GREENFIELD — More trails and sidewalks. Additional shopping options. Activities for families. Less traffic through downtown.
Those are several of the dreams residents have for Greenfield, and they’d like to see those dreams help lead officials as they make decisions for the city’s future.
About 50 residents participated in a public workshop Thursday to give residents the chance to have input in Greenfield’s comprehensive plan, which officials hope to update and adopt by the end of the year.
The plan is a document that helps guide city leaders and acts as a blueprint, outlining the city’s future. It lays the foundation for land-use decisions, declares the city’s goals and creates a vision for the future based on public input, according to city planning director Joanie Fitzwater.
The plan looks ahead 20 years and typically is updated every five to 10 years. The last time the city did an update was 2006.
The workshop invited residents to share the goals they have for the city, map where they’d like to see development and vote for one of two designs they prefer for a landscape project that would dress up the main gateway into Greenfield on State Road 9.
Now armed with that input, city officials are prepared to get to work writing and shaping the plan.
Terri Gordon, who has lived in Greenfield for about 40 years, attended the workshop to learn more about the plan update.
“I was just curious,” she said. “I think it’s great.”
She wanted to learn more about the process city officials go through to craft the plan and found it helpful they hosted workshops to get the word out.
Fitzwater hoped even more residents would turn out but was happy with what was gained from those who did attend. City officials walked away with public input they’ve been so eager to have.
“I was really pleased,” she said. “We had the opportunity to talk one on one, and that’s really helpful.”
Planning associate Jenna Harbin said the workshop gave officials the chance to explain the plan to residents. Often, residents don’t understand what the plan is or why it’s needed, she said.
“Usually (comprehensive plans) are not approachable,” she said. “We want to make it a little more reader-friendly.”
Gwen Betor, who recently moved within city limits, was happy to participate in the workshop. She left understanding more about where Greenfield is headed.
It’s the all-American small town, she said, and it has a lot of qualities for residents to be proud of.
There are good schools, a great hospital and fantastic services, she said. City officials need to continue building on that momentum, she said.
“I just think we’re on the cusp of being something great,” she said. “It’s a pretty city, and it’s only going to get prettier.”
Many residents and leaders are geared up to make updates to the plan that will help guide the city where residents want it to go. It’s important for officials to harness that energy and momentum to create a plan that makes a difference, Fitzwater said.
“Really, the most important people in the room are you,” she told residents. “Because the comprehensive plan is all about you.”
Residents who were unable to attend Thursday’s event can provide feedback and input through an online survey at surveymonkey.com/r/QHZF2JM.
Fitzwater said her office will take the input and feedback it received Thursday and begin summarizing results. A committee made up of community stakeholders will help weigh options to determine the best solutions and directions for the plan.
City officials plan to present the updated comprehensive plan at a Greenfield Plan Commission meeting in September; they hope the plan is adopted by the end of the year.
City officials are asking residents to take a survey about Greenfield and what they would like to see for the city’s future. The survey can be accessed online at surveymonkey.com/r/QHZF2JM.