Various topics covered during final workshop on city’s master plan |

Various topics covered during final workshop on city’s master plan

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The city’s long-term blueprint for growth was the focus of a final public workshop Monday evening with members of the Planning Commission at the community center.

Commissioner Mark Kimbrough asked why gaming, a “sensitive subject,” wasn’t discussed in a lengthy fashion somewhere in the document. Some residents are worried about it “popping up all over town,” he said.

“It just seems somebody would have talked about how gaming fits in our community,” Kimbrough said.

“At some point, our community will have to have that conversation,” said Joe McCarthy, the city’s development and redevelopment manager.

Now, however, it’s unlikely there will be many more new gambling businesses opening in the near future. The requirement that new gaming facilities to also include 100 lodging units should slow the number and pace of start-ups, McCarthy said.

Commissioners Craig Mullet and Bill Vance would like the document to put greater emphasis on energy efficiency in buildings. Vance suggested using stronger wording than “encourage” to foster improvement.

Lee Plemel, principal planner, suggested more than a mere word change in the planning document would be necessary to enable that type of thing. The creation of incentives for builders and developers, or an ordinance, would be a more effective route.

“When I’m building my house,” said resident Dave Campbell. “If I want to do something dumb, I should be able to do it.”

Campbell also wanted to ensure that clear land near Bennett Avenue and Gentry Lane stayed open. He was told, however, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management property probably couldn’t be designated as open space.

Mullet also wondered whether the term “affordable” was appropriate for housing-price descriptions in the document. He preferred terms such as “entry-level” or “work force.”

One resident, Russ Carpenter, was against this idea because “it would put a stigma on it,” he said.

“This is a document, we think, really close to adoption,” Plemel said of the Comprehensive Master Plan. It is “really coming together.”

The Comprehensive Master Plan and the other documents that together comprise Envision – Parks and Recreation Master Plan and Unified Pathways Master Plan – are scheduled to go before the Planning Commission for recommendation on March 27.

An adoption hearing by the Board of Supervisors is expected in April.

— Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.