By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield’s Comprehensive Plan sets the framework for city planning and zoning regulations, making the vision for the future as black and white as possible while creating a flexible structure.
The implementation of the plan should allow consistency in decision making and permit enough room to adjust to changing circumstances over a 10-year period of time, when the next major revision will be.
“From the land use to the transportation to the housing, we looked at ways to have it provide guidance yet allow flexibility where it is not so rigid that you can’t allow the government to make decisions as new situations come up,” said Marshfield City Planner Josh Miller. “You can always amend it, but it’s a pain. It’s a tedious process.”
In the recently released draft of the updated Comprehensive Plan, the implementation section recommends following a more frequent procedure to update the plan.
“I wanted the plan to provide a clearer implementation process,” added Miller. “I think that one of the recommendations in there is to have an implementation committee developed. … How I envision it is to be kind of the guidance for staff and for the council as to what elements or what recommendations or policies should be addressed next.”
He added, “In the comp. plan, if you look at the last chapter, the last 30 pages of the comp. plan is the implementation table, and that is really the meat of the plan that provides guidance as to what we are going to do next or what we are trying to achieve or how we are trying to implement the comp. plan.
“It takes all of the policies and recommendations and puts them into a chapter, identifies a time frame — short term, medium term, long term — in getting those things done, and then identifies partners. ‘So who should be involved in this stage of the implementation, and then what elements are affected by it?’”
“The land use is changing a bit,” explained Miller. “We are providing a little more flexibility in some of the future land use categories. We’re providing a little more flexibility in the narrative, so it is not saying, ‘Well, it either has to be housing, or it has to be this.’
“In some of the cases, it can be more office park style, but in these areas it can be more retail. So along the business corridors, it makes sense to have customers come, being able to access that business. Versus if it is more light industrial, it’s more truck traffic and not customer-based.
“Even though it is one district, it still provides (opportunity).”
A draft of the Comprehensive Plan was released in April to allow community members to offer feedback to the city.
“We wanted to get a draft out so people could take a look,” explained Miller. “I’ve gotten some feedback or comments that will be incorporated into the next draft or any updated or amended versions of the draft, … nothing significant, just some minors corrections or things like that.”
“There is still plenty of time for comment,” said Miller. “We have two public hearings lined up: one with the Plan Commission, which is the initial public hearing that’s not required by statute, but we had recommended doing so in our public participation plan. … The second one is the formal one required by statute with the common council, and that will take place in June.”
Hard copies of the Comprehensive Plan draft are available in the Marshfield City Clerk’s office or at the Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library. An electronic copy is available at this link.
Comments on the draft should be directed to Josh Miller at 715-486-2075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
City holding Comprehensive Plan open house May 16
By Josh Miller
MARSHFIELD — The city is interested in public input regarding the Comprehensive Plan. The plan is nearing completion, and there are only a couple of opportunities left for public comment.
An open house will be held on May 16 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the first floor conference room of City Hall (630 S. Central Ave.) for the public to view and comment on the draft plan. Maps and information from the Comprehensive Plan will be available for review.
An overview presentation of the Comprehensive Plan will be given around 5:30 p.m. The same presentation will then be given at the Plan Commission meeting held at 7 p.m. and will include a public comment period dedicated to comments on the Comprehensive Plan.
To view the latest draft ahead of time, click on any of the chapters or the full plan at ci.marshfield.wi.us/departments/development_services/comprehensive_plan_update.php.
If you have any questions or are unable to attend the meeting and would like to share your thoughts regarding the draft plan, contact Josh Miller at email@example.com or 715-486-2075.