Cityexamining comprehensive plan

Published on Thu, May 20, 2004 by rent Cole

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City examining comprehensive plan

By Brent Cole

City staff is hard at work updating and revising its comprehensive plan as required by state law under the growth management act. Cities and communities are required to revise their comprehensive plan by December 1 of this year, then every seven years thereafter. According to Terry Galvin, Blaine’s community development director , Blaine’s current comprehensive plan was adopted in 1995 and has not undergone a major review since.

The comprehensive plan is a vital element to the development of any community; it is essentially the blueprint for a city’s growth. “Every city and county has a comprehensive plan that is essentially a land use and community plan for growth and development,” said Galvin, one of the guiding forces behind the reexamination and potential changes to Blaine’s comprehensive plan. “It puts on paper guidance and direction from the city council as a city grows and develop.”

A state growth projection study states that Blaine is expected to grow 2.5 percent per year over the next 20 years, though Galvin believes that could be a conservative number. If Blaine does grow at that rate, the comprehensive plan will allow for the growth to be manageable. “Growth will happen where you want, it if you plan for it,” said Galvin.

Galvin stressed the need for city residents to be aware of the planning process and what options are being looked at.

“I want this community to see the plan. It’s a target for the community at large to see this,” stated Galvin. “We’re not starting from scratch. There are a bunch of different pieces, but no one has put those together in a well thought out vision.”

The city has identified nine areas to be targeted for potential zoning reconsideration. These areas include: single family residential areas between Mitchell Street and I-5, mixed use area on Peace Portal Drive overlooking Drayton Harbor, the historic residential areas south of downtown, the auto-oriented overlay on the northern part of downtown, the highway commercial district east of I-5 exit 276 on D Street, the single family residential areas north of D Street between I-5 and the truck route, the truck corridor north of H Street, and the commercial area on H Street east of the truck route commercial/industrial strip between I-5 and Peace Portal Way. In examining these areas, the group hopes to fix any past zoning problems along with preparing Blaine for its impending growth.
Although the state calls for the plan to be completed by December, the city has received an extension. The group plans on spending the next six months developing the city’s vision along with a rough draft of the comprehensive plan. Town meetings will be held in November with public hearings scheduled for January through March. If all goes well the city council should approve the final comprehensive plan by summer 2005.