The City of Driggs is recruiting members for a committee to update the city’s 12-year-old comprehensive plan.
The plan, adopted in 2007, was meant to be updated after ten years, but Mayor Hyrum Johnson said that when city staff members started working on research and revisions two years ago, they realized a more complete update was needed.
The comprehensive plan is a big picture document intended to inform land use and the city’s policies on recreation, housing, transportation, and other factors that will shape the future of the community.
The purpose of the committee, which will be composed of between five and seven Driggs residents and business owners, will be to help the city council and planning and zoning commission to update the comprehensive plan.
Johnson acknowledged that filling positions on committees and boards can be challenging.
“People are very busy right now, the economy is humming,” he said. “But public participation in this process is critical.”
Driggs just hired a second planner, Leanne Bernstein, to manage the influx of applications and help with the comprehensive plan rewrite, freeing up community development director Doug Self to pursue other projects.
“We’re definitely in a growth phase right now,” Johnson said.
Driggs had budgeted $40,000 for the comprehensive plan update process. After putting out a request for proposals in February, the city received one proposal from Logan Simpson, a firm with regional and local experience, and will negotiate a contract with them later this month.
Now the city can expand the scope of the project, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. Last year Johnson, along with four other mayors from around Idaho, participated in the foundation’s Community Health Academy with the intent of promoting health and fighting obesity in Idaho cities. Driggs applied for a $200,000 community transformation grant but did not receive it because the city is already relatively healthy or, as Johnson saw it, “I think we put on too good of a show.”
Instead, Driggs received a $50,000 High Five Ambassador grant to apply health holistically to its new comprehensive plan. The additional funding will go to hiring a health specialist and expanding the committee’s outreach in order to engage some of the harder-to-reach demographics in town, such as the Hispanic community and young people.
Teton County will also be working with Logan Simpson to revise its land development code, and Johnson said that Victor and Tetonia, also due for comprehensive plan updates, might follow that path as well.
“More cohesiveness in the community’s vision would be phenomenal,” he added.
After negotiation, Logan Simpson should begin work for Driggs in June and the project is estimated to take eight months. The city will then hold public hearings before adopting the new comprehensive plan. To apply for the comprehensive plan committee or view more information, visit www.driggsidaho.org/comp_plan_committee. Applications are due by June 3.