New deadline set for updating the city’s comprehensive planThe city of Hudson has a new timetable for updating its comprehensive plan. And the odds are that it will adhere to this one.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
The city of Hudson has a new timetable for updating its comprehensive plan.
And the odds are that it will adhere to this one.
The city must have an updated plan adopted by Dec. 31, 2009, in order to remain in compliance with Wisconsin law. If its current plan, adopted in 1993, isn’t brought up to date by then, the city’s zoning regulations will be vulnerable to court challenges.
The Hudson Plan Commission on May 8 approved a timetable that would have a revised plan before the City Council by June 30, 2009. That would give the council six months to review and possibly amend the plan before it has to be adopted.
“We have wanted to do this, and planned to do this, for a lot of years,” Mayor Dean Knudson, chairman of the Plan Commission, said regarding the comprehensive plan update.
The city previously began the process of updating the comprehensive plan in early 2005. The City Council in January of that year adopted a strategy for involving the public in the process that included new releases, hearings, surveys, the city Web site (www.ci.hudson.wi.us) and Plan Commission and City Council meetings.
In the spring of 2006, the Survey Research Center at UW-River Falls surveyed households and businesses to get their opinions about the future of Hudson.
The initial goal was to have the comprehensive plan completed by the end of 2006.
The comprehensive plan was put on the back burner, however, when a company approached the city in the fall of 2006 with a plan to redevelop the River City Center retail complex at the south end of Second Street.
Officials decided that the city needed development and architectural standards for the downtown before considering the proposed hotel, restaurant, retail and residential complex.
The City Council used money that had been budgeted for the comprehensive plan to hire Putman Planning & Design to assist in writing the downtown guidelines.
Knudson said at the recent Plan Commission meeting that the 2008 city budget includes $30,000 for updating the comprehensive plan. He said that probably wouldn’t be enough money to complete the process.
Community Development Director Dennis Darnold said hiring a consulting firm to assist with the work is a priority if the commission wants to expedite the process.
Darnold suggested that the Plan Commission reserve at least one meeting a month exclusively to work on updating the comprehensive plan.
Plan Commission member Fred Yoerg suggested that fellow commissioners thoroughly review the Comprehensive Plan Survey Report from the Survey Research Center.
“The community is watching everything we do here,” Yoerg said.
Commissioner Pat Casanova noted that updating the plan will require decisions on development issues the city is likely to face within the next year or two.
Darnold indicated that he expects one outcome of the process to be more detailed planning for the Carmichael Road corridor between I-94 and Vine Street/County UU.
The city’s current comprehensive plan is a 178-page document. It includes a master land use plan, as well as goals and policies for land use, housing, transportation and community facilities, economic development, recreation and environmental protection.
The plan also includes inventories and analyses of storm drainage and water and sewer facilities, among other things.
The agenda for the Plan Commission’s May 22 meeting lists comprehensive plan “issues, demographics and land use” as topics of discussion.
The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 505 Third St.
In addition to Knudson, Yoerg and Casanova, the members of the Plan Commission are Alderman Alan Burchill, Public Utility Commission President Tim Caruso and citizens Don Mailloux and Dave Selissen.
Casanova is chairman of the Park Board. Yoerg also serves on the commission as a citizen representative.