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    Comprehensive plan gets a rewrite, test

    By LeRoy Standish
    Sentinel and Transcript Newspapers

       As a reference manual for planing and zoning decisions, it is outdated, but the city's comprehensive plan is quickly getting up to speed.

    The Lakewood Planning Commission has worked on a rewrite of the comprehensive plan for more than a year now. Two weeks ago, the commission tested a draft version of the plan.

    About a dozen Lakewood residents handpicked by the commission were asked to read through it with a red pen in hand. The citizen editors were asked to read the document for clarity and ease of understanding. The test group met with planning commissioners July 24 and presented them with their impressions of the document.

    "This was not intended to be a random cross-section focus group," said Planning Commission Chairman Charles Choi. "We were not there to recompose the contents of the comprehensive plan."

    The test group was assembled to give feedback on how well readable the document is, a document that will influence planning and zoning decisions in Lakewood for years to come.

    "My word, (we had) all kinds of responses from, 'don't you think this is redundant,' or 'did you really mean this,' or 'might this be better stated another way,'" Choi said. "It was a very, very open forum as far as the feedback went."

    Residents were not the only group sought after for feedback. Roger Wadnal, strategic planning manager, said in addition to the test groups' input, 57 city staff members also had comments.

    "We have a lot of comments that we need to wade through," Wadnal said. "It's not a matter of adding a lot of new material, but it is to clean it up."

    Wadnal will add a glossary of terms to the document, eliminate some of the redundancy and in general "stay away from jargon and things like that, and make it more readable," he said.

    The city also put out a survey this month in its publication "Looking at Lakewood." Those comments will also be reviewed and incorporated into the plan, he said.

    The next chance residents will have to comment on the plan and discuss it directly with planning commission members will at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at an open house in Lakewood Cultural Center, 480 S. Allison Parkway.

    Those coming to take a look at the new document will notice it differs from the old in several ways, mainly in that it is not as restrictive as the old plan. "It will have policies written for different parts of the city, but you are not going to see a map with five different areas," Wadnal said.

    The new plan is more broad-based than the old. "The last plan had a lot of redevelopment goals and this (one) is more broad-based, looking at a range of issues," Wadnal said. "It's a policy plan and a policy document, it is not a land use map."

    Published Aug. 1, 2002

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