Douglas County growth management master plan due for an update |

Douglas County growth management master plan due for an update

by Christy Chalmers, Tribune News Service

Douglas County’s guide to growth management is due for an update.

The master plan, adopted in 1996, is approaching its five-year anniversary. County leaders will commemorate it by updating the plan, a process County Manager Dan Holler says could take up to a year.

The process will start Thursday, when the county commission will be asked for guidance on how detailed the update should be. From that, Holler anticipates setting a series of meetings and workshops to see what people want changed in the plan.

“It’s not so much that we want to rewrite the master plan, but we definitely want people to have the chance to comment,” he said.

The master plan outlines goals and strategies for managing growth through 2015. By updating it at five-year intervals, Holler said the county could add a few years to the plan’s life or at least avoid having to restart the entire planning process when a new plan is needed.

Holler and Planning Manager Mimi Moss said they don’t anticipate major changes to the document.

“A lot of people that talk publicly will say ‘you looked at this four or five years ago and that was appropriate, so why change it now?’ ” said Moss. “They don’t want to see a lot of change.”

“I think in a lot of cases, we will say ‘tweak this one’ or ‘tweak this one’ and we’re done, but we still need to walk through them,” said Holler.

A few conflicts and questions have already surfaced. County leaders will need to better define urban service boundaries and decide when – and if – it’s appropriate to change them. They also need to address the transfer of a development rights program, which allows building rights from areas where development is less desirable to be used in more appropriate places.

Holler said redevelopment efforts under way in the Indian Hills area and the open space management plan that was adopted in September also need to be incorporated in the plan.

He said the planning and county commissions will probably each hold a few meetings to gather public comment, a process that could take six months to a year.

The boards may hold a joint meeting Nov. 9 to give county planning staffers specific directions on what they want.

The county commission meets Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in Stateline. The meeting will be at the administration building, 175 U.S. Highway 50.

What: Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting

When: 1:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Courtroom of the Douglas County Administration Building, 175 Highway 50 East, Stateline

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