Friday, August 9, 2013

City wants input on community’s future

Sun Valley meeting set for Aug. 14

Express Staff Writer

    The city of Sun Valley will host a town hall meeting Wednesday, Aug. 14, to take public comments on a proposed revision of the city’s comprehensive plan.
    The public forum comes after a series of meetings of the city’s Comprehensive Plan Update Steering Committee, which is made up of 17 Sun Valley residents. The Aug. 14 meeting—which will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Sun Valley Opera House—is planned to “seek widespread community involvement and elicit key community feedback on all aspects of the 2005 Comprehensive Plan that require an update,” a city news release states.
    Sun Valley Community Development Director Mark Hofman stressed the importance of having the public providing meaningful feedback.
    “At this point in time, getting public input is the most important thing for this plan,” he said. “It is our primary focus. This is the long-term vision of our community, including what we should foster, and what we should prevent.”
    Comprehensive plans serve as advisory documents to guide planning and growth.
    Hofman said the Sun Valley Opera House has a 300-person occupancy limit, and he is hoping for the turnout to come close to that figure. Hofman said there is no set limit for the number of meetings to take public input and the city will plan as many meetings as it deems necessary.
    According to Hofman, the process of receiving public feedback marks the beginning of a three-phase process to finish updating the plan. After the public input helps the Steering Committee make recommendations, those recommendations are passed along to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Following the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendations, which take the public’s input into consideration, the City Council then has the ability to request more public hearings before taking formal action.
There has been no set deadline for when the plan must be officially updated. Hofman said he hopes to see it finalized sometime in 2014. He said he wants to see input that is reflective of the public sentiment as a community to make the right long-term decisions going forward.
    Hofman also noted why he believes this is the best time of year to reach out to the public for input.
    “Right now, we’re at the height of summer where more people are here, so it’s the ideal time to receive public feedback,” he said. “The best time of year is in August.”
    The comprehensive plan was first created in 1978, was first updated in 1994, followed by its most recent update in 2005.

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