BAXTER -- After five months of work, Baxter's comprehensive plan has been updated.
The Baxter City Council, after a nearly two-hour public hearing Tuesday, unanimously adopted the comp plan. Council member Mark Cross was absent.
"We're thrilled to be at this point," Tammy Filippi, Long Range Planning Commission chairwoman, said of the commission's work on the comp plan. "I think we really tried to take a holistic view of where we want Baxter to be 10, 20 years from now."
George Orning, of the Community Growth Institute, which assisted the Long Range Planning Commission in updating the city's comp plan, said the revisions were built on the existing plan that was adopted in 1996. He said additions included looking at the city's boundaries as well as outside of those boundaries.
The comp plan's direction, with Baxter as the "downtown of the lakes area," is to preserve the city's northwoods feel while managing its fast-paced growth.
During the public hearing portion of Tuesday's meeting, Baxter resident Tim Quincer presented to the council a laundry list of concerns he has with the comp plan.
Quincer's concerns included the lack of definition for concepts such as conservation design principles and how a northwoods feel would be maintained, the lack of detail in the plan compared to Brainerd's comp plan, and the recognition and preservation of cultural and historical sites along the Mississippi River.
Long Range Planning Commission member John Sullivan said the comp plan is a fluid document that should be updated regularly.
"Every time you turn around ... you can find something that's wrong or should have been but this is at the point where it's ready to adopt," Sullivan said. "Just because it is adopted doesn't mean it's a done deal. It means it's done for now until we make more changes."
With the comp plan adopted, City Attorney Brad Person said it would be up to the city commissions and the city council to revisit ordinances to put the ideas in the comp plan into effect.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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