Quincy Plan Commission to review city's comprehensive plan update

Posted: Feb. 11, 2013 10:27 am Updated: Mar. 4, 2013 12:15 pm

Herald-Whig Senior Writer

Quincy Plan Commission members will review an upgraded draft of the city's comprehensive plan Tuesday night and may send it to the City Council for final adoption.

"This is a culmination of 20 years of work," said Chuck Bevelheimer, director of the Department of Planning and Development.

The final product benefits from 12 public meetings held around the city during the past decade. Feedback from neighbors in each of those 12 neighborhoods will help guide future action by the Plan Commission and City Council.

Alderman Dave Bauer, D-2, has been on the Plan Commission for six years and on the council for nearly eight years. Bauer said officials seek public input when projects come up for review. The comprehensive plan will give them some sense of neighborhood preferences.

"When they had the neighborhood meetings they got people's opinion on what they want to see in some areas" as well as what they don't want to see, Bauer said.

Bevelheimer does not think the comprehensive plan will take the place of public hearings or individual feedback. But it will give a strong indication of how neighbors felt about certain zoning or land use issues.

"All the public input ... generates a product that should be helpful in guiding future land use decisions," Bevelheimer said.

Other members of the Plan Commission said the document also can serve as a guide for developers and builders about needs in different parts of the city.

"As times change, it's important that we revisit the comprehensive plan to make any changes that might be necessary," said Commission Chairman Julie Brink.

Bevelheimer said the city's first comprehensive plan was adopted in 1986. It is not the only document that guides development. In 1995, the city adopted a downtown revitalization plan. In 1997, the council adopted a Broadway corridor land use and access plan.

By the time city staff members started working on the comprehensive plan, they were updating a 1986 document that was outdated.

"From input at these 12 neighborhood meetings we were able to draft a future land use map, based on their input. On top of that we put together a community profile of demographic information from the 2010 Census, and of course we looked at the 1980, 1990 and 2000, to give us the demographic trends. We were able to make projections from that data," Bevelheimer said.

Armed with that historic data, public sentiment and other information, Bevelheimer said officials can better manage a growing community.

"The master plan contains existing land use and future land use and they can use that document to help them make a decision on how development should occur in the city in the future," Bevelheimer said.