The official project website, provided by the MRB Group / EDR Project Team
Steering Committee Hosts Workshop: “More Opportunities for Involvement to Come”
The Steering Committee for the Town of Ovid Comprehensive Plan hosted a community workshop on Saturday, October 7. The objective was to further involve residents in the process to develop a new Comprehensive Plan -
About 25 members of the Ovid community attended, listening to an initial presentation from Project Leader Jane Rice, of Environmental Design & Research (EDR), part of the MRB Group/EDR team of consultants providing guidance to the committee.
"The turnout for the event was very encouraging," noted Diana Smith, a member of the project team. "Despite concerns about participation, the community is getting far more involvement than they realize," she continued, noting that the survey response and workshops indicate more participation than the average rate for a rural community.
Much of the discussion focused on the nexus or connection between comprehensive planning and zoning -
"This is the flash point for Ovid," said one resident.
There have been previous attempts to address whether zoning is a need in the Town, where residential, commercial, and agricultural land uses have traditionally intermingled without controversy. In more recent years, lakefront property owners have raised concerns about the potential for conflicts over development of property.
"Our job is NOT to prescribe zoning or any other new land use regulations," said Jane Rice, "but rather to help the citizens of Ovid decide what kind of future they want for their community."
"Then we'll help the committee make recommendations about how to get there," she added.
Following the presentation, the workshop included several stations where participants learned about the data gathered during the community assessment, including demographics, maps, and survey results. A "conversation map" exercise provided an opportunity to express concerns and comments about zoning in a more comfortable manner.
Feedback from participants will help the committee to better define the public's beliefs and concerns, and will be discussed during the next several meetings of the committee.
(All "project boards" displayed at the workshop have been included with this article. If you have trouble viewing them, a printable
Workshop Display Boards and Exercises (Click to view full images)
document with the images is available on the "status" page of this website, labeled Workshop 10-
"There will be a second workshop," assured Committee Chairman John Hubbard, "so there will continue to be opportunities for involvement."
Rice explained that it's still early in the process, with no documentation yet created.
"Pen has not been put to paper," she stated. Once the documentation stage is reached, a public hearing process will further ensure that citizens have a say in the plan's outcome.
In the meantime, public participation continues to be encouraged by the Steering Committee with open meetings, members' individual outreach and the website portal, while emails, comments, and discussion with committee members is always welcomed. The next Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 18, at 6:00, at the Firehouse on Brown Street.
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