David's Blog

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Comprehensive Plan helps Move Duluth Forward

The Comprehensive Planning Committee has quickly illustrated it can be decisive and collaborative. A consulting group has been selected to lead the planning effort. As a result, Duluth’s Comprehensive Planning process has been reinvigorated and there is reason for optimism in Duluth.

The Duluth Comprehensive Planning Committee is comprised of individuals representing special interest groups. It is my responsibility and honor to serve as the business community’s representative. My particular purpose on the committee is to ensure business owners and operators have a voice in the process. I will work to make certain the plan identifies what land is available for commercial and industrial use. Additionally, I will encourage the consultants to develop a plan that will foster and facilitate private investment in our community.

Last week, the committee was engaged in its most important work: selecting the consulting firm that will lead the planning process. We interviewed four consulting groups before forwarding our selection to Bob Bruce, Duluth Planning Director. I am delighted to announce that CR Planning, Inc. of Minneapolis was selected to complete Duluth’s comprehensive plan during the next year. The firm will contract with Duluth area based partners, including the Natural Resources Research Institute and Ayres Associates. CR Planning, Inc.’s founder and principal, Brian Ross (no relation), effectively illustrated how his group possessed the most effective blend of technical expertise and local awareness of issues and concerns. Pete Weidman, of Ayres Associates, was particularly impressive at conveying a healthy blend of local acumen and technical knowledge in his presentation to the committee.

Duluth’s comprehensive plan will be a detailed document intended to guide Duluth’s physical, social and economic development. It will include specific plans for transportation, land use, community facilities, along with recommendations on how to implement the plan. CR Planning, Inc. conveyed an expertise in urban and regional land use planning, natural resources planning, process facilitation, and geographic information systems.

The contract with CR Planning, Inc. details that the planning process must be completed within one year - a welcome discipline. I will be a strong advocate for adhering to the one year timeframe. I encourage you to keep apprized of the planning process. You can do so by visiting www.ci.duluth.mn.us/city/mainpage/ and clicking on the Comprehensive Plan link located at on the right side of the page. I will also welcome your feedback and perspective on the plan as it unfolds. I can be reached at dross@duluthchamber.com or at 740-3751.

posted by David Ross at

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