The city speaks: A vision for the future of Marshfield
Checking in on the Comprehensive Planning process
By Josh Miller
Marshfield City Planner
Have you ever looked at a vacant lot and imagined what could be built there or watched a construction site and wondered why they decided to build in that location?
Well, development does not happen overnight and can take years of planning. Ultimately, it is the city’s responsibility to identify what areas of the community can be developed and what type of future land uses are suitable in a given location so when new or infill development takes place, the city is prepared. The Comprehensive Plan is the primary document that provides guidance when making those decisions.
Although the market is often the initial driving force when it comes to where new commercial construction will develop or what style of housing will be constructed, the Comprehensive Plan still provides the framework for granting approvals and making decisions such as approving a rezoning request, reviewing a site plan for a large-scale development, or issuing a conditional use permit.
The city is about midway through the update to the Comprehensive Plan. To date, a number of public participation activities have already taken place, providing great feedback to staff and public officials. Public events so far include a kickoff meeting that was held in January, a resident survey was sent out this past winter with the results presented to the Common Council in June, and presentations and forums were held with local organizations this past spring. All these events, including additional opportunities yet to take place, are an effort to get the public’s opinion on the issues facing residents today and the vision they have for the future of Marshfield.
The next event will be a midreport town hall meeting to discuss issues and opportunities as well as provide a forum to discuss any of the public feedback collected to date. That meeting will tentatively be held in September. Details will be available on the city’s website once the meeting is set.
A draft of the Existing Conditions Report has recently been completed and is available on the city’s website. In addition to that report, a number of other materials are available for review, including the public participation plan, a summary from the kickoff meeting, and the results from the resident survey. To view this information, provide feedback, and keep up on other materials available throughout the Comprehensive Planning process, please visit the following website: ci.marshfield.wi.us/departments/development_services/comprehensive_plan_update.php.
Now that most of the required background information has been collected, reviewed, and put together, it is time to start crafting the goals, objectives, and policies for the next 10-20 years. The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee will be meeting monthly over the next eight to 10 months to discuss and oversee the development of those draft goals, objectives, and policies. The meetings are typically held on the second or third Thursday of the month at 3 p.m. at City Hall, and the public is welcome to attend. Check the city website for meeting agendas. An open house and public hearing is tentatively scheduled for late spring in 2017 with a final adoption in the summer.
Marshfield is a great community, and we want to make it even better by having interested people involved in the planning process. If you would like to be on the email list to be notified directly of upcoming meetings and events related to the development of the Comprehensive Plan, or if you have an interest in being involved in the planning process and want to share your ideas, feel free to contact Josh Miller at 715-486-2075 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.