Consultants from the Jacobs Advanced Planning Group in Cincinnati will assist the update committee throughout the project. Project manager Della Rucker has been working with comprehensive plans and economic development for 10 years, and she stressed the importance of the plan for the future of the community.
"We hope that, by the end, you will become advocates of this plan for the community. We want this to be your plan," Rucker said. "We want to be your partners in this process."
Rucker outlined four phases for the update, which is expected to take between 12 and 16 months. During the update, Rucker said she and other consultants will draft documents and offer feedback and suggestions.
"The first phase is where we're getting organized and understanding what's going on in the community," Rucker said. "We're going to be listening to you and listening to the community as much as we can."
The committee will be divided into 10 focus groups to discuss particular issues and promote interaction among committee members.
Focus groups include tourism operators and organizations, social services organizations and clients, retail businesses, historic preservation/downtown revitalization advocates, industrial businesses, residential real estate agents and/or developers, agricultural operators and crossroads communities residents/business operators, the African-American community, trail supporters and recreation advocates and young residents.
There also will be two opportunities for the larger community to become involved in the process during public open houses. Feedback from the public will then be used to make revisions.
Planning Commission member Larry Disney was present at the meeting and said he wants the committee to develop a plan that can serve as a resource for the Planning Commission in the future, and be more beneficial than previous plans.
"I'm interested in seeing this be something meaningful we can use, and not just a dust gatherer on a bookshelf," Disney said.
Rucker encouraged group members to familiarize themselves with the 2004 plan, as well as the 2009 Community Action Plan.
"Those will be a key element of what the community is looking for in the future for Winchester," Rucker said.
Meetings will be the second Tuesday of every month until the new document is completed. Both Burtner and Rucker told committee members that it will be a difficult task, but one that is necessary for a strong community
"This effort will be very intense and there will be a lot of work," Burtner said. "Bring your very best intelligence and judgment to this task."
The next committee meeting will be Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The planning commission will meet in regular session Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Fiscal Court room.
Contact Rachel Parsons at email@example.com.