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Town of Beloit creates Smart Growth blog

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ANN MARIE AMES
July 23, 2008
— Can’t make it to a meeting to help design a Smart Growth plan in Beloit Township?

You still can make your voice heard.


The town has created a Smart Growth blog at www.beloitsmartgrowth.blogspot.com. The Web site allows readers to comment about topics related to Smart Growth posted by town officials.

The town has two meetings in the near future to get public input on the plan.


Wisconsin’s towns, villages, cities and counties are required to adopt Smart Growth plans by 2010.


The finished plans will have nine elements that address aspects of community living—including housing, transportation and land use. The plans must explain how a municipality will implement its design for better community living.


The blog is meant to reach out to people who haven’t come to planning meetings, Administrator Bob Museus said. Town officials so far have used the blog to announce upcoming meetings and to announce that a working draft of the document is available.


“We will appreciate constructive comments,” Museus said.


The next meeting will focus on the housing element of the plan, said Ryan Garcia with R.H. Batterman & Co., the company hired to help the town with its plan.


That meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at the Beloit Town Hall, 2871 S. Afton Road.


Discussion likely will focus on how apartment complexes fit into the “fabric of the community,” Garcia said.


The multi-family dwelling conversation has been on everyone’s mind since May, when the Nicolet Lumber Company of Green Bay pulled plans to build a 48-unit apartment complex on Park Avenue in the township, Garcia said.


Museus said he expects the company to come back to the town board with revised plans that fit the town’s master plans.


The next meeting will focus on the town’s parks, open space and recreation plan. The town will consider establishing a parkland impact fee to soften the burden of park expenses on taxpayers, Garcia said. If established, developers would pay the fee as part of new development.


The meeting also will be a good time for residents to speak up if they think they need more recreational activities in the township, Museus said.


The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, at the Beloit Town Hall.


If you go

The town of Beloit will host two meetings to discuss elements of its Smart Growth plan.


-- Housing element: 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at the Beloit Town Hall, 2871 S. Afton Road.


-- Parks, open space and recreation: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, at the Beloit Town Hall, 2871 S. Afton Road.


If you can’t go:
The town has created a blog to gather public input on its Smart Growth planning process. Visit www.beloitsmartgrowth.blogspot.com.

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