Comprehensive Plan Update
What is a Comprehensive Plan and Why Does it Need Updating?
A comprehensive plan is a long-range guide for city development. The plan may address any issues that the community wants it to, but typically would focus on land use, transportation, parks, economic development, natural resources and utilities. The comprehensive plan forms the basis for a City's zoning ordinance, subdivision ordinance, and some of its spending. Comprehensive plans are most effective if they are reviewed and updated at least once every 10 years.
Big Lake’s current plan was adopted in 1999 and is considered outdated. Many factors have changed since 1999 and residents and policymakers may now have a different perspective on the future of the city. Smaller plans relating to specific topics have been prepared in the years since 1999, such as the park system master plan and several strategic plans, but the comprehensive plan update is an opportunity to look at everything together.
Draft of Comprehensive Plan is Complete
Throughout 2017 and early 2018, City Staff and a consultant team from Weber Community Planning worked with a steering committee of 28 community members to update the City's long-range comprehensive plan.
In addition to the steering committee's involvement, the update process involved an extensive amount of community engagement including:
- Interviews with community leaders
- Social media engagement on the City's Facebook page during the summer of 2017
- Coffee with the Mayor events
- Surveys given to seniors, high school students, food shelf customers, Chamber of Commerce member businesses
- Booth at Big Lake Business Expo
- Updates given in the City newsletter with invitations to provide comment
The Steering Committee had their final meeting on Monday, March 26th, 2018. A draft of the plan is being made available to the general public for a comment period before the Planning Commission and City Council take action on it later this summer.
The City will be hosting two open houses where the public can learn more about the draft of the new comprehensive plan, ask questions, and provide feedback. The open houses will be held in the City Council Chambers at Big Lake City Hall on the following dates:
10:00 AM- 12:00 PM Saturday, April 28th, 2018
4:30 PM- 7:30 PM Tuesday, May 1st, 2018
Following the open houses, the Planning Commission will hold a formal public hearing to solicit feedback from the community. This is expected to take place in early June 2018. The Planning Commission will make a formal recommendation to the City Council regarding the proposed plan. They can recommend approval of the plan as written or they can request revisions.
The City Council will also hold a formal public hearing on the plan, likely at a meeting in July 2018. They will receive the Planning Commission's recommendation and can choose to either approve the plan as written or request revisions prior to adoption. The new plan will not become an official City policy document until it has been formally approved by the City Council.