City Council approves Master Plan Update Proposal

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By RuAnne Walworth
Williamston Post staff writer

Williamston City Council members held a heavy discussion on the Master Plan Update Proposal on Oct. 14.

According to City Contracting Planner Michael Gradis, the master plan has to be updated every five years. Williamston is a year behind this timeframe, which raised the importance of City Council’s approval on this proposal.

“We have been working with the planning commission to update this master plan and submitted a proposal back in March,” Gradis said. “We will be reviewing amendments in planning commission at a kick-off meeting.”

The commission will focus on updates with its’ concept land use map. This map, from 2007, has some discrepancies, according to Gradis, and updating the map will help with rezoning.

Not all council members are completely satisfied with the timing on this proposal.

Williamston City Council members.

Williamston City Council members.

“We can spend our money elsewhere better,” Councilman Ben Stiffler said. “I simply think this plan can hold off. It is budgeted for $6,000 so the money is in the budget, but I think the planning commission can somehow put a stamp on it somehow to postpone it for a year or two.”

The council discussed ways to avoid spending this money by having other committees update the proposal. Mayor James DeForest said it would take longer if construction of the bubble map were held in different workshops, so the $6,000 would have to be spent.

Councilwoman Michelle Van Wert agreed that this money could be better spent, but emphasized why planners are

Mayor James DeForest discusses updating the budget.

Mayor James DeForest discusses updating the budget.

certified and required to update the master plan.

“It’s important we maintain our credibility with the state to follow and update … for quality businesses and residents to come here,” Van Wert said. “They don’t have to second guess when they come in with zoning and planning. We’ve been through that years ago. It was just terrible and sent very bad messages. We need to be consistent and I am very supportive of this.”

The council unanimously agreed to accept the proposal with the motion for the budget to not exceed $6,000.

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