The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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December 6, 2013

Eyes to the future

CLINTON - After a lengthy discussion that pitted redeveloping the city's urban core against westward expansion, the city of Clinton's Plan Commission settled on a vision for the city's future land use.

During its meeting Thursday, the City Plan Commission forwarded the city's 2032 comprehensive plan to the Clinton City Council for its approval with some additional low-density residential areas along Mill Creek Parkway included in the future land use map.

"We want to take a step forward by trying to rezone those areas west of the parkway and possibly a little bit on the east side of the parkway so if we get willing buyers and sellers that's not the first obstacle they run into," Commission member Tom Lonergan said.

The East Central Intergovernmental Association worked with city staff to prepare the 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.

Nicole Turpin, a regional planning coordinator with ECIA, presented an overview of the 90-page document Thursday after commission members last month noted some shortcomings, such as the plans lack of focus on developing west of Mill Creek Parkway, which the land use map labeled agricultural.

The future land use map in the plan focuses on redeveloping the city's urban core through bolstering downtown's housing stock, maintaining infrastructure and other projects.

"We (got) all this public input and it was redevelopment, even if that's tear down what's there and put up new in the core. Every time you go out further, that core suffers," Turpin said.

The problem city staff see with developing west of Mill Creek is the lack of water and sewer and the city's inability to provide those services to the area.

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