As reported in the September 6 issue of Weld, the final draft of the City Comprehensive Plan for Birmingham was anticipated for completion in October.
Based on the initial timeline for the project, the document is almost two months behind the expected delivery.
“It is just taking longer than we expected,” said Larissa Brown on behalf of Goody Clancy, the Boston-based consulting agency for the project.
“At the end [of a project like this] you’re tying up a lot of loose ends. [So we’re] basically writing a book…there is a lot of cross referencing and we want to make sure everything is right.
“We’re trying to make the best document we can [that will really] reflect the very public process and our work with city staff.”
Brown indicated that the final draft is “very close to the end” and will be delivered to the city soon.
A year in the making, the city plan is a collective effort of the public, city government, and outside consultants to envision the future of Birmingham.
Once the plan is complete, it will be made publicly available online, in several libraries, and city hall, for anyone wanting to read the entire document and comment before the approval process.
“People can either comment through the website, directly to the Birmingham Planning Commission, or show up at the public hearing. All comments will be recorded and reviewed through the planning commission.
“These comments may reflect revisions that need to be made. In some instances people don’t look at the entire document and so they say, ‘You haven’t talked about x, y, or z’, but it might actually be there.”
City officials say they intend to announce the publication of the document so anyone can review it before the official public hearing. “It is our intention to allow at least a month for public review and comment after we place it on the comprehensive plan website,” said Tom Magee, chief planner for the city.
After the public hearing, the planning commission will consider adopting the plan as is or with revisions. If the commission asks for revisions, changes will be made before it becomes a final document.
Although the plan is supposed to go into action next year, at this point, the new completion date is not publicly known.