October 8, 2005
The city of Charlottesville is partnering with its Community Design Center to get residents' input on the 2006 comprehensive plan process.
There was a lot of community activism going on Saturday as part of Neighborhood Design Day.
Residents from 18 neighborhoods met at six different locations to give their input on what they want for Charlottesville over the next 20 years.
This is a growing area and the planning commission is looking for some guidance from the neighborhoods, and I think that's great," said Resident Jeph Herrin.
City officials believe community engagement is key to their success.
"The city of Charlottesville prides itself on being a community that really cares about what its citizens want and seeking their input. It's very important as we go through a planning process that it be what the community wants, not what the governing body wants," says Jim Tolbert, Director of Neighborhood Development Services.
Parking, transportation and environmental issues topped the list of things residents want to see improved.
"Better transit. Being able to use the bus system we've got, it's a great system, you just can't depend on it. There aren't enough buses, they're often late, all that sort of thing," said Resident Lyle Dolla-Yates.
Resident Sue Berres agreed, saying "there's a lot that needs to be changed and improved and we want our voice to be heard."
City officials say residents concerns are being heard loud and clear.
"I fully expect that we will use everything that we learn in these meetings in some fashion," said Tolbert.
All residents involved said they were delighted to be a part of the planning process, and very hopeful that their concerns will be addressed in the future. For more information about the Comprehensive Plan 2006, visit www.charlottesville.org.
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