GREENFIELD — City officials have started a survey to get public input on how the city should develop and grow.
Additionally, the city’s planning and building department recently launched a Facebook page to be used for updates during the process of revising the comprehensive plan, which is expected to take several months.
Joanie Fitzwater, city planner, said a comprehensive plan is a long-term guide for the city. It lays out city growth, infrastructure improvements and other city developments for the future.
Up-to-date comprehensive plans are required for many state and federal grants.
She said it’s imperative that city officials gather the public’s input about what they want to see in their community. That’s why her office is asking residents to take a brief survey, attend community workshops and engage in social media platforms for the plan’s update.
The update is a community-based plan and needs involvement from all aspects of the community in order to reflect the direction Greenfield is heading.
The city’s 2006 plan focused on the fact that Greenfield is a traditional American city. It was the catalyst for building a more vibrant downtown.
Now that focus has changed, Fitzwater said, because community members are full of energy to help Greenfield grow.
The comprehensive plan needs to reflect that energy, she said.
The tagline for the comprehensive plan is “Greenfield in Gear.”
“Everything has led us to reigniting the downtown. Just a few years ago, it was very sleepy,” she said. “That’s old news now. We’re feeling this energy and excitement, and everyone wants to get involved.”
Fitzwater said if she and her staff, including new planning associate Jenna Harbin, churn out a plan without consulting community members, it won’t have as much impact.
“Nobody is going to read it, and it will only have our opinions,” she said. “And there are a lot of opinions.”
At the end of last week, more than 200 people had taken the survey. Officials said they would like to reach all 20,600 residents.
In addition to the online survey, residents may weigh in by picking up paper copies at several locations throughout the city, including SoupHerb, at Main and State streets in downtown, Florida Cracker Bar-B-Que, 812 S. State St., and the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road.
The survey is quick and anonymous and allows residents to leave comments, Harbin said.
Survey responses will help the building and planning office identify the amenities residents want to see in Greenfield. They also will help staff identify steps that can be taken now to remedy residents’ concerns and answer questions, Harbin said.
“This helps us really see what some of the things are that we can accomplish quickly,” she said.
The survey includes questions about what residents want to see in Greenfield, the best aspects of the community and where they think improvements need to be made.
In addition to the survey and social media forums, the city also is hosting two public workshops for the plan’s update.
From 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. July 23, residents can attend the workshops at the library.
The meetings will include a presentation of the progress on the plan and public exercises to gather feedback on community-inspired projects and initiatives.
Staff with RATIO Architecture, the consulting firm working with city officials on the plan, will be present to answer residents’ questions and to help guide the workshop.
Mayor Chuck Fewell said he hopes residents will be involved throughout the process because the comprehensive plan helps guide decisions made by public officials.
“It’s very important that the citizens have input. It’s a 20-year plan,” he said. “With it being a 20-year plan, we want to have the things in place that the citizens feel will give them the best opportunities.”
It’s an exciting time to live and work in Greenfield, Fitzwater said. The comprehensive plan update will help keep the city on track.
“It’s a sanity check,” she said. “Are we headed in the right direction? Is our blueprint still building us the community we need?”
City officials have planned two community workshops on July 23 for the comprehensive plan update. The first is from 3 to 5 p.m., and the second runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Both are at Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road.
City officials are asking residents to take a survey about Greenfield. The survey can be accessed online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QHZF2JM.
Residents may also take the survey at various locations in Greenfield, including:
SoupHerb, at Main and State streets in downtown
Florida Cracker Bar-B-Que, 812 S. State St.
Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road
Residents can share comments, concerns and questions about the comprehensive plan and Greenfield on various social media sites.
Visit the Facebook page created for updates on the comprehensive plan, called Greenfield in Gear Comprehensive Plan Update or visit the MySidewalk page at https://mysidewalk.com/organizations/18111/greenfield-in.