After hearing a presentation Monday, Shawnee City Commissioners chose to spend the next couple weeks going over a final draft of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan — a 194-page document that will serve as a guide to aid the city as it navigates the future; the board is expected to vote on whether to approve the plan at its next meeting.

After hearing a presentation Monday, Shawnee City Commissioners chose to spend the next couple weeks going over a final draft of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan — a 194-page document that will serve as a guide to aid the city as it navigates the future; the board is expected to vote on whether to approve the plan at its next meeting.

Project Manager Amy Haase, of RDG Planning and Design, discussed ways the Comp Plan can be a useful tool when making decisions about what to encourage and strive for in the community, as well as deterring things that might prove to be an ill-fit to the city's goals.

It's meant to be a living document, she said.

“You'll want to assess it annually and adjust it as you go,” she said.

Background

In mid-June, Shawnee residents were afforded an opportunity to offer their views and suggestions regarding the direction they wish the city to go.

The City of Shawnee hosted a public event, welcoming impressions and opinions as the city works to design a comprehensive plan to guide its growth and development over the next 20 years.

Residents took part in a kickoff discussion with RDG Planning & Design to brainstorm issues, concerns and opportunities over several topics of interest.

Breaking into smaller groups, participants took on major topics of discussion like transportation; parks and recreation; housing; the downtown district; planned use and development; and community appearance.

After about half an hour of brainstorming, groups came back and reported their issues of concern, potential for opportunities and possible plans of action around their assigned topic.

These efforts will then be used by RDG to develop some unified goals to base a plan around.

Then-Community Development Director Justin DeBruin said the city's last comprehensive plan had been done in 2005.

He said RDG was chosen, partly because of its clearly defined goals, as well as its intentional focus on implementation.

The city's previous plan probably had less of a strategic element as its focus, Haase said.

DeBruin said the former plan, however, was useful in two areas: having something to compare to when making decisions on each planning commission case; and making grand plans moving forward.

But this time around the city not only has its eyes honed in on future plans, but also how to achieve those goals.

“What RDG did differently (than other proposals) was its great detail and attention to implementation,” he said.

An online survey was offered to get community feedback and input. Nearly 180 residents participated in the survey, Haase said.

The next Shawnee City Commission is slated to meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, in the Bertha Ann Young City Commission Chambers at City Hall, at 16 W. 9th St.

Watch for updates.