Commission Corner Commissioner Chard On The City’s Comprehensive Plan

By: Commissioner Jim Chard Special to the Delray newspaper The City is engaged in an intensive effort to write a new Comprehensive Plan which will guide City staff and elected officials for the next 25 years.
A friend of mine used to say “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” As long term residents, recent arrivals, and visitors who love our Village by the Sea, the Comprehensive plan is the very best way for you to make sure that our City evolves in the right direction and is prepared for what the next quarter century has in store for us.
Re-invigorating neighborhood retail and commerce – Many cities have revived their walkable corner markets and repurposed them as restaurants serving locally grown produce, galleries, specialty coffee, and co-op work space.
We require new development to underground utilities but the City as a whole does not have a policy.
Canopy trees – Speaking of trees, Delray has a “tree canopy” of around 20%, in some neighborhoods, like the Southwest communities, the canopy declines to 10%.
Canopy trees cool our streets (think Atlantic Avenue), generate gentle breezes, sequester carbon, provide homes for birds and wildlife, clean the air, and reduce water pollution.
Alternative mobility – Many residents are frustrated by traffic congestion and parking challenges and yet the City continues to maintain automobile friendly policies rather than encourage alternatives to the automobile.
And yet City regulations require significant parking space based on use, not evolving transportation technologies.
This is a long term trend the City is already recognizing (via recent regulations for Urban Agriculture) and should encourage as part of our thriving hospitality ecosystem.
These are just a few ideas which could be incorporated into our Comprehensive Plan.

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