O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

Long Term Planning for O'Brien County Begins


August 15, 2019

Long Term Planning for O'Brien County Begins

Your tax bill arrived in the mail, probably last Friday. A survey was included. Each adult in O'Brien County is asked to complete and return the survey. It is also available to take online at http://www.obriencounty.org/2019/07/obrien-county-community-planning-survey/. That same survey is available at each county office in Primghar. Paper versions can be returned either to the County Auditor's office, or preferably to NWIPDC, 217 W 5th St. Spencer, IA 51301, Attn: Erin Pingel.

Members of the Comprehensive Planning Committee include Dennis Vanden Hull, Charlene Elyea, Kiana Johnson, John Westra and Kelly Nieuwenhuis. Itis facilitated by Erin Pingel of NWIPDC.

Committee members at the August meeting viewed an GPS detailed O'Brien County map. Features such as cemeteries, airports, railroads, waterways, livestock facilities or other specialty land uses are currently being located on the map. Existing operations will be used to assist in the planning process for land use over the next 20 years. Surveys already returned were looked at by committee members.

The meetings are open to the public. The exact date of the September has not been confirmed. Watch this space for meeting details.

The last time O'Brien County set its long-term course for land use and development was 1972. Typically, a Comprehensive Plan is designed to cover 20 years. A lot has changed since then. It is past time for groups and individuals throughout O'Brien County to come together to determine the direction of O'Brien County. That effort began Tuesday June 18. The planning process is being spear-headed by Northwest Planning and Development Commission (NWIPDC), a Council of Government to which O'Brien County and most of its cities are members.

Building a Comprehensive Plan for any organization is daunting. For a county the variety of issues required is vast and varied. The topics typically covered are brief overviews of history, physical features and natural resources, a hazard mitigation plan, trends, public services, education, employment/industry types, infrastructure and utility planning, transportation, parks & recreation, land use planning and policy, and miscellaneous development issues such as annexation or zoning. There is also a section for implementation. The deadline for completion of this plan is December 31, 2019.


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