The City begins preparations for a comprehensive plan | News, Sports, Jobs


Altoona is preparing to create a new, comprehensive municipal plan in accordance with the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code.

The code requires municipalities to review their plans at least every 10 years.

The city last created a comprehensive plan in 2013.

Altoona officials will meet with Blair County Planning Director Dave McFarland – a former city planning director – this week to review a list of potential consultants who can develop a plan, according to the director of community development at Altoona. the city, Diana White, who spoke at an Altoona planning commission. meeting on Tuesday.

“We are going to come back here to pull ourselves together and motivate ourselves,” said White.

Creating a compensation plan is a long and elaborate process, White said.

There will be many meetings and solicitations for public participation.

The commission wants city council members to be intimately involved, she said.

And he wants big players in the region to know about the effort, she said.

It’s not only a good time to come up with a new plan based on the state’s calendar, it’s also an opportune time for a new plan based on many things that have happened in the city recently, are happening now or will happen soon, according to White.

“A convergence of factors” said White.

These include development projects downtown, near the former Bon Secours Hospital and around the eastern foot of the Seventh and Eighth Street Bridges; the city’s recent exit from Bill 47, its $39 million allocation from the US bailout, the ARP funding the city council recently provided for the land bank to begin operations; and an engineering bureau plan to get grants in a more coordinated way, White said.

“The city does a lot of interesting things” she says.

At the suggestion of Commissioner Dick Haines, retired Blair County planning director, the planning commission will seek formal permission from city council to develop the plan.

This is the correct procedure, and it is always best to follow procedure, because if controversy were to arise, a procedural weakness becomes vulnerable to attack, according to Haines.

Council will be willing to provide that permission, predicted Mayor Matt Pacifico, who attended the commission meeting.

Authorization means “get the green light” of the governing body, said Rebecca Brown, director of codes and inspections.

“(The Council) needs to say, ‘Go ahead and do it'” said White.

It makes sense because the council will pay for it, White said.

The work must result in “something that reflects what we have had to do for 10 years”, said White.

The Mirror’s staff writer, William Kibler, is at 814-949-7038.



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