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By Samar Fay
Courier Editor 

Glasgow Growth: Focus Group Weighs In

 


The city of Glasgow’s Growth Policy project team held four focus group and visioning workshop meetings at the Civic Center last week.

The Housing Focus Group met Wednesday evening, and three meetings were held Thursday: Community Services and Infrastructure, Land Use and Community Visioning.

Project manager Matt Ulberg said the Community Visioning group was the capstone of this effort to assemble the vision of this community.

In January the team had a public meeting to launch the Growth Policy project that was well-attended. As team member Janet Cornish said, a Growth Policy is a strategic plan for a community, a framework for land use, community and economic development and capital improvement planning. It helps local government allocate its limited resources efficiently. It is not a regulatory document, but helps formulate a vision for the future and ways to get there. Having a Growth Policy is a benefit when the city applies for grants, because the needs and goals have already been set out.

The research for the Growth Policy has turned up useful statistics on Glasgow’s population trends, housing inventory, the economy, the infrastructure and services, and land use. There are 167 vacant lots in Glasgow, for instance, but few are on the market. There is room for infill development.

The Community Visioning group was asked to list words that describe what they like about Glasgow, and they came up with ideas like prairie, family, safe, friendly, homestead heritage, sportsman’s paradise and no Walmart. They could also think of things they wished were different: industry beyond ag, keeping kids here, more mental health services, low income housing, services for families in crisis, more daycare, a college, an indoor aquatic center.

Divided into groups, they came up with three vision statements that the project team will meld into one.

The Glasgow City Council is expected to appoint a Planning Board this month. In June and July the project team will prepare a draft Growth Policy for the board, the city staff and the City Council to review in August. A public hearing will be held in September for comments on the draft Growth Policy and the team hopes it will be adopted by October.

 

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