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Comprehensive plan sets path for the future

Published: Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 11:56 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 12:02 p.m. CDT

Newton Community Development Director Bryan Friedman and Newton City Planner Erin Chambers have been working on a document titled “Newton’s Future.” The document is intended to act as the city’s comprehensive plan, as well as a community plan that could be accessed by any individual or non-profit group for projects that would further the community’s vision.

While not yet in its final form, the document is being reviewed by Newton Planning and Zoning Office and will be submitted to Newton City Council on Oct. 15 for review. The public still has time to submit ideas and suggestions.

“Newton’s Future” has four key strategic objectives, goals that Chambers said kept emerging as top priorities wherever the plan was submitted for review. Those goals are to grow Newton’s population, with a focus on young families; increase job opportunities; improve the city’s curb appeal; and fill vacant buildings and increase local shopping options.

“There are a lot of things that make Newton great: the people, location, small-town feel, a creative spirit and the ability to dig in and accomplish great things,” the introduction to Newton’s Future stated. “Having weathered the exit of its largest industry (Maytag) and managing the impacts of the recent economic recession, Newton continues to work toward resurgence.”

The comprehensive plan is intended to serve many purposes, including providing an essential legal basis for land use regulations, such as zoning and subdivision regulations. It also provides a vision for the citizens of Newton and suggests actions to fulfill a vision for the future.

The plan also will provide a guide for decision-making and address present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

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