For the next six to nine months, Sedalia will be under a microscope as officials and consultants begin the process of updating the city’s comprehensive plan.
Last updated in 2008, the plan is a complete look at Sedalia’s potential land use, transportation, economic development, public facilities, parks and recommended policy decisions, among other items. Used extensively by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and the Sedalia City Council, the comprehensive plan acts as a “guidebook, a way to show where Sedalia wants to go and its vision,” said Community Development Director John Simmons.
“It’s been five years since we created the current plan so it’s time to really look it over, see what we’ve done right, what maybe needs to be changed or altered and where we want to go in the next five years,” he said. “Before this one, the last comprehensive plan we had was done in 1991, so it was outdated and not very useful for a lot of what we wanted to do.”
In 2007, the city started the current plan nearly from scratch, detailing every aspect of Sedalia from the demographic makeup to potential areas for development. Simmons said because the 2008 plan was so extensive, the updating process will be relatively streamlined and the original consultant — Dave Knopick with DPlanit — will be back in town for the update.
“It’ll be nice to have the 2008 plan as a jumping off point. We don’t have to start over completely,” Knopick said. “A comprehensive plan is really a 30,000-foot view of where the city stands. There are recommendations, but they’re fairly general things that the city can look at doing.”
Many of the recommendations from the 2008 plan deal with planning and design stages, Simmons said, some more visible than others.
“Something that came out of the plan was a complete street program,” he said. “When our public works crews fix a street, they’re looking at not only the street, but also the sidewalks, curbs, gutters, trees in the right-of-way. We’ve also had some great successes identifying commerce corridors, diversifying the employment base and infrastructure redevelopment downtown, which includes the streetscape projects.”
Key to creating the plan, both Simmons and Knopick said, is public input. The first of several planned public forums is slated for early fall and the city may also use online surveys to solicit opinions.
“Public forums tend to be a mix of realistic goals and pie-in-they-sky ideas of what people would like to see,” Knopick said. “The key is finding the balance of what we can do and what we’d like to do. A lot of times those pie-in-the-sky ideas are great ones and we can take that idea and maybe pare it down or tweak it into something that’s doable with the finances available.”
Simmons and Knopick will spend this week working out logistics of the update and work will likely begin later this month. The 2008 comprehensive plan is available online for the public to view at