To find out more about what a comprehensive plan is and how to get involved in the process of updating Jackson County’s plan, click this link: Jackson County Comprehensive Plan
JEFFERSON — Residents who want to give their thoughts on Jackson County’s future development can do so with just a few clicks of a computer mouse.
The county is in the midst of updating its comprehensive plan, a document that outlines policies and practices the county should implement over the next several years “to achieve its desired vision for growth and development,” according to Jackson County’s new comprehensive plan section of the Web site, www.jacksoncountygov.com.
With this new site, residents can find information on the county’s progress, what will be included in the plan and even give their opinions on what they want to see in the future.
To find the site, residents should look under the public development department’s section of the Web site and click on the comprehensive plan link on the left-hand side of the page.
Toni Smith, one of the county’s planners, said the Web site was made available online during the first week in July and was also updated last week to allow the county to receive input from as many residents as possible.
“Public participation is really where we’re getting to in our plan right now. We’re really trying to reach out to every single person in the community,” Smith said.
Also included in this section of information are two public comment documents: a mission statement and a public survey.
The mission statement, which was pulled from the previous comprehensive plan, describes Jackson County as “a spacious, gracious, and vibrant community; vigorously embracing the future while not losing sight of its past.” But residents can print out the statement, mark up the language and make other changes to submit to the planning department for consideration.
The public survey, on the other hand, presents residents with questions about the aspects of the county they like and don’t like, and invites opinions on what the county should focus on achieving in the next 20 years.
Both of these documents can be submitted through e-mail, faxed in or mailed in by Oct. 31 of this year.
Smith said the county will begin in September holding public hearings on the comprehensive plan in each of the five districts in Jackson County. Until then, people can go ahead and submit their input to the planning department. If residents have concerns about specific subjects and they send those concerns to the planning department now, she explained, the county will have a better idea of what to bring up at the meetings.
“This gives people time to think about what they want to see and respond at their most convenient time,” Smith said. “And we want to let people know they can go ahead and start commenting even though we’re not having public hearings right now.”
The Web site will be updated as more information comes in from the consulting firm working on the plan and as public meetings take place, she added.