New homes, trails vital

Friday, August 11, 2017
(Sentinel Photo by Thomas Schreiber) SIMPCO Regional Planner Nicole Peterson updated the Remsen City Council on the housing and transportation draft chapters of the Comprehensive Plan at Wednesday’s council meeting.

REMSEN — With the visioning statement and general goals out of the way, SIMPCO Regional Planner Nicole Peterson dove into specific chapters of Remsen’s Comprehensive Plan at Wednesday’s city council meeting.

Speaking after the meeting, Peterson broke down her report and the council’s response to the two draft chapters discussed — housing and transportation.

“The topic areas under those headings ranged from census data, public input to recommendations for goals and objectives,” Peterson said. “There were three main goals, one is diversity and affordability in the type of available housing, the second is supporting rehabilitation and maintenance of existing housing, and third is promoting the vitality and character of established new residential neighborhoods.”

Peterson noted during the meeting there are already steps in the right direction, with several new residences going up and other homes being rehabilitated, before turning to transportation.

“The main transportation goals are to maintain and improve existing roadway systems, and the second one is to enhance sidewalks and trails and other transportation infrastructure, including mass transit and railway, and consideration of ADA accessibility,” Peterson said.

Peterson noted a vast majority of community survey respondents said they preferred to live near an existing trail network with functioning sidewalks.

One noted area of needed improvement — railway crossings in town — has already begun work and is expected to be complete in 2019.

Several council members said they would like to see the list of goals and objectives tightened up and cut down, and Peterson agreed.

“I’m looking forward on continuing to work with the council on defining the goals and objectives and making them work for Remsen,” Peterson said. “Hopefully we can refine and update the goals and objectives so they are comfortable moving forward. One of the most important things about this Comprehensive Plan is an inventory and a record of what community assets and issues are today, and some goals for the future.”

Peterson added along with council members, citizens can give comments on the plan by e-mailing her at nicole@simpco.org.

The next update given by Peterson will be at the Sept. 13 council meeting, where she will bring back revisions for housing and transportation as well as introducing the community facilities and economic development chapters of the plan.

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