Hudson -- Council May 21 unanimously approved a $99,880 contract with a consulting firm to begin work on the city's comprehensive plan.
The city staff recommended the firm of Houseal Lavigne Associates of Chicago to prepare the plan, which will include Downtown Phase II, the development of land adjacent to First & Main, which was Phase I.
Houseal Lavigne Associates is a professional consulting firm specializing in all aspects of urban planning and community development.
Six firms submitted proposals by the April 10 deadline and included Houseal Lavigne; Downtown Again of Ft. Wayne, Indiana; D.B. Hartt, a division of CT Consultants of Mentor; OHM Advisors of Gahanna; MKSK of Columbus; and Peter J. Smith and Co. Inc. of Buffalo.
The city's charter required an update to the Comprehensive Plan to be initiated in 2014. The plan will take about a year to complete.
The Downtown Phase II plan will include land use and development; community facilities and infrastructure; transportation, mobility and connectivity including connections to First & Main and historic downtown areas; and economic development for downtown.
The Downtown Phase II ad hoc committee met April 28 and will be part of the Comprehensive Plan along with the Comprehensive Plan ad hoc committee and city staff.
Houseal Lavigne Associates proposes seven steps in its process and includes an initial workshop with all participating groups.
Throughout the year the firm will reach out to the community with workshops, questionnaires, a website, interviews and meetings.
In the first four or five months Houseal Lavigne will analyze existing conditions in the community through city studies, plans and reports; its zoning and development controls; demographic and marketing overview; existing land use and development; community facilities; transportation, mobility and connectivity; environment, recreation and open space. They will create a report and review it with the two ad hoc committees.
During a three-month period, the firm will create a community vision, goals and objectives and prepare a vision statement.
Toward the end of the year, the firm will look at community-wide plans and policies for the future.
And finally, the firm will present a document for staff and ad hoc committee review.
The city will have a community open house to answer questions.
Then the Planning Commission would review the final Comprehensive Plan with a public hearing before Council votes to approve it sometime in the spring of 2015.
Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing