Blair County planners want feedback from the public for comprehensive plan

Blair County planners continue to seek public input to help in the development of a countywide comprehensive plan.
The Blair County Planning Commission has been holding a series of meetings to hear residents’ ideas on the type of place the county should be ten to twenty years from now.
Tonight, the next to last in the series of meetings will be held at the Tyrone Area Elementary School. Residents from the Tyrone area, Bellwood and Antis Township are being welcomed by county planners to attend the meeting.
Elected officials, community-based organizations, business owners and civic groups are among those invited to participate in what the planners describe as an “interactive public visioning and mapping workshop to help shape the future of the region.”
Ahead of the meeting, county planners placed ads in The Daily Herald alerting residents of the opportunity to participate in the meeting. The notice said participants would be asked “to think about the type of development that is appropriate and desired in the community, how the community can take advantage of its assets to increase the quality of life, and where agricultural, park and natural land should be conserved.”
One aspect of tonight’s meeting will be the opportunity for attendees to have a hands-on chance to help develop a county planning map.
Lee Slusser, assistant director of the county planning commission, said similar meetings have been held throughout the county including Altoona and the southern part of Blair and elsewhere during the process of creating the comprehensive plan.
Slusser said attendees will be actually drawing on maps as to “what they’d like to see go where” in their community. The maps will then be collected with others that have been completed by residents and experts. Then, county planners will use the information to develop the final version of the comprehensive plan.
The public notice about tonight’s meeting said the workshops are one of the last opportunities for the general public to participate in the process of preparing the plan.
The document is being designed to lay out a vision, goals and objectives for the future of the county and its municipalities. The plan will also include recommendations to assist the county and local governments in implementing land use and development objectives.
The public notice mentioned the meeting tonight is part of a second round of such events to get feedback during the process.
The plan is expected to be completed this summer and a final public meeting will be held to present the draft plan to the community before it is reviewed for adoption by county planners.
Slusser said the planners are working with communities like Snyder Township to make sure the county comprehensive plan matches up to the one being developed by the township.
Recently Tyrone Borough decided to seek funding for the development of its own comprehensive plan. Tyrone beat an April 15 deadline to apply for matching funds from the state. The borough will supply the other half of the costs to undertake the development of its comprehensive plan.
Tonight’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Large Group Instruction room at Tyrone Elementary.