Marshall — It’s been a plan for over a year. But Marshall City Council members and city officials said last week that Marshall’s new comprehensive plan should serve the city for the next 20 years.
“It’s actually laid out to be a living document that will serve future councils and future staff.” Marshall Mayor Bob Burns said.
After making a short presentation at its December 27 meeting, the Marshall City Council voted to approve a comprehensive new city plan valid through 2040.
“The current comprehensive plan is outdated. It’s usually a 20-year document.” Marshall City Administrator Sharon Hanson said: Marshall’s existing comprehensive plan was adopted in 1996 and revised in 2004.
State law requires communities with zoning regulations to have a comprehensive plan.
Hanson said the comprehensive plan was drafted after a 15-month planning process that included input from a variety of sources.
“We have also developed many relationships with staff, city engineers, planning and zoning managers, and economic development directors.” she said.
The City worked with SRF Consulting to conduct community surveys, open houses and focus group meetings to get feedback on Marshall’s future needs.
“It was very thoughtfully laid out, but very open to any and all opinions of the public.” Council member Amanda Schroeder, who served on the task force for the new plan, said:
The comprehensive plan covers several different key areas of urban planning, Braus said.
“In general, our goal is to provide guides that help the community make decisions, especially when it comes to usage and development decisions.” He said.
Land use is one of the largest topics covered under the comprehensive plan, Brouse said.
The updated plan calls for the city to have flexible zoning and policies for land use, emphasizing community identity building, smart growth and residential development. The plan also outlines potential redevelopment areas within Marshall, such as downtown and along East College Drive, as well as potential new development near the existing city limits.
The comprehensive plan also includes chapters on urban utilities and services, economic development, environmental and cultural factors, and public facilities.
In Utilities and Services, the updated plan focuses on maintenance and operations of existing utilities and safety services, as well as planning for future expansion and infrastructure sustainability.
The updated plan had several goals for economic development. The city must not only support existing businesses, but also build partnerships to grow its workforce and develop housing and community amenities. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development predicts that Lion County’s workforce will decline by 6.3% over the next decade.
The environmental and cultural factors portion of the plan calls for the city to support the city’s public art, community services, and natural resources. It also calls for the city to be inclusive in its efforts.
The updated plan calls for Marshall to work with communities to maintain and invest in public facilities such as parks, Marshall Aquatic Center, Red Baron Arena and MERIT Center.
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