Public needed for city’s portrait

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2009

City of Bainbridge leaders are preparing to ask for the public’s help in drawing a portrait of what the city will look like in 2030.

The effort will be part of a 10-year update to the city’s comprehensive plan, which has been required by the Georgia state government since the late 1980s. The draft version of the comprehensive plan was presented to the Bainbridge City Council on Tuesday night by Osma Ercin, a senior planner with consulting firm Robert and Company, which has previously helped the city with similar tasks.

Before the public will be invited to get involved, the first step will be for the council to consider approving the draft versions of three parts of the plan: a data appendix, which serves as sort of a reference tool about Bainbridge; the community participation plan, which will detail how leaders and consultants will seek to gather citizens’ input on every facet of the updated plan; and a community assessment plan that describes what the city is like to live in now and what facilities and resources are available.

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Ercin said that after the council approves the drafts and they are reviewed by state government officials, a number of public meetings with different goals and formats will be held.

At one of the meetings, which are scheduled to begin later this fall, citizens will literally be able to “mark up” large printed maps of Bainbridge to indicate how they would like the city to change or be preserved, Ercin said.

Through the process of updating the comprehensive plan, city leaders will “develop a vision and goals for the city that will serve as a guide for its future growth and development,” he said.

Three documents that already exist in the drafts are an existing land use map, a simplified version of the land use map that shows “character areas,” and a map that shows areas of special attention.

The due date for the completed plan update is Oct. 31, 2010.

All three draft versions have been made available at the city’s Web site,, and printed copies are available at City Hall, 101 S. Broad St. downtown.