Can you picture Wyoming with gas stations dotting nearly every corner along Springfield Pike? How about with a big box retailer near the middle of the village? This probably is not your idea of a charming neighborhood, right? Thanks to Wyoming’s Master Plan, these scenarios will likely NEVER become reality. But they underscore the critical role that the master plan process plays in City development.
This year, the City is once again undertaking the process of developing an updated Master Plan, which is re-written every 10 years. The first Master Plan Open House will take place Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 7-9 p.m. at the Wyoming Civic Center. The event will include a short presentation, which will be repeated every 15-20 minutes so those arriving anytime between 7 and 9 p.m. can be fully informed. There will also be opportunities for residents to weigh-in with ideas.
Community input is one of the most critical pieces of the Master Plan, says Assistant Community Development Director Megan Statt Blake. The open house on Wednesday is the first of many opportunities for residents to share their ideas. There is also a survey available to all residents, which may be taken online by clicking here, or you can request a paper survey by calling 821-7600.
“We want to capture the same energy we got from the Civic Center forums for our Master Plan,” says Blake. “A lot of the work in community development for the City directly relates to the Master Plan. So this is a very important step in creating a vision for the City. We really want lots of people to participate.”
A Vision for the City
In the past, master plans have largely focused on land use, says Blake. This time around the focus will be more on an overarching vision for how to approach every facet of City services and development to promote a high quality of life for all residents in Wyoming.
“It will be the lens through which the City looks at how and why it’s doing a project,” she says.
History Shows Planning Pays Off
Master plans are not a recent innovation. They have been used by city leaders as far back as 1924 when the City appointed its first Planning Commission. At the time, then Mayor John MacKay was concerned about “rapid growth” and its potentially harmful effects on Wyoming’s “beautiful homes.”
This early Planning Commission designated “commercial nodes” along Wyoming Avenue near the railroad tracks and at the corner of Springfield Pike. These still exist today, a vivid example of the long-term effects of good planning.
The Commission also protected the City from unrestrained development of gas stations, commercial businesses, and billboards along Springfield Pike as the automobile gained popularity. Mayor MacKay proclaimed that the Planning Commission and City zoning had preserved Wyoming’s right to be called “Queen of Suburbs.”
Planning Never Stops
As the City strives to maintain its allure as one of the premier places to live in Hamilton County, the Master Plan is as important as ever. Each Master Plan develops themes – historic preservation, ecological stewardship, zones of potential change and many more – to help define how the City’s future will be guided.
As a resident, you are invited to help identify the important themes for the next 10 years, and provide your ideas for Wyoming’s future.
For more information about the Master Plan for 2017, and opportunities to participate in its creation, go to wyomingmasterplan.com.