"Always plan. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark." —Richard C. Cushing
Over the years we see many plans come and go. Most plans are undertaken to achieve a specific purpose. Although the reasons for embarking on a planning exercise are usually credible, too many times long-term plans are put on the shelf to gather dust.
One of the most important planning exercises the City embarks upon is the process to rewrite our Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan takes a look at our past, our current position and where we want to be in the future. With the changes we’ve seen in the area over the last several years, you can rest assured that those you’ll see in the future will be even more dramatic. The Council’s recent discussion of the new land development code-which will be utilized in the Heart of Peoria plan area-will lead to amendments to our current Comprehensive Plan. These form-based codes establish form districts which will reflect New Urban principles in the 8,000 acres that make up the Heart of Peoria Plan area. Mind you, the Heart of Peoria Plan area is only a partial plan for about a quarter of the city and a subset of our total Comprehensive Plan.
I bring this to your attention because we are getting ready to begin the process of rewriting our Comprehensive Plan and we want YOU to participate in this major planning effort. We need input from the entire community in order for the new plan to be successful. A current Comprehensive Plan allows us to guide growth and exercise control through zoning and land use. Our Planning Department has already established a very thorough schedule which includes workshops and meetings throughout 2007 to assist us in making this effort successful.
“Strategic planning will help you fully uncover your available options, set priorities for them, and define the methods to achieve them.” —Robert J. McKain
It is estimated that more than 500 people in the community participated in the Ferrell Madden charrettes, thanks to the efforts of the Heart of Peoria Commission and the City Planning staff. This included interested citizens, business owners, elected officials, city staff, commissioners and others. I believe one of the reasons the charrettes were so successful was because of the wide assortment of interested parties who participated in the process. Differing viewpoints and a lot of good questions made the exercise more productive and helped achieve a sense of buy-in by those who participated.
If you are interested in working on the new Comprehensive Plan that will guide our growth efforts in the next 10+ years, I urge you to participate in the workshops and meetings beginning May 3. There are at least 18 workshops scheduled between now and the end of the year. If you miss the first one, there will be many more opportunities to get involved. If you have questions or would like to see a schedule of dates for the workshops and hearings, you can call our Planning Department at 494-8600 or check out the City website at www.ci.peoria.il.us.
I would like to thank our Planning Commission and its chairman, Ray Lees, and our Planning Department and Director Pat Landes and her staff for putting a structure in place to insure maximum feedback from everyone interested in participating in the development of our new Comprehensive Plan. I hope you will take part in setting the course for our future.
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” —Jim Rohn