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Published: Wednesday, 2/22/2006

Delta: Comprehensive-plan update begins

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

DELTA - In the coming months, local residents will be asked to share their views on the future of the village as officials update Delta's comprehensive plan.

Council earlier this week hired the Fulton County Regional Planning Commission, at a cost not to exceed $10,000, to conduct the study for the revised plan.

Considering that Delta's comprehensive plan dates back to the 1960s, it's time for an update, said Gary Baker, village administrator.

Steve Brown, Fulton County regional planning director, said the first steps will include gathering data, such as demographics about the town, and pulling together some base mapping. Following that, meetings will be conducted with village officials and staff, the park board and other village boards, and the town's planning commission.

"We will get together to meet on what their concerns are and what they see as an issue," he said.

Depending on the outcome of those sessions, it's possible that some "side studies" could be done.

For example, if officials and other residents have concerns about the downtown, a downtown improvement study could be done.

Then Mr. Brown plans to involve the chamber of commerce, the schools, and other groups that have a stake in the community.

A general plan would be drafted after that, and "that's where we try to get a general agreement about what they want to see," Mr. Brown said.

Some land-use alternatives and a preferred comprehensive plan would be developed, and public meetings would be held to discuss proposed revisions.

The comprehensive plan, Mr. Brown said, "sets goals and objectives for what the community wants to be in the next 20 to 30 years." As discussions are held, "there might be a need that could be pointed out," he said. The study might reveal, for instance, if there is a need in the town for housing for the elderly or for a commercial park.

Mr. Brown said that when village officials discussed the possibility of updating the plan, he told them that when developers look to locate in a community, some developers will "run in a different direction" if a comprehensive plan isn't available.

An updated comprehensive plan, Mr. Baker said, is necessary to provide orderly growth in the village. He noted that the village recently annexed some property where a subdivision is being developed. "I am sure we will look at the east side of town and the potential for growth there," he said. Potential growth for commercial and residential development will be considered as the plan is updated, he said.

It could be a year before the comprehensive plan is finalized, Mr. Brown said.

Contact Janet Romaker

at: jromaker@theblade.com

or 419-724-6006.



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