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Nisswa: Comprehensive plan update nearing approval

Nisswa could have an updated comprehensive plan adopted by the end of this year or early 2018.

Members of a comprehensive plan steering committee, planning and zoning commission and two city council members met Monday, Sept. 11, to discuss the final draft of the comprehensive plan document.

A comprehensive plan is a document that helps guide future development. Nisswa began the process of updating its plan in January, when a first visioning session was held with residents to gather their ideas about such topics as transportation and infrastructure; park and open space; economic development; housing; and land use.

The National Joint Powers Alliance and Region Five Development Commission are helping guide Nisswa through the process, along with the steering committee made up of residents representing different sectors of the Nisswa community.

Ashley Kaisershot with the NJPA and Tad Erickson with Region Five recapped the update process, noting there have been seven steering committee meetings, two focus group conversations, three surveys and two visioning sessions.

The following vision statement resulted: "Visitors and residents can enjoy the small town charm of our eclectic downtown, adore our abundance of natural resources, and thrive in our culture of environmental stewardship and active living."

The following seven guiding principles resulted through the process: preserve Nisswa's character; downtown and redevelopment; parks, trail networks and increased access; housing options; community facilities and services; preservation of environmentally sensitive and natural resource areas; and year-round economy.

After making minor adjustments to the plan, a next step will be to submit it to Crow Wing County for approval. Residents also will have 30 days to read the plan and ask questions, and a public hearing will be held before final adoption by the city council.

Planners said approval could happen in December or January.