Central sets meeting for residents

Central residents can get an update on the progress being made on components of the city’s master plan during a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Central Branch Library, 11260 Joor Road.

This will be the second meeting the city has had to present information and take comments about sections of the master plan being worked.

The sections cover a floodplain management program, city center overlay district and guidelines as well as a code and pattern design booklet for new architectural standards applying to commercial buildings.

“They’re getting very, very close to finishing the flood-plain management part of this,” David Barrow, Central’s chief administrative officer, said.

Barrow explained that creating the city’s master plan is an ongoing process but much of it was finished in 2010 when the land-use plan was adopted by the city.

The additional work going on now is being paid for through a $325,000 federal Community Development Block Grant that included a local match from the city.

“The grant is an extra thing that you can branch off with your master plan,” Barrow said. “Those are all extra things that can be part of your master plan.”

The contractor working up the plan, Environmental Resources Management, is still looking for locations that could become the city center, he said.

“They’re identifying five or six areas around the city that could be possible city center locations,” Barrow said.

The new center would need about 5 acres to accommodate a city hall facility, but a total of 20 acres for development around the city center such as restaurants, shops and other amenities.

“A little downtown feel,” Barrow called it.

The work outlined by the grant has to be completed by June, but it could be done sooner, he said.

In addition, the meeting will attendees updates on guidelines and a code and pattern design booklet for new architectural standards for commercial buildings.

These will involve topics such as what kind of parking a business needs or how far back from the road a building needs to be built.

Separate from the work being done under the grant, the city is also getting close to finishing its zoning code early next year.

City personnel are starting work on a transportation plan that should be completed by late summer or fall, Barrow said.

“Everyone is enthusiastic about it. It’s something that’s good for the growth of the city,” Barrow said.