City of Marshfield Hosting Public Land Use Open House
Anyone that has an interest in the future of Marshfield should consider attending a public Land Use Open House this Thursday, April 6. Land Use maps are an important component to the City’s Comprehensive Plan, and cover a variety of topics. (As a part of City Zoning, Land Use helps dictate where businesses, houses, and other developments are allowed to be constructed. Zoning is a key reason why a fast food restaurant can’t be located in the middle of a residential street, for example.)
“One of the maps is a current land use map which shows the general use for each parcel of land within the City,” explained City Planner Josh Miller. “For example, if the property has a house on it, the land use classification on the map is ‘residential’. Some of the other maps included in the chapter show the current zoning, potential revitalization areas for redevelopment, future growth areas (including growth beyond the City’s boundaries), future land use map, and future development staging map.”
Serving as a “master plan” for the City of Marshfield, the Comprehensive Plan is one of the more important documents a community adopts. An extensive process, the Plan takes nearly two years to update and contains a significant amount of demographic and background information as well as a series of goals, objectives, and policies related to natural resources, housing, transportation, economic development, utilities and community facilities, intergovernmental cooperation, and land use.
“If residents have ideas on the future growth and development of Marshfield, this is an easy opportunity to be involved,” said City Planner Josh Miller. “The Comprehensive Plan provides the basis for the Common Council to make decisions on land use applications or changes to the zoning code. Residents may be interested in where future growth is feasible and what might be developed in the vacant lot next to them or down the road from their homes.”
Wisconsin State law requires each community that wants to utilize regulatory land use tools – such as zoning codes, subdivision ordinances, or official maps – to adopt a Comprehensive Plan, and any changes to those regulations needs to be consistent with the plan.
“This update is necessary because the plan was last adopted in July of 2007 and the State law requires that plans are updated every 10 years,” said Miller.
Though in property within the City is already zoned (and the zoning code is what dictates the allowable use), if there is a zoning change, conditional use permit request, or proposal for a new road, the Comprehensive Plan will be utilized to determine if that request is suitable for the proposed location.
As a 20-year plan that does not get amended very often, Thursday’s Open House is a unique opportunity to provide input on the future of Marshfield.
“Public engagement and participation is a valuable and critical component in the planning process,” said Miller. “The Land Use Open House is an opportunity for the public to come in, review the proposed maps and information contained in the narrative of the plan, and ask questions or share their comments about the plan.”
Maps and narrative for the land use chapter are currently available on the City’s website for those that want to review the information ahead of time: click here.
“If residents have questions or comments, the open house is a great opportunity for them to be involved in the planning process and share their thoughts with City officials,” added Miller. “The plan is by no means finalized at this time and there is still plenty of time to include resident feedback on the land use chapter and overall plan.”
With the goal of having the plan update adopted by July of 2017, residents are encouraged to get involved in the process. Attending the Land Use Open House on Thursday is an ideal way to learn more.
“There are a lot of interesting maps that are part of the Comprehensive Plan and sometimes it can be easier to explain the information to the public and get a better understanding of the maps in person,” said Miller. “Having the open house gives the public an opportunity to have a discussion about the maps and bring up ideas or concerns that maybe have not been looked at or even considered.”
As the Comprehensive Plan develops, with Land Use a significant portion, Miller is hopeful that more residents will take an interest in this important process.
“We’ve had a lot of really great feedback so far, and as the plan continues to take shape, the initial concepts on paper can often spark additional ideas that if incorporated into the plan, could make Marshfield an even better place in the future,” said Miller.
Attend the Land Use Open House on Thursday, April 6, 2017 in the Common Council Chambers (basement of City Hall). Stop in anytime from 3 – 7 pm.
To submit comments or questions Contact Miller at: [email protected] or call 715-486-2075.