The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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November 8, 2013

Land use plan sent back

CLINTON — Unsatisfied with the city of Clinton's proposed comprehensive plan, the Planning Commission on Wednesday sent the plan back for more review.

The East Central Intergovernmental Association worked with city staff to prepare the city's planning document, which gives the city a legal basis for land use regulations and provides a unified vision for the community as well as the plans to reach that vision.

Commission members noted several deficiencies in the 90-page document such as the lack of focus on expanding the city's housing stock and development outside the city's already developed areas.

A majority of Clinton's housing stock is valued between $50,000 and $149,000, with 65 percent of all Clinton housing being more than 50 years old.

Real estate agent Bob Allmandinger, who serves on the commission, said he would have liked to see the plan address how to entice development of new housing that falls in a higher price-range than the average in order to attract residents and businesses.

"It may be the most important thing we have for the future of this town other than jobs is to have housing so we don't continue to lose people to outside areas," Allmandinger said.

The question is how do you build a community that has the financial challenge Clinton does, commission member Charlier Horner said.

"Why would you want to move to Clinton when the garbage collection's so high and that sewer rates are high and the taxes are so high and we're in debt up to our ears? How do you build a town when you owe so much money?" he asked.

Commission member Tom Lonergan decried the lack of future zoning classifications for everything along Mill Creek Parkway, saying the city needs to think about how it would extend services to that area and calling the city's approach piece-meal.

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