Planning and Zoning

Planning Zoning Commission members Scott Moore, Robb Beane, Michael Sereg and Pam Blomgren re-elected Wyndell Campbell and R.D. Keep as Chair and Vice Chair respectively, in absentia. The commission also approved rezoning of property on High Avenue East.

OSKALOOSA — The city’s comprehensive plan is two months shy of 20 years old.

Development Services Director Shawn Christ told the Planning and Zoning Commission the plan has served the community well and much has been accomplished.

Typically, he said, the lifespan for comprehensive plan was designed for 10-15 years.

“It’s lasted for 20 years,” he said. “And really, we have implemented most of it. Most of these sections of the plan, we’ve done at least 3/4 of it.”

Themes the plan focused on include growth and land use, including adequate land supply, growth centers, greenways and park systems, public facilities and commercial nodes. Christ estimated the growth and land use section was approximately 77 percent completed.

The mobility and city environment theme included a street classification system, the north loop, a long-range circulation system, street construction and improvement, streets as public spaces, system maintenance, a trail system and community gateways and corridors. That has been 53 percent completed.

Green Network plans included park site enhancement, neighborhood park development, new recreation facilities and joint use school sites, with an 84 percent completion estimate.

Quality Public Services included public facility priorities, infrastructure improvements for sanitary sewer and wastewater, storm drainage, water systems and solid waste disposal. That is approximately 79 percent completed.

The vital city center plans included organizational infrastructure, marketing, recruitment and development of niche businesses, public environment, improved local circulation, project development, housing partnerships, senior living, and renewed economy. Approximately 79 percent of that plan was completed.

Overall, Christ said the city’s comprehensive plan was 74 percent implemented.

“Really the only exception is mobility and the city environment, that really went down to our street improvements and major street extension and construction of streets aren’t there yet. We’ve implemented over half of that,” he said. “And I think any shortfalls there, some of that can be attributed to we just haven’t developed and grown as much as this plan had anticipated, particularly for residential land use. So there really hasn’t been much of a need to extend major streets to reach those areas.”

Christ pointed out he estimates 10-15 percent of the 20-year-old comprehensive plan is obsolete.

“As technologies have changed, some of the recommendations really no longer apply and will never be implemented,” he said. “I guess what I’m finding in my review is I think the plan really has reached the end of its design life. I think it served us extremely well.”

The plan was perhaps a bit optimistic in plans for residential growth, Christ said, although demand for housing is still not being met in the city.

Additionally, Christ said most of the commercial and industrial areas have been built out, which is something that would need to be addressed in the next plan.

“I also wanted to point out that a lot of the park and greenway improvements that were identified in the plan have been completed by others. The biggest one being MCRF and some of the other partners. We’ve got the Lacey Recreation Complex, we have the YMCA and Early Childhood Center and then, of course, the recreation trail system around town,” he said. “So it’s not just the city that has been implementing some of the recommendations in the plan.”

Christ said there have been conversations with city council about a new comprehensive plan. He recommended hiring a consultant to put the plan together.

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