Post-it notes comments on city’s comprhensive plan are being collected

Published 1:58 pm Thursday, October 9, 2008

This week citizens and visitors to the City of Picayune have an opportunity to have their voice heard, in the form of Post-It notes.

As part of the formation of a Comprehensive Plan to direct the city toward its future in the next decades, citizen comments and suggestions will be collected at the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library on Goodyear Boulevard.

Neel Schaffer planner Patricia Brantley said the first such meeting took place in September, but with Hurricane Gustav passing through the county, people may have gotten sidetracked.

Neel Schaffer was contracted by the city to develop the comprehensive plan utilizing grant funds.

Citizens now have another chance to share their thoughts and ideas when visiting to the library. Comments will be collected from 1 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.

Ideas and suggestions collected during this time will be used to develop a vision of where the city should proceed into the next couple of decades. Not only will the comprehensive plan use comments from the citizens but comments and ideas also also are being solicited from city departments on where people in those departments would like to see the city progress in the future.

Topics on which people can express their ideas and comments include, infrastructure, the downtown district, parks and recreation, and education.

Brantley said there are always areas in a city that can be used to improve the tax base, such as recycling closed down shopping centers or old buildings. Such buildings can be renovated and used again to provide more business.

“Your small business owners are sometimes the backbone of your tax base,” Brantley said.

The development of the comprehensive plan will lead to a land development code, which could set forth such regulations as the amount of green space each business would have to maintain on its property.

After all the comments and ideas have been submitted, the information will be consolidated and printed. Anyone who has submitted a comment and provided an email address will receive correspondence notifying him or her of where to obtain a copy.

If for some reason a person cannot stop by the library, mail-in forms can be picked up at the library or at city hall. The forms can be filled out with the comments and ideas at the citizen’s convenience and mailed in before Nov. 1.

At about lunch time on Wednesday, only about 10 people had stopped into the library to share their ideas and comments. Some notable comments at the time included a need for low income housing, increased noise pollution control, better street and infrastructure maintenance, a recycling program, passage of a liquor law so high-end restaurants will build in the city, more focus on academics rather than sports in schools, more qualified teachers, better doctors and more specialists, increased graduation rate and more recreational activities such as a skate park, affordable swimming pool and better restroom at parks.

A draft of the findings will be turned into the city on Dec. 5. That draft will go before the Planning Commission at its first meeting in January before it is presented to the city council.