The Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) has awarded the City's newly adopted Comprehensive Plan, Columbia Imagined, with the 2014 Outstanding Plan Award - Honorable Mention.
Development Services Manager Patrick Zenner accepted the award in St. Louis on October 16 on behalf of the City's Community Development Department. "We are honored to have received the state chapter's highest award for planning professionals and plans which foster communities of lasting value. Columbia Imagined: The Plan for How We Live and Grow, is the result of the community coming together to voice how and where growth and development should occur over the next twenty years. The plan identifies what we need to do to ensure our community values and uniquely special characteristics are preserved and promoted."
Designed to express the community's vision for how the City of Columbia should grow and develop, Columbia Imagined: The Plan for How We Live and Grow, was adopted by the City Council in October 2013 after nearly four years of work by the community, City staff, the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC), the Comprehensive Plan Task Force, and University of Missouri consultants. The Plan provides livability, land use and policy guidance for residents, professional staff, and appointed and elected officials through the year 2030, and was developed through extensive, highly invested, and diverse public input.
Throughout the development of Columbia Imagined, 26 public meetings, some with instant voting, were held throughout the community at 9 separate locations garnishing thousands of suggestions and comments over each of the Plan's 5 phases and final draft. During the plan's 25 months of public engagement, 72,000 information fliers were sent to families with elementary school children, information was sent each month to 55,000 commercial and residential utility customers describing the plan and how to get involved, and hundreds of stakeholders, from neighborhood associations and City Commissions to the NAACP were asked to participate in each phase of the plan's department. Additionally, information kiosks and survey boxes were placed at 7 high-traffic facilities throughout the community, and information was available on the web 24-7 on Facebook, Twitter and www.ColumbiaImagined.com.
According to the Missouri APA Awards Review Jury: "With many Outstanding Plan Award nominees submitted for this year's review, the Jury wanted to specifically acknowledge the Columbia Imagined Plan with an Honorable Mention. With an in-depth upfront inventory, the Plan clearly identified how to achieve the area's goals and objectives. Regional maps were provided to show how growth impacts the area, and a template of how to attain livable and sustainable communities provided the foundation to achieving the Plans' five principal goals. Overall, this plan is an impressive guide for moving the community forward and is a fantastic public resource for effective public engagement tools."
Columbia Imagined may be viewed online at: www.columbiaimagined.com.