Planning for the future

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
Britt Palmberg talks about how the planning process will work Tuesday at the Garden City Administrative Center during a comprehensive planning meeting for Garden City and the downtown area. Palmberg is a principal community planner with Rick Engeneering Company, Centennial, Colo.

What will Garden City look like 10, 20, 40 years from now?

That question was on everyone's minds at a public meeting for the Garden City Comprehensive Plan and Downtown Plan Tuesday at the City Administration Center.

Britt Palmberg, principal community planner with Rick Engineering Company, the city's consultants for their Comprehensive Plan and the Downtown Plan, said the purpose of the meeting Tuesday was to get input from the community on what they want Garden City and the downtown to look like 10-20 years in the future.

The project, an update to the plans from 2013, was kicked-off in December and they've been gathering information on the conditions of Garden City, kind of a community assessment of where the city is now and how it compares to other communities, both the pros and the cons, Palmberg said.

"All the input's going to really inform ... it's going to help us really come back later on this spring with a series of alternatives or different major choices for the community in terms of it's overall comprehensive plan where it plans for the future and also to plan for downtown here in Garden City," he said.

Those attending the comprehensive plan meeting Tuesday, as well as those attending online, broke in to small groups to brainstorm ideas about Garden City.

Palmberg said this summer they'll work on the preferred direction of the plan and then in fall they'll come back and address the community and gather feedback on all of the input and information they've received to define the major, overall direction the community and the downtown is going to take in the next 10-20 years.

In the late fall, or early winter, the plans will be finalized and will be up for adoption by the Garden City Planning Commission and the Garden City Commission.

"Your input ... is important for really framing the overall vision for where Garden City goes in the future," he said.

Palmberg said the main topics that go into the Comprehensive Plan include parks and recreation, where future development may go, housing and transportation in regards to roads, sidewalks and trails.

In the Downtown Plan main topics include street improvements, further commercial and residential development, economic development and additional gathering places, events and activities, Palmberg said.

Some of the ideas generated for both the Comprehensive Plan and the Downtown Plan at the meeting include: 

  • Updated senior center
  • Expanded music options downtown
  • Increased downtown incentives to fill in the blank spaces
  • More diverse restaurants
  • Increased nightlife, more things to do after 6 p.m.
  • Moving the burn pit by the river back to park on South Main
  • More locally owned, diverse businesses
  • Displays of the diversity in the community

To give share thoughts and ideas for both plans a community survey is available at surveymonkey.com/r/GrowGardenCity.