Council Votes to Maintain Urban Services Boundary
The final vote by the Council on the Goals & Objectives took place last evening. I am very happy to report that the Council unanimously voted to approve the Planning Commission’s Goals & Objectives, including no expansion of the Urban Services Boundary!
Despite the previous attempt by seven Councilmembers on November 7th to approve an amendment that would have allowed for expansion at any time, the Council ultimately voted to do the right thing for our community. There is no doubt that your outreach was the key to ensuring this strong outcome. Your voice truly matters–thank you for sharing your voice and for your commitment to our community!
If you have an opportunity, please thank the Councilmembers for their support. Contact information is provided below.
There were amendments to the Goals & Objectives that were intended to clarify, not alter, the intent of the Planning Commission’s recommendations. We do our best to provide an explanation below, along with next steps in the 2018 Comp Plan process.
This has been a very long and arduous process. Working together, we were successful on the Goals & Objectives. However, as explained below, we face great challenges as the process continues. Our work is more important than ever, and we cannot do it without you!
Moving forward, we will provide regular updates in a quarterly email newsletter. For more up-to-date information, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep watching our website (new website to launch in early 2018!).
Thank you so much for your support and passion for smart growth! We look forward to continuing to work together to advance our common goal of innovatively growing our city and promoting our farms.
COUNCIL AMENDMENTS TO THE GOALS & OBJECTIVES
There were three amendments made to the Goals & Objectives. The amendments were meant to clarify the process and intent of the G&Os, and not make substantive changes. However, we do have some concerns as expressed below.
For your information, the Goals & Objectives as passed by the Planning Commission and the amendments as approved by Council are attached here:
The first amendment was made to the “Preamble” by CM Kathy Plomin (12th District). The amendment makes clear that the Planning Commission may recommend to the Council amendments to the Goals & Objectives in between updates to the Comprehensive Plan. This amendment simply states a fact. The Comprehensive Plan is required by state statute to be updated every five years. While major amendments to the Goals & Objectives do not typically occur in between Comp Plan updates, amendments can be made and sometimes are made, such as when small area plans are adopted.
The second amendment was proposed by CM Angela Evans (6th District) and Jennifer Mossotti (9th District). Some background is necessary to understand the amendment.
The Goals & Objectives approved by the Planning Commission included a goal to create a new process for determining long-term land use decisions involving the Urban Services Boundary and Rural Activity Centers. As explained by the Planning Staff, the intention is to create a more objective, systematized, and transparent process that is separate from the Comp Plan process.
What the Staff and Planning Commission recommended is a shift in how our community does long-range planning. If done correctly, we have the opportunity to create a process that truly enables us to take the long view and intentionally plan for our future growth. Making this shift will require tremendous focus and a belief on the part of our leaders that such a shift is necessary and possible. Without focus and leadership, the process could devolve into an even longer battle over expansion than usual. That is not in our community’s best interests.
The amendment made last evening explicitly states that once the new process is created, it will be incorporated into the Comp Plan and supersede the current goal that maintains the current boundary of the Urban Services Area and Rural Activity Centers. The intent of this amendment is to make clear that the new process will guide discussions about expansion going forward.
There is no doubt that we need a more objective and transparent process. However, the devil is in the details. Without knowing the details, the community is being asked to take a leap of faith. Ultimately, Fayette Alliance supported the general goal to create a new process, with the condition that the foundation of our long-term growth strategy remain infill/redevelopment and preservation of our rural assets. We articulated a list of concerns and recommendations regarding this new process. We will be actively involved in creation of this process as it unfolds and keep you posted.
You can read more about the process and our recommendations on the last page of our position letter:
CM James Brown (1st District) proposed an amendment to impose a deadline on creation of the new process referenced above. The amendment states that the new process will be completed with the assistance of a consultant by July 1, 2020.
After adoption of the Goals & Objectives, the process goes back to the Planning Commission for creation of the action items or implementation steps to achieve the overarching Goals & Objectives, known as Phase 2. Creating the action items will likely take most of 2018 to complete. We anticipate the full 2018 Comprehensive Plan to be adopted sometime at the end of 2018.
We will be involved in the process at every step and will keep you informed.