What do you believe should be the values and aspirations of our City? The City of Delaware is beginning a project to find out. It is a called a Comprehensive Plan update that, when finished, will reflect current trends and priorities while being focused on the future.
A Comprehensive Plan is the broadest public policy document a community can create for its future physical development. It considers input of citizens, businesses and other stakeholders. It includes a vision statement about the future condition of the City; goals and desired outcomes for a variety of topics; objectives to measure progress, and actions to achieve the goal. The plan is a tool to prepare for change and acts as both a business plan and guidebook for decision-makers. The plan is not a legally binding document, but it can serve as a foundation for budgeting decisions, zoning ordinances, land development regulations and more.
It is crucial that this plan be built on the values, needs and aspirations of the community. To ensure this happens, a diverse group of community members will be convened to form a citizen steering committee to guide the planning process. The steering committee, numbering more than 3o individuals from a cross section of backgrounds, interests and talents, is being finalized from 90 applications that were submitted.
The committee will help guide the public process and the plan’s recommendations. Members will work closely with the City’s planning staff, the planning consultant team and other community members to bring insight and perspective to the planning process. They will help spread the word about the planning effort to encourage community participation. They will also advise on the plan’s substance, helping staff and the consultant team to integrate the community’s intuition with technical analysis. Committee members may also act as spokespersons for the planning effort, serve as hosts at public events, and facilitate small group discussions.
Why does the City of Delaware need to update its Comprehensive Plan?
The existing (2003-2008) Comprehensive Plan needs to be updated to reflect current trends and priorities while being focused on the future. Regular comprehensive planning represents good stewardship and establishes a foundation for well-supported policies to create the best possible future.
What is the role of the steering committee?
The steering committee is intended to be a working group. The responsibilities of the committee are to:
- Officially represent the citizens in the planning process.
- Provide guidance and direction to the staff and consultants at crucial steps in the process.
- Act as spokespersons for the effort.
- Serve as hosts at public events during the process.
- Identify volunteers for action committees and provide direction to those committees as their work takes place.
- Recruit volunteers to assist with conducting outreach and facilitation at public meetings.
- Volunteer to facilitate at public meetings.
- Disseminate information during the planning process through their individual networks.
- Present the vision for adoption before appropriate adopting bodies.
- Serve as stewards of the plan once it is adopted.
What If I’m not selected for the committee?
There will be other opportunities to help. You can volunteer to join a team to help with community outreach or facilitate a small group at a workshop. Additional opportunities may arise during the process. You may also participate in each of the two rounds of community workshops throughout the process. We want you to participate!
Are there opportunities for residents to get involved?
Yes. This is an open and inclusive process. There will be two series of public workshops during the planning process with several meetings in each series held in different parts of the City. Anybody who cares about the future of Delaware will be able to participate and contribute their ideas and insight. There will be numerous opportunities for additional input as well principally using our on-line engagement platform and Plan web site forum.
Do I have to be an expert to contribute ideas?
You are an expert if you live or work in Delaware. Who knows the community better than someone who lives or works here?
What is the timeline for completing the plan?
The plan and associated implementation strategies are anticipated to be completed in May 2019.
Where can I learn more?
For more information, please contact David Efland, Director of Planning & Community Development by email or 740-203-1600.