DeWitt outlines comprehensive development plan

DeWitt’s Comprehensive Development Plan is designed to be “the master plan for the city.” The plan covers several serious topics in its review this year is what areas within the city limits of DeWitt to begin developing.

The review every few years of a town’s plan is required by state law. The goal of the plan’s review is to determine if any changes in the town’s economic or real estate development is needed.

There are some changes that need to be made to the plan so that it can become more up-to-date than its last review. The Comprehensive Development Plan is proactive in nature; it assesses the current state of the city so that appropriate updates can be implemented.

“The plan is the city’s guide to future growth and development. The plan is reviewed every five years to make sure the goal of the plan is still on line with the city; it keeps pace with changes and reflects what the city is currently looking for. It’s not a new thing, it is reviewed for updates,” said city clerk Denice Smith.

This required review of the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan is not free. In many cases a town will have to call in a consultant which costs more money than that town may want to spend.

DeWitt’s City Council voted to pay for the review of the plan; however, they voted against paying extra for a financial and development consultant.

“The planning commission suspects that the cost of reviewing the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan will cost about $30,000,” said city administrator Brian Vick, “The city council did not approve of a separate contract with a consultant which would have cost much more.”

The city’s planning commission meets once a month. During the meetings they discuss a course of action, their revisions and their focus for the Comprehensive Development Plan. “The DeWitt community is divided into different zones. The planning commission will go through the zones and determine if changes are needed. We are going to focus on the farm property at DeWitt and Herbison [roads]; as well as how the downtown area is addressed for future development,” said Vick.

“We try to have it reflect the best interests of the landowners and the city,” said Smith, “so that everyone involved is getting a voice in their areas.”

The citizens of DeWitt are integral part of the success of the reviewed plan. All of the information in the plan is open for the residents of DeWitt to critique. Vick said that the planning commission has to follow the legal procedures for informing the public about the revisions as well as the community voicing their opinions.

The considerations for the revisions of the plan that have been discussed since the September 27 council meeting are: donation of land to the library and the YMCA, downtown area parking issues, ways to fund the plan, the general public’s voice as well as any other new policies.

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