Brainerd Planning Commission members attended Tuesday's meeting expecting to recommend the city council approve the updated comprehensive plan.
However, the commissioners tabled a recommendation until the commission's May 12 meeting to allow staffers to present language alternatives.
The need for language alternatives arose during the public hearing for the comprehensive plan update. About 10 members of the public attended the public hearing for the comprehensive plan and those who spoke offered concerns about the inclusion of a future Mississippi River bridge north of the city, wording of future commercial zones at Crow Wing County Roads 3 and 49 and the need to protect the Mississippi River from being over developed.
John Ebinger, who lives in the area proposed for a bridge across the Mississippi River, said a bridge in the French Rapids area would be a detriment to the environment and would impact several families.
"We know all the areas can't be preserved, we also know it's certain the most beautiful areas can be preserved," said Ebinger. "I think this is an area that needs looking at."
A concern noted by Ebinger was the inclusion of a dotted line on a map in the comprehensive plan that showed a roadway route for the river crossing. City Engineer Jeff Hulsether said that in 20 or 30 years, whenever it is determined that another river crossing is needed, the city, the county and the state would consider several options in a lengthy process and the dotted line wasn't meant to be an official map for the corridor.
Hulsether and City Administrator Dan Vogt said the dotted line could be removed from the map and the future bridge crossing could be referred to in the text in general terms.
Vogt also said language dealing with a commercial area at County Roads 3 and 49 could be more specific.
Staffers will bring language alternatives back to the Planning Commission at its May 12 meeting. The revised comprehensive plan update is expected to go before the city council for approval or denial at the council's May 17 meeting.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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