comprehensive plan update

After more than a year of soliciting input and gathering information, Mt. Lebanon is unveiling a new comprehensive plan, Elevate Mt. Lebanon.
Beginning in summer 2012, Municipal Planner Keith McGill, with the help of the consulting firm Environmental Planning and Design, has been working to update the 13-year-old document that will serve as a foundation for municipal policies, ordinances and priorities in the coming decade.

Although comprehensive plans are generally done every 10 years, McGill wanted to wait until 2012 to begin the process so we could incorporate up-to-date demographic data from the 2010 census.

Another thing that distinguishes this plan is the high level of opportunity for community involvement. Over the past 15 months, McGill and the consultants have set up informational tables at community events such as First Fridays, farmers markets and the July 4 celebration.

comp plan cover“Most comprehensive plans go from the inside out,” he says. “The staff comes up with a plan and takes it to the community. We went to the community first.”

Other chances for input included a photo safari, where residents were asked to photograph areas where they saw opportunities for improvement or change. In October 2012, the planning team hosted Thursday Night Live, where residents were able to share ideas with planners about land use, development, infrastructure and other community focus areas.

From the beginning of the process, McGill emphasized that this version of the comprehensive plan will not be a document that sits on a shelf. He plans to schedule yearly reviews with the planning board and commission to evaluate progress on each of the goals on the list, to determine if the goals have been reached and if not, to decide what needs to be done to achieve them.

Contained in the 126-page plan is an action plan table, which serves as a road map for implementing all of the plan’s recommendations.

The objectives for the 2013 comprehensive plan are broken into five areas: cooperation, vitality, systems, connectivity and resources. Here is an overview:

Cooperation Look for opportunities to participate in a regional response to address the common needs and challenges of neighboring communities.

Promote community spirit, participation, unity and diversity through a variety of municipal experiences and opportunities.

Further optimize municipal operational efficiencies, including participating in regional responses as appropriate to address common needs and challenges.

Vitality Maintain and enhance the appearance and integrity of the community’s built environment.

Promote sustainability and recycling throughout the community.

Systems Continue to maintain a high level of municipal services and police, fire and public safety protection.

Ensure that infrastructure demands of proposed development and redevelopment are balanced with services available within the community.

Connectivity Provide a safe, efficient and complete transportation system for the residents and businesses of Mt. Lebanon.

Resources Maintain adequate active and passive open space and recreation facilities to meet the needs of the community.

A copy of the comprehensive plan is available here.