Janesville32.1°

A voice for city’s future

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Ann Fiore
October 10, 2007

Residents have a chance Thursday to make an impact in 2037.


The Janesville of 2037 likely will have 82,000 people—instead of its current 62,000—and will be at least 9 square miles bigger, city planners say. Those changes demand planning now.


The city will hold an open house Thursday to get public feedback on its comprehensive plan, which will guide growth over the next 30 years. The state’s Smart Growth law requires all communities to have such plans by 2010, in an effort to prevent urban sprawl.


Janesville is in the unusual position of being able to grow in all directions, said Brad Cantrell, city community development director.


That means the city has to figure out where it wants its housing, commercial and industrial developments so it can preserve resources and grow in the most cost-effective way.


Residents who attend the open house can examine three growth scenarios. They can choose how much housing, commercial and industrial development they’d like to see. They can select different styles of housing, different kinds of green spaces.


After all that picking and choosing, city planners and consultants will craft a plan that incorporates the best of all the alternatives, Cantrell said.


All three scenarios include future improvements to transportation corridors, including Highway 26, Interstate 90/39 and highways 11 and 14, said Duane Cherek, city manager of planning services.


Janesville developed a similar plan in the 1980s, and its predictions pretty much reflect the way Janesville looks now, Cantrell said.


“If you’re interested in your community and how it’s growing, now is the time” to make yourself heard, he said.


Scenario 1


Residential: Follows current trends with 70 percent of growth on the north and east sides, 20 percent on the west side and 10 percent on the south side. County farm remains undeveloped.


Commercial: Targeted areas include Milton Avenue and Highway 14 interchange, Milton Avenue and I-90/39 interchange, Highway 51 and Highway 11 bypass, and scattered sites on Highway 14.


Industrial: East of the airport and north and south of Highway 11, with some development east of Interstate 90/39.


Scenario 2


Residential: Growth is split evenly between east and west sides. On the west side, growth extends to where the Highway 11 bypass now stops.


Commercial: Similar to Scenario 1 except adds mixed-use developments featuring commercial, office and residential. County farm has commercial, mixed use and residential development.


Industrial: Only slightly different from Scenario 1. Most industrial growth is targeted for east of airport and south of Highway 11.


Scenario 3


Residential: Growth is split evenly between east and west sides.


Commercial: Increased commercial focus, with pockets of development at all major interchanges, including Milton Avenue and Highway 14, Milton Avenue and I-90/39, highways 51 and 14, highways 51 and 11, Highway 11 and I-90/39, and highways 14 and 11. County farm has commercial development.


Industrial: More industrial sites than other two scenarios. Most located east of airport and north and south of Highway 11, but also scattered pockets.


Storyline

What: Janesville is developing a comprehensive plan to guide its growth over the next 30 years.


Who should care: All Janesville residents are invited to an open house on the plan from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Council Chambers at City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. The public can see three development scenarios, take a visual preference survey, view interactive displays and offer comments. Short presentations will be given at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. City staff and representatives from consulting firm Vandewalle & Associates will answer questions.


What’s next: City staff and Vandewalle will use public comments to develop a preferred scenario. A draft comprehensive plan could be ready for the plan commission by spring and the city council by summer. Public hearings would be held before adoption.



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