This week City Council is set to take up one of the most critical tasks of their term. The Geneva Comprehensive Plan and Community Decision Making Guide is the road map for our collective future.
The plan is a product of an intensive development process that started with the identification and seating of a 25-member steering committee; which attempts to represent as broad a cross-section of the community as possible. From there, the committee identified a consultant team that inspired them to envision our community as it should be 20 years from today.
The consultant team and the steering committee worked closely together for 6 months, developing data on current conditions, brainstorming strategies for dealing with identified challenges, and talking with their neighbors about how best to move the community forward. They then spent another 6 months touring the community with the principles identified in the plan, talking with our neighbors to be sure that the plan met the expectations and needs of the community, and assembling information that the community felt was important. Finally, the team spent another 6 months developing and refining drafts to work toward capturing the spirit of the community in this critical document.
The completed product includes the following priorities:
- Economic Advancement: The plan recognizes the precarious financial position of many of our residents and charges us with the development of programming geared at economic mobility.
- Downtown Development: The plan encourages the community to continue to build upon the successes of the last decade in downtown. Continue building toward a critical mass of residents and businesses, while maintaining a real sense of place.
- Corridors: The plan charges us with cleaning up the entry points to our community. These are the first impressions left on visitors, and will either serve as a point of pride for our residents, or as an expression of where our priorities are.
- Lakefront: The plan envisions continued development of the lakefront as a civic amenity; a shared asset to cement Geneva as a regional destination for visitors and discerning residents alike.
- Housing: Geneva continues to struggle with housing condition and availability. The plan charges us with improvement of our existing stock, expansion of home ownership, and development of new housing products targeted at market-rate seniors and college students.