A year-long effort to update the city of Delaware's comprehensive plan took a step toward launch June 11 when Delaware City Council named members of the plan's steering committee.

Officials earlier said the steering committee is designed to provide a broad range of ideas from groups and people throughout the city.

City Planning Director David Efland told council June 11 that 31 people named to the steering committee were selected from a group of 90 applicants.

"This is an exciting moment of the next step in the comprehensive-plan process," Efland said, adding 90 was "an incredible number of incredible applicants."

He said each applicant filled out every line and answered every question on the application.

The selected group of 31, who will serve with a City Council representative, is "a workable-sized group," Efland said.

"The community can identify with them in more than one way. ... They all wear multiple hats in lots of different ways in our community. ... (We) tried to balance the committee on a number of different parameters," he said.

Councilman Kent Shafer commended the city staff for its work and called the steering committee "a very diverse group."

City Manager Tom Homan said applicants not selected for the steering committee will be approached about being engaged in the initiative to update the comprehensive plan.

Efland said he has been in contact with the other applicants, who could help with outreach coordination, workshop facilitation and topical discussions.

The city has other opportunities for resident involvement, he said, such as Access Delaware, which he characterized as a community conversation about roads and finances.

"I've already gotten some responses from some individuals who have indicated they'd like to help us in various different ways, and so we will reach out to those people," Efland said.

The steering committee members are:

Donnie Akers, Harry C. Hart, Dustin Nanna, Abbey Trimble, Robert Badger, Stefanie Hauck, Jim Ohlin, Tajudeen Bakare, Jack Hilborn, Nancy Reger, Susie Bibler, Robert Hillery, Michael J. Rush, David W. Carpenter, Anna Hurley, John M. Rybka, Heather Cowles, Jennifer Franklin Kearns, Stacy Simpson, Beth Fisher, Ben Kelly, Kristina Sossa, Katherine A. Gharrity, Chang Keat Koo, Stephanie J. Steinbeck, Whitney Gherman, Jacqueline Luzar, Paul Stelzer, Stephanie Gregory, George Mantzoros and Stephanie Stromberg.

City spokesman Lee Yoakum earlier said the comprehensive plan will set goals used to frame and influence decisions on recurring issues the city will face many times over a period of years.

The current comprehensive plan was adopted in 2004 and at the time had an expected lifespan of five years.

"With the robust planning that was done, it still has relevance in 2018. Many of the implementation goals are still relevant today," Yoakum said.

Yoakum pointed to some of the goals of the 2004 plan that were listed in an executive summary: managing growth; maintaining the community's character; expanding transportation options; offering housing for all residents; and environmental conservation.

The city can be expected to make a number of decisions in each of these areas over time, he said, and when that happens, the city makes those decisions in line with the plan's goals.

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