City encouraged by high levels of public participation in Master Planning process

A critical component of the Mt. Pleasant Master Planning process has wrapped up and city officials are encouraged by the results, both in information gathered but also by the level of community participation.

In developing the latest Master Plan, a document meant to inform and guide public policy reflective of the community’s needs and desires, the round of community input events revealed three clear concerns, says City Planner Jacob Kain.

"We weren’t caught off guard by the things we heard," he says.

"There seems to be a clear consensus, so we should be able to work toward solving these issues."

Participants identified the need to preserve the city’s core neighborhoods, maintaining the quality of older homes and a family-friendly atmosphere. They also want to see continued growth and development throughout downtown.

At the forefront of the conversation was Mission Street. As the central corridor that runs along the spine of the city, residents want a Mission Street that makes it easier to walk to shopping destinations, as well as one with more shopping destinations itself. Mission Street should be a corridor that’s safe, welcoming, economically vibrant, yet still provides its transportation purpose, residents say.

Kain estimates that more than 500 people attended the public input events, well above the roughly 300 that attended similar events in 2016.

"There was tremendous participation both in the quantity of people that were there every day but also in the quality of feedback shared," he says.

"People are feeling very upbeat and optimistic about the process. Now we can work toward the future."

Now that the city has completed its weeklong series of presentations and open studios, the last component of public input comes in the form of four surveys. Residents have until Sunday, April 21 to complete the surveys, which are available online.

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