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Efforts are being made to update the City Of Newport’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. A City Plan provides the foundation for a wide variety of actions, all designed to help citizens accomplish a shared vision for their community. Updating a Plan allows the City to investigate, identify and implement actions that are necessary to address changes in circumstances that have occurred since the adoption of the last City Plan. In this way, a Plan is a “living” document.

The next public meeting will be held on February 23, 2016 from 6:30-8:30 at the Pell School (35 Dexter St., Newport).

A Vision for Newport’s Future
What would you like Newport to be in the future? What would be your ideal future Newport? This Vision will become the foundation for the Plan’s goals, policies, strategies and implementation program. Dream BIG. What do you LOVE about your community and what needs to be worked on? How can the Vision help establish the foundation for related actions? Better schools? A more diverse and “resilient” economy? How about a more mobile Newport? Is public engagement part of Newport’s future? Diversity? Technology?

Goals and Policies
Can you help us articulate goals that will help Newport accomplish its Vision? You set goals all the time, probably without even realizing it! You evaluate them and adjust them too! Think about your community the same way. A more secure, safe and sufficient water supply? Less traffic congestion? A more diverse economy? An educated work force with skills that match up to the needs of current and future businesses? A Strategic Planning approach to managing public investments and related decisions? These are all examples of “goals” many communities hope to achieve as a way to make their Vision manifest. What goals do you think are important for Newport?

What about “policies?” These are more specific “action-oriented” and directive statements that relate to particular goals (or ideally to more than one goal). For instance, if reduced traffic congestion is a goal, then a related policy would be “Newport shall compile and analyze current traffic data on a regular basis and use that data to plan, evaluate, revise and otherwise implement transportation system improvements in a way that is integrated with other important Plan goals and strategies.” This policy would not only address transportation and mobility, but air and water quality, economic development, public health and safety, historic and cultural resources, social equity and other Plan elements.

Issues and Opportunities
This is the easy part. Everyone has their favorite issues. They’re easy to identify but often complex and difficult to resolve. The Plan and the planning process is a way to try and resolve issues in ways that serve the most beneficial purposes for the common interest. Its not about the pot hole in front of your home or business, but maybe its about funding transportation infrastructure maintenance. Maybe its about transportation in general? Maybe there are opportunities in terms of how much we rely on roads and cars? The types of surfaces we use for roads? How we deal with storm water on roads?
Share some of your ideas about issues, but be prepared to provide ideas about opportunities too. Planning is not just about griping. Its about fixing. You need to be a part of the solution!

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.

He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.