City Council gives first OK to updating comprehensive plan

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By Johnathan Ryan

Lancaster City Council gave first approval of an updated comprehensive plan for the city last week.

The new plan will guide development efforts – where development should occur and what type – in the future with zoning designations. The city's plan is part of the county's comprehensive plan, which was last updated in 1999. State law now requires that the plan be updated every five years.

Lancaster County Planner Chris Karres, whose department has been responsible for updating the county-wide plan, said not many changes are needed in the city plan.

"These are really just technical changes," he told City Council. He said items such as population changes were included for council to approve.

"It's just a basic updating of information to make it more current," he said.

The towns of Heath Springs and Kershaw will also be asked to approve their sections of the county's master plan.

Councilman John Howard proposed that provisions be made for an elected board to check the county planning commission on decisions it makes about zoning requests. He also suggested a single sewer system under local control.

Karres said it's fine for council members to include "wish list" items in the plan.

"It is a wish list," he said. "The comprehensive plan does guide the development of towns and cities."

Karres also said the plan is not a mandate, but rather a guide to future land use.

The city will hold a public hearing on the plan Jan. 8.

For information on reviewing the county's master plan, call the Lancaster County Planning Department at 285-6005.

Councilmen Bill Sumner, Danny O'Brien and Preston Blackmon were absent from last week's meeting.

Contact Johnathan Ryan

at 416-8416 or