City begins next phase of general plan update
by Laura Haley≤br≥≤i≥contributing writer≤/i≥
Oct 11, 2012 | 2729 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Moab city staff members are gearing up to begin the next phase of the update process for the Moab City General Plan. Small groups comprised of local residents with specific interest or expertise will participate in a series of three topic forums to be held next week.

The current draft of the city’s general plan was adopted in 2002, according to city staff. However, there have been small updates since that time. Utah law requires that cities have and maintain a long-range plan that will help guide city leaders in identifying present and future needs for the community. The law requires that general plans be updated every seven to 10 years.

Members of Moab city staff and SE Group, a consulting firm that the city hired to help with the planning and implementation of the plan, began the process of gathering input on the general plan in August. The process started with an open house and two sounding board sessions designed to acquire public input about the plan.

According to Moab City Planning Director Jeff Reinhart, the three forums scheduled for next week will cover topics that arose as common themes in the feedback gathered during the first several meetings. Those topics will be: neighborhoods, economic development and transportation.

In an effort to keep the forums smaller, the staff has selected residents who showed a particular interest or expertise in one of the listed areas, said Reinhart. Reinhart said the city and consulting firm are trying to keep the groups at around 12 to 14 participants.

According to Moab City Zoning Administrator Sommar Johnson, one of the common themes that came up during those sessions was the concept of neighborhoods.

“Not only did we hear about “Old Moab,” but several other [issues] such as mobile home parks, multi-family affordable housing neighborhoods, and traditional single-family areas,” Johnson said.

Because of the vast degree of interest in the neighborhood concept, it has been chosen as the topic of a forum that will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 16, city officials said.

“This topic forum [will] be aimed at getting stronger understanding of neighborhood definitions in Moab,” Johnson said. “Not only where they are and their ‘boundaries’, but also the role they play in providing a variety of housing options, what makes them unique and desirable to their residents, and what could potentially be improved in the future.”

Information from the three upcoming forums will be taken into consideration along with the previously collected data. The next community-wide public meeting regarding the update will be held on Nov. 8.

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