Planning Commission fields questions at open house

New Prague Planning Director Ken Ondich and planning consultant Joanne Foust of MDG Inc. fielded various questions at the recent open house for the city’s 2012 Comprehensive Plan. Slightly more than 20 people were at the Thursday, Nov. 15, event, including residents, members of the New Prague City Council, the Planning Commission and representatives of Helena and Lanesburgh townships. Ondich said overall people had general questions about the plan, which covers the city’s demographics land use, housing and transportation. Ondich noted the township representatives both had the same question – Is New Prague expanding its growth area boundary? "No, we’re not," Ondich told them. The city is making changes within its boundary. Of the three sections being updated, the one that drew the most questions was transportation. The city has seen increases in traffic since the 2005 update to the Comprehensive Plan. People asked if the 2012 update will deal with that and its effect on the city’s downtown. Ondich explained the updated comprehensive plan identifies problem areas and notes it as a place that needs to be studied further, but doesn’t offer any solutions at this time. The city would also have to include the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) in any changes to the downtown corridor, as Main Street is part of a state highway. A public hearing on the 2012 Comprehensive Plan was scheduled for the Planning Commission’s Wednesday, Nov. 28, meeting.

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