Franklin County’s updated master plan will be reviewed and picked over by members of the planning and zoning commission as that board gets its first official view of the document that has taken years to put together.
The planners are scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17, in the second floor commission chambers of the Franklin County Government Center in Union. The plan is the only item on the agenda.
The county planning and zoning department is requesting the county planners review the proposed document and make a recommendation to the Franklin County Commission. The planners have the option to leave the plan as is or make any changes they deem appropriate. The county commission has final say.
“This meeting will be the first time the planning and zoning commission will see what the master plan will look like in its entirety,” county senior planner Scottie Eagan told The Missourian earlier this week.
Eagan also said the document now is called the Franklin County Master Plan instead of the Comprehensive Plan 2020.
The plan has been in development since 2009.
More than two years ago, county officials conducted open house forums at five locations around the county to seek input for the plan. Included in that process was a survey of county residents, which generated more than 1,700 responses.
In that survey, the majority of residents rated the quality of life as “good” or “excellent.”
The majority of respondents also said the county should offer more public transportation options, establish a countywide parks program and extend water and sewer systems to areas that lack the services, but only a third said the county should fund those services with additional taxes or fees on residents.
According to presentation material used at the open houses, the comprehensive plan was supposed to be finalized sometime in late 2010.
Eagan said that hasn’t happened, however, and the county is no longer using a contractor to complete the plan.
The county’s current master plan was adopted in 2002.
According to language in the plan, its purpose is to “plan and prepare for the future, building on an awareness of what has happened in the past.
“Franklin County continues to grow, and the demographic makeup and economic characteristics of the county continue to change. As characteristics change, the needs of Franklin County residents also change. This plan builds on Franklin County’s past while also acknowledging the future needs.”
It continues by stating that “the mission of master planning in Franklin County is to provide for the orderly growth and development of Franklin County.”
The document then lists six areas of focus: land use; transportation; stormwater, which includes streams, wetlands and floodplains; utilities; solid waste management; and economic development. The plan includes summaries, goals and objectives for each area as well as an overview of existing conditions.
The second part of the plan includes an implementation strategy that continues to focus on the six separate areas. Goals again are listed with specific strategies included on how each goal can be reached.
“I feel this is a well written plan that couldn’t have been complete without all the hard work of those involved,” Eagan said. “It has been a long time coming, about three years in the making, and we are very excited to finally have a final draft to present to the planning and zoning commission.”