Riverside readies comprehensive plan
RIVERSIDE—The city is going through the process of creating and adopting a comprehensive plan.
On Dec. 9, an open house was held at the Riverside City Hall for the public to view the 110-page comprehensive plan draft, which is available to view on the city’s Web site. It was facilitated by the RDG Planning and Design firm.
There are nine different sections to the plan, including defining the goals and opportunities for the city; identifying community amenities and setting goals for more, such as building a community center; renewing downtown; repairing and improving the city’s streets, sewers, water and stormwater infrastructures; providing new housing opportunities; attracting new development to Riverside; improving communications and cooperation in town; adopting a land-use guide; and implementing the plans.
Mayor Bill Poch liked several items, such as building a recreation/community center, developing a housing plan, and working on annexation, in the comprehensive plan.
“The most important thing is having a plan,” Poch said. “There are a number of things in the plan we’re going to implement.”
Another important thing is for the comprehensive plan to be reviewed often, Poch said. For instance, one item in the plan he would like reviewed in the near future is having railings installed along the downtown sidewalks.
“Those railings would help prevent any accidents that could happen,” Poch said. “This is in the plan and needs to be addressed.”
The railings have been an agenda item in the last six months and were brought up by Gary Lozano, a representative of RDG Planning and Design, at a planning meeting held on July 31. Lozano told the council the state building code requires a fence to be installed if there is a drop-off of more than 30 inches.
“It’s a clear requirement,” Lozano said, as reported in The Journal’s Aug. 1 edition. “This situation exists in such a manner that it is a real public danger.”
Another item Poch liked from the comprehensive plan was having the city tie into a theme, such as the Star Trek theme.
“People come from all around the world to visit Riverside because of Star Trek,” he said. “I wish more people would get on board with that [the Star Trek theme] because it’s about economic development.”
Also, listed as part of development is revitalizing the downtown. Poch said the city has tried to do something with downtown for 25 to 30 years. He would like more involvement from people downtown.
“Personally, I think the downtown businesses and building owners have to take ownership and work as a partnership to develop a short-term and long-term plan for the downtown,” he said.
Poch would also like to see more residents in the community both in town and in the rural area become more involved.
“Riverside has a lot of pluses,” Poch said, “but we need people to support and take action in a positive way.”
The city is already working on the infrastructure issues, Poch said. In November a contract was awarded to have six water mains replaced and for work to be done on stormwater drainage issues.
City administrator Rusty Rogerson was unavailable for comment on the comprehensive plan.