More than 40 residents, property owners and absentee property owners attended a public planning meeting June 16 to give their input on planning issues relating to the neighborhood adjacent to the Grandview Yard project site.

More than 40 residents, property owners and absentee property owners attended a public planning meeting June 16 to give their input on planning issues relating to the neighborhood adjacent to the Grandview Yard project site.

"It was a great session. They worked for almost three hours, very diligently for their community," said Patrik Bowman, the city's director of administration/economic development.

Bowman said he was struck by "how willing these folks seem to be to embrace the right kind of change and make it all more positive for the community.

"They came up with some great ideas, some of which we may be able to implement and some we may not be able to implement," he said.

The information gathered at the meeting will compiled and sorted and sent on to the planning commission as it begins the work of determining potential updates to the community plan, including potentially developing a new area plan for the neighborhood, Bowman said.

Following a review of the planning history and principles for the area presented by Bowman and Mayor Ray DeGraw, the participants were divided into eight small groups. Each group held a general discussion and gave a report at the end of the meeting.

"We were asking each group to identify important planning issues they felt the area was facing," said Greg Dale, the planning and zoning consultant assisting the city with issues relating to the Grandview Yard project.

Dale and his colleagues will be helping the city develop revised planning principles for the neighborhood.

The June 16 meeting was a vital part of the process, he said.

"We can't just drop into the community and identify the community's values and vision," Dale said. "We need the input of the people who actually live and work in the area. The community plan reflects the values of the community."

Given the expected size and scope of the Grandview Yard project, much of the comment at the meeting focused on the planned mixed-use development, Bowman said.

"A lot of folks indicated they are anticipating Grandview Yard to add to and enhance the overall neighborhood," he said. "Most didn't seem to foresee a lot of change in their neighborhood."

A common concern raised at the meeting was the increased traffic the Yard would bring into the neighborhood and how some of the neighborhood's roadways would eventually hook up with and become links to the new development, Bowman said.

Residents also expressed a desire for the residential portion of the Yard to be placed to abut the existing homes and provide a buffer to the commercial and office elements of the project, he said.

Bowman said he would like to get the results of the meeting into the planning commission's hands as soon as possible.

"The next step is for the planning commission to digest what the residents said and eventually to carve out some planning principles" for the area, he said.

The exact boundaries of the area that would be covered by the planning process are still to be determined, Bowman said.

Dale said that another public workshop meeting would be held once a set of planning principles is completed.

afroman@thisweeknews.com