This week the City of Driggs is holding nine open house sessions to give citizens the chance to weigh in on opportunities, concerns, and ideas for their neighborhoods and for the city as a whole.
Each day from Dec. 11 to 13, there will be three sessions: from 7-9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 5-7 p.m. The time range is designed to accommodate as many different work schedules as possible, and conversations will be held in English and Spanish.
This is the second phase of the Driggs comprehensive plan overhaul. The current plan, which informs land use and policies that will shape the future of the city, was approved in 2007. When city staff members started working on research and revisions to the plan two years ago, they realized a more complete update was needed.
In May the city contracted with consulting firm Logan Simpson to tackle the project. Logan Simpson is also steering Victor’s comprehensive plan update and the county’s land use code update. The comprehensive plan committee meets on the first Monday of every month at 4 p.m. at city hall and is made up of seven members of the public: Nick Beatty, Matt Biggs, Mariana Hernandez, Ken Kirkpatrick, Guyon Moseley, River Osborn, and Lane Valiante.
At the open houses, Driggs staff members and consultants from Logan Simpson will be gathering feedback from the community about the results of an online survey and one-on-one interviews.
The results are available online at uniquelydriggs.com. While over 300 community members either answered the survey or took part in an interview between July and October, around 90 of those participants were high school students as part of a student outreach program, so the results skewed a little young and a little heavy on county and Victor residents. Regardless, the summary shows information like where people work and how they get there, whether they own or rent their homes, what they love about Driggs, and what they think could use some work.
During the open houses, residents can also weigh in on their specific neighborhoods, from Creekside to Valley Center and from Tributary to Shoshoni Plains.
Leanne Bernstein, the Driggs planning administrator, said there’s no preparation required of participants. “However, if someone would like to do a little homework before stopping by they can scan through the UniquelyDriggs.com website to learn about the plan updating process and they can also scan through the current comprehensive plan to get a sense of the document and the specific topics that will be covered,” she said.
She thinks the update process is going well so far. “We are on track with our schedule and our consultants at Logan Simpson are really great,” she said. “For me, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to folks about our community. Although we’ve had great participation so far, we are still trying to increase the number of community members and make sure that our diverse community is properly represented.”
Driggs budgeted $40,000 for the process, then received an additional $50,000 grant from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. As a result, in addition to transportation, housing, economic development, and other standard topics, the new plan will also address community health.
After the open houses, the staff, committee, and consultants will edit the drafted opportunities and visions, then get to work on the text of the plan to reflect those ideas. In the spring the city will hold a community event to present the draft and take more feedback from the public. Finally the city council will hold public hearings to review, revise, and adopt the new plan. Bernstein said the goal is to wrap up the process by June or July of 2020.