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Planning Commission to debut vision statements

October 23, 2012
By KYLE WHITNEY - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - The Marquette City Planning Commission is scheduled to present possible community vision statements to the public during a workshop this evening.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. in the Marquette Commons.

City Planner Dave Stensaas said the group has developed a pair of possible vision statements for the city's updated Community Master Plan, which is undergoing a revision. Stensaas said attendees will be asked to vote for one of the two statements.

During the past few months, the planning commission held a number of public forums, where they asked city residents about their vision for the future of Marquette, and a community survey was undertaken.

"Waterfront preservation and public access were probably the major themes through this process," Stensaas said. "Other major themes would be pedestrian and biking facilities and access ... and we've heard a lot of people express desire for improved winter maintenance, especially of sidewalks."

The commission has classified most of the public input into one of four categories: quality of life, land use, transportation and economy.

Other common issues included historic preservation, universal design concepts and urban food distribution, according to Stensaas. Many of the topics highlighted in the current master plan - support of the arts and economic development, for instance - will remain in the updated version, he said.

The planning commission will next translate all the feedback into a list of clear goals or objectives upon which to base policies.

The new master plan, which Stensaas said should be completed in late winter or early spring, will help city officials make future decisions.

"It's a guiding document - for the planning commission in particular - for determining ... the desires of the community," Stensaas said. "And it's not just a shelf document. Every time there's a decision made that goes to the city commission on land use, they refer to the master plan for guidance."

Though the state recommends a community's master plan be updated every five years, Marquette's has not been revised since 2004.

Photographs from the Vision for Marquette photo contest will be on display during today's meeting. A meal and light refreshments will also be provided.

"This workshop is going to be partly a celebration," Stensaas said. "We've gotten to this point, where we've gotten a vision statement and we're going to celebrate that a little bit."

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.



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