected and appointed officials to guide development and land use decisions in Northfield.

The City has retained ACP Visioning and Planning of Columbus, Ohio for the revision of the Comprehensive Plan. A kickoff meeting will be held at 7:00p on Tuesday, January 23, 2007, at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission at City Hall. ACP will present the scope of work and discuss the public participation process with the Commission.

Please visit NorthfieldPlan.org for future updates and information.

– Since Ross and I are both members of the Planning Commission, you can bet there’ll be some action on LocallyGrown regarding this topic. We really hope for substantial public participation in this process, and are doing what we can to facilitate that.

5 thoughts on “City Launches Website for Community Involvement in Planning Process”

  1. I have some comments regarding the website. I would strongly suggest that the comprehensive plan is more than just a “visioning document used by elected and appointed officials to guide development and land use decisions in Northfield.”

    Any planning decision should conform to the comprehensive plan. It has legal authority in Minnesota State Statute and the City ordinance. If people and the City Council just think that the Plan is a ‘visioning document’ to ‘guide development’, then the importance of its legal place will lose meaning and cause confusion when the planning commission and City Council make decisions that rely upon the comprehensive plan in the decision making process.

    Check out the City Ordinance. In the following web site and type in the search area ‘comprehensive plan’.
    http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=13439&sid=23

    In my modest opinion, the ‘vision’ for Northfield can change with each new City Council election, and therefore, wording could reflect the long range planning and economic benefits of the Comprehensive Plan versus the elected life of Council members.

  2. Excellent point, Peter – I agree that the phrasing you pointed to doesn’t adequately describe what a Comprehensive Plan is/should be.

    My pet peeve, in my short time on the Planning Commission, has been that our existing regulations/ordinances aren’t congruent with the existing Plan. The biggest thing we have to gain in the process, in my opinion, is to recraft the Comp Plan and then draft the ordinances to reflect the goals and values therein. The overall vision expressed in the current Plan is quite good, I believe, and still a relatively accurate picture of what the majority of Northfield citizens would like. But as a policy document, it leaves something to be desired. I’d like to see us close that gap and make it more readable, and readily usable.

    I hope you’ll keep tabs on the NorthfieldPlan.org updates and comment there as well.

  3. I knew a Peter W. who was on staff with City of Northfield and did wonderful, thorough work on EAWs. I thought he was long gone from the area, though.

    Tracy and Ross, be sure the stream protection ordinance is dealt with this time around, please. Chris Robbins, Mary Savina of Carleton and others worked on it not that many years ago. It would be a shame to have to start over on it.

  4. Stephanie, I’m pleased to say that I haven’t been run out of town yet. I now work for the evil empire of MN/DOT (just joking) doing NEPA type development, despite working for the dark side (won’t mentioned it again), I have had the opportunity to work with various Cities in Southern Minnesota. The empire is slowly spreading outwards(oops, sorry).

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