The steering committee helping to develop Washington’s new comprehensive plan this week discussed some of the plan’s draft goals.
The committee met Tuesday afternoon, April 24, at city hall with Dan Lang, of the Lang Gang Inc., the consultant hired to develop the plan.
Based on feedback received from a public input visioning meeting held Feb. 28 plus his own experience with past plans, Lang drafted about 21 goals for three of the six focus topics to be addressed in the plan.
At the public meeting, attendees gave their input on transportation/other infrastructure, economic development, land use, civic improvement, parks/recreation/open space, and aesthetics.
Tuesday, the committee discussed draft goals for aesthetics, civic improvement and land use.
At their next meeting Tuesday, May 15, committee members will consider draft goals for the other three focus topics.
According to Lang, there will be about three to five objectives listed in the plan to achieve each goal.
These goals are not final and will be voted on informally by the public at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 6, from 6-8 p.m. at the Washington Senior Center.
The public will assign a relative importance to each goal, Lang noted, as well as provide goals not listed.
Lang initially recommended the public informally vote on large boards that list the goals, but a large majority of the committee thought the public may vote based on a “herd mentality,” meaning they will vote for what they see others vote for.
Lang and the committee agreed to have the public vote informally on individual sheets, but Lang said there will be less interaction that way.
The steering committee was invited to the June 6 meeting so that members can answer questions from participants about the goals.
Lang said it should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes for each participant to vote and participants can come and go as they please.
After much discussion, the committee agreed to the wordings for the following draft goals.
• Focus the city of Washington code enforcement efforts on improving the appearance of the community.
• Continue to focus on the aesthetics of Downtown Washington.
• Support the preservation and enhancement of the city’s historic structures.
• Expand the city’s uniform signage program welcoming visitors to the city of Washington.
• Review the type and appropriate use of building materials and their applicability to different areas within the community.
• Incorporate visual enhancement strategies throughout the city of Washington.
• Continue to provide governmental services in a manner which maximizes public benefit while minimizing public expenditures.
• Seek cost-effective strategies which utilize technology to improve governmental services.
• Develop cooperative approaches with other public and quasi-public institutions and agencies to provide enhanced services to the residents of the community.
• Attract and retain professionally qualified city employees with high ethical standards and enhanced customer service skills.
• Encourage ongoing community support and involvement through implementation of a comprehensive plan.
• Work toward enhanced development of the riverfront.
• Expand the environmental programs and services available throughout the community.
• Create provisions to encourage entry-level residences within the community.
• Maintain an appropriate balance in the amount and placement of principal land use categories (open space, residential, commercial, industrial and office).
• Develop strategies to strengthen and support Downtown Washington.
• Manage the conflicting interests of agricultural versus urban land uses.
• Develop an effective growth management strategy for both inside and outside the city limits of Washington.
• Evaluate commercial growth throughout the city and manage that growth to benefit the community.
• Evaluate and determine the needs for life-cycle housing, where a person stays in the community but moves to different types of residences based on their needs at various times during their lives.
• Evaluate specific land use activities and encourage or discourage those which benefit the citizenry.
The committee also was given a draft copy of the existing conditions report to review for accuracy.
Members were given until May 15 to provide any changes to that report. City staff has already reviewed it.