Sunbury Master Plan process getting underway
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
The Village of Sunbury is seeking several residents to sit on a Comprehensive Master Plan Steering Committee. The village recently contracted with the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission to update a 2004 master plan, also the result of a partnership with regional planning.
The 2004 document made various recommendations based upon assumptions that have now changed. Since 2003 the Nestlé property has changed, the Kroger site has changed, there have been downtown streetscape improvements, additional sidewalks throughout the village, the Granville Street Bridge was built, there was a major sanitary sewer plant upgrade, and the village is no longer in the water business.
For a variety of reasons, the 2004 Village of Sunbury Comprehensive Master Plan Draft was never formally adopted.
During 2008 Sunbury Village Council members considered a resolution to contract with Bird-Houk Collaborative to prepare a Village of Sunbury Comprehensive Master Plan. That resolution was tabled and finally defeated following the October 2008 collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market that drove the economy into recession. Village council members decided they could not afford to pay $100,000 for a master plan that required an additional $25,000 traffic study, while they were also discussing eliminating employee pay raises.
On February 27 of this year, DCRPC Director Scott Sanders attended a work session one hour before the regularly scheduled Village of Sunbury Planning & Zoning Commission to discuss options for updating the 2004 document. At that session Sanders said since Sunbury’s 2004 document included a Visioning phase the old document could easily be updated by holding steering committee meetings open to the public.
Fast forward to last Wednesday’s Sunbury Village Council meeting when steering committee dates were agreed on, and the composition of the committee announced.
“The steering committee will include two members of village council, two members of the planning and zoning commission, a member from the (Big Walnut Area) Historical Society, a member from the Big Walnut Local School District, and a couple of at-large members from the residential community,” said Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield. “The first meeting of the steering committee will be held at 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, November 1, and the first Thursday of each month after that for at least six months.”
Hatfield said the steering committee meetings would be held in third floor council chambers in Sunbury Town Hall; and village staff members and representatives of the BST&G Fire District would also be invited to the meetings as needed for additional input.
“Anyone interested in serving on this committee needs to understand that this is a commitment that will take a lot of time reading and reviewing plans,” Hatfield said.
Village solicitor David Brehm said council members would have to determine a selection process for the at-large steering committee applicants.
“You will define the ratification procedure,” Brehm said. “There may be few choices or there may be a lot. We’ll have to wait and see how much interest there is.”
Applications to become a member of the Village of Sunbury Comprehensive Master Plan Steering Committee are available on the village website at < sunburyvillage.com >, and at the Sunbury Administration Building, 9 East Granville Street, Sunbury.
For additional information call 740–965-2684.