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Troy planners seek public input

| February 8, 2005 11:00 PM

By Roger Morris Western News Publisher

The Troy Planning and Zoning Committee will be seeking public input for the second time in the past three months when they share the results of a recent community survey and unveil a proposed city zoning map.

The committee will hold a public information meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. in the city council meeting room.

Results of the recent survey, compiled by Glen Gill will be shared. Twenty-nine percent of the surveys mailed out to city residents were returned, Gill said.

³According to authors and wizards of this stuff, a mail survey should have a 60 percent response,² he said. ³We decided on a mail survey because of the lack of resources.²

Not everyone in town received a survey. Instead, they had every fifth name from the city property owner rolls pulled and a survey mailed to the occupant at that address. The names were unknown to the committee members.

The survey included 26 questions with 81 percent of the respondents indicating that Troy needed improvements such as infrastructure, jobs, economy, regulated appearance and increased community activities and recreation.

³A minority wanted things to remain the status quo and felt the influx of new people resulted in more taxes and higher costs of goods and services,² Gill noted.

Probably more significant, 72 percent of the respondents said they were willing to participate in the future of the community by supporting events or festivals, donating time or funding.

³We were looking for issues that people felt need to be resolved by zoning and planning,² Gill said.

Although a large number of respondents said they were opposed to designating areas for business, or having buildings of similar architecture or having more green space or parks in residential area, the committee feels positive about the survey.

After all, a large number of people feel there is a need to clean up the appearance of the town and use some type of zoning to do it.

³I think I look at it in positive light because it will be helpful to the city in writing grant proposals,² Gill said.

Committee member Steve Bowen is also optimistic.

³I thought it was very encouraging,² he said. ³I hear a lot of negative comments when I tell people what we¹re trying to do. But it shows people care.²

Katie Randall, also a committee member, said she wanted to survey everyone in town to get a more accurate reading about what people feel or want.

City Clerk Sandra Johnson is excited about the work of the planning and zoning committee who has been working toward the Feb. 16 meeting for two years.

³The one thing I think the survey shows is the extent that people are willing to get involved,² Johnson said. ³That¹s how Troy has survived. I was encouraged by that.²

City councilman Don Banning, a liaison between the council and the planning committee, said the city has to keep the attention of the residents by doing things like the survey on a regular basis.

The complete results of the survey will be presented to the public with time for questions and answers.

The second part of the meeting will include discussion about the proposed use zones within the city. The map is nearly an exact reflection of what exists today in the city, Gill said. There are some differences, as the planners try to look at Troy 10-20 years from now.

Gill will present the map using a Power Point presentation. Johnson will explain the process that has to be followed between the council and the planners before an ordinance incorporating the zoning is presented to the public.

³People need to remember that this is long term not now,² Johnson said. ³And they need to know that everything that exists today would be grandfathered in and it really only affects the new things to come.²

She noted that the zoning would protect property owners from negative impacts of future development or proposed development, something people listed in the survey results as needed in the city.

Again there will be time allotted at the meeting for questions and answers about the proposed zoning map. The map has been seen by the city council but is still in the working stage by the planning and zoning committee.