Tri-Village News

Planning commission mulls ways to improve city


As Grandview continues to grow and change, the city's planning commission is re-examining previous city plans and looking for ways it can update.

Grandview Planning Commission members met Oct. 30 to analyze ongoing projects that began nearly 20 years ago and their progress. The committee also discussed ways it can keep up with the community's changing lifestyles.

"I think we are on a cusp," planning commission Chairman Bob Wandel said, "and it is one of the reasons that I think why we gather here tonight, to see if we can get ahead of the cusp, or whether or not we want to continue to react."

Through decades of economic ups and downs, previous plans such as the renovation of Grandview Avenue and creation of character and design layouts for the city have been successful with completions or updates. To continue to move forward, the commission discussed the possibility of updating codes in the city's character and design plans.

While no specifics were decided, the plan could entail possible updates to signs in the city and making sure there are no exceptions to the city's codes.

"We ought to take a comprehensive approach to doing that," said Patrik Bowman, director of administration and economic development. "It is really going back and taking on some aspect and looking at the city comprehensively -- land use, design, character, economic development, all elements of the city -- and identify issues by needs and wants."

Councilman-elect Steve Papineau, who will officially join council in January 2014 after this week's unopposed election, said he did not want to add regulations unless it helps with overall economic development of the city.

"I am for building a comprehensive plan as long as whenever we are looking at this comprehensive plan, we always put it under the concept of, is this going to hurt business?" he said.

"If it is something that we are putting up barriers and that people don't want to live here or bring businesses here, then I don't think we should do it," he added.

Plans in the past have been more visionary, Bowman said. He said would like to see some code updates in city documents.

The commission did not decide on any specific suggestions to propose to City Council, he said.

The commission tentatively will meet again at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Municipal Building, 1016 Grandview Ave.