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Hudson City Council names residents to Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published: July 23, 2014 12:00 AM

Hudson -- Council named six residents July 16 to the 2014 Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee.

Council members said a large number of residents applied and they interviewed 13 of the 14 applicants. (One resident withdrew his application.)

The six residents on the steering committee include George Bigham, Merry Lee Carr, Jan Gusich, Scott Schmitt, MD, Don Tharp and Allen Wass.

Every 10 years, the city forms the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee to review the Comprehensive Plan for possible changes and make recommendations for updates to policies, strategies and implementation actions. The committee will work in conjunction with the Downtown Phase II Committee and consultant Houseal Lavigne Associates.

Mayor William Currin said the city has strived to be proactive instead of reactive and that requires setting goals in a comprehensive plan.

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"We need to establish a vision for the town of who we are, where we are and where we're going," Currin said. "It's a community-based comprehensive plan so its important to have community members who have the skills, forethought, desire and time to participate in this. It's crucial we continue our efforts of good planning, efficiency, better delivery of services and the best and lowest costs which our citizen expect and deserve in a fiscally responsible manner."

Council President Hal DeSaussure and member Alex Kelemen will serve as liaison to the steering committee. Dave Zuro will represent the Board of Education and Community Development Director Mark Richardson will represent the city.

Other representatives, who haven't been chosen, will be from the Hudson Heritage Association, the Economic Growth Board, the Chamber of Commerce, the Park Board, the Architectural and Historic Board of Review, the Planning Commission; and the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals.

Council May 21 unanimously approved a $99,880 contract with 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.

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Members of the committee must have been Hudson residents for at least two years and could work on the plan for about a year. 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.

Afterward, the city will have a community open house to answer questions.

Then the Planning Commission will review the final Comprehensive Plan with a public hearing before Council votes whether to approve it sometime in the spring of 2015.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

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