Thursday, January 29, 2009

Update on Community Engagement

As part of the Subdivision Code Update Project the City decided to conduct the public participation component in a manner that expanded the scope of community engagement while also exhibiting the kind of innovation, commitment to community participation, and creativity, desired of the end product.  

In addition to online tools, such as this blog, adaptations to standard “open house” meetings have been made to provide meaningful face-to-face interaction with stakeholders that is more suited to contemporary lifestyles. Staff scheduled roundtable meetings and conducted a number of weekly public coffeehouse meetings that allowed people to communicate with staff in less formal and time consuming ways. The results of these efforts have been positive. 

The use of innovative communication methods has not been at the sacrifice of traditional methods of public participation. Standard approaches have also been used such as: Planning Commission meetings; City Council Standing Committee Meetings; Parks Board meetings; and mailed surveys. 

Over 250 Personal letters were sent to people that have previously participated in City planning initiatives within the past 2 years, and to persons within the Development Industry that have had applications within the city within recent history. These letters invited the participation of these stakeholders and actively engaged citizens at the beginning of the project, and also informed them of the opportunity to participate and monitor the project through the blog. 

The Status Report details the results of all the engagement efforts for this Project.

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