County narrowing down strategy for updating Comprehensive Plan.
The Cass County Planning Commission and the Cass County Board of Commissioners have each held independent meetings since the two bodies sat down together several weeks ago and first talked about updating the current Comprehensive Plan which was adopted in 1998.
The Cassgram reports the according to the (pending) minutes of the Planning Commission meeting in February, after much informal discussion the commission did not want to recommend the county hire an outside firm. The commission would like the opportunity to look at the Comprehensive Plan utilizing in-house sources. There are several updates that can be done in-house.
The county board met this week and liked some of what the planning commission was thinking—specifically in-house zoning regulation updates and rewrites—but thinks the overall Comprehensive Plan is going to need the direction of a professional firm.
“I like that the planning commission is trying to save the county money,” said District 3 Commissioner Jim Peterson, “but I don’t think (in-house updating) is enough.” Peterson proposed putting a request for proposals out to qualified engineering firms to get the cost of Comprehensive Plan updates beyond what the county can accomplish on its own.
District 4 Commissioner Dan Henry pointed out that the City of Louisville is updating its Comprehensive Plan and was able to secure grant money to help with the cost. Henry said money spent on a Comprehensive Plan update should be viewed as “investing.”
Knowing that the Comprehensive Plan update will be a long-term endeavor, county board members did not take any formal action but agreed to say it is the consensus of the board that it is “leaning toward a professional firm” for assistance with the update.