Fourth meeting on downtown master plan scheduled

3/27/2013

By SCOTT AUST

By SCOTT AUST

saust@gctelegram.com

To make sure all who are interested have ample opportunity to provide input, Garden City's community development department has scheduled a fourth meeting to discuss the downtown master plan.

"We had some discussion after the last meeting and folks felt like concerns weren't addressed to the level they would have liked," Sam Henderson, city planner, said. "We want to make sure this plan is done right. It's going to be the master plan, so we're not in any rush to get it done."

The fourth meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. April 9 in the meeting room on the second floor of the City Administrative Center, 301 N. Eighth St.

The master plan is intended to guide improvements or enhancements that will help attract more business and general activity to downtown.

Ideas that have been talked about during past public meetings have been reconfiguring Main Street to three lanes, making some streets one-way, improving street maintenance, traffic signals, creating space for sculpture and art, altering the pedestrian "bump outs" that extend into intersections, and whether to repair or replace some of the brick streets.

Three other public hearings were held Jan. 22, Feb. 5 and March 12 to gather input from property and business owners in and around the central business district that city staff will then use to prepare the master plan.

Eventually, a document will be prepared based on all the input gathered that will be presented first to the planning commission for discussion. From there, the master plan would go to the city commission for discussion and possible decision on prioritizing potential improvements in the plan for placement into the city's capital improvement plan.

At the last public meeting, the May 16 planning commission was identified as the next step for the proposed plan. Henderson said there's no hurry to get the plan finished and in the hands of the commission.

"We want to make sure it's done to everyone's satisfaction, or at least to the satisfaction of as many people as we possibly can," he said. "That's why we decided to add more meetings. And whether or not we can get it to the commission for review in May remains to be seen. That's not a hard deadline."

Henderson said it's possible more public meetings may be scheduled to ensure as many concerns are resolved before the plan is ready for the next step.

The goal of the fourth meeting is to get additional input from all concerned citizens, including those in the downtown area and its immediate surroundings, about the character of the downtown area, Main Street and residential areas within the downtown, or any other topics people would like to discuss.

"We basically want to know what people want to see," Henderson said. "We're not looking for anything specific. We're not trying to steer it at all. Some folks felt they weren't being heard to the level they want, and so we're just making sure we have some extra meetings to make sure people have a chance to express how they feel."

The city urges people to submit drawings, pictures and any other proposals or visions about what the downtown should be or what it should look like to roberto.becerril@gardencityks.us, or bring them to the April 9 meeting.

People with questions or concerns also may contact the planning and community development department at 276-1170.

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