City launches public outreach campaigns
WOODINVILLE - The City of Woodinville begins the new year with several major campaigns. Their success requires community input and participation. "This is a vital year for us. We need residents, business owners, property owners and managers to help us plan for our future," notes City Manager Pete Rose.
Topping the list is the upcoming release of the Civic Center (Sorenson) Master Plan. In early 2000, the City hired Carlson Architects to develop plan options for the 10-acre Sorenson property that is currently home to the City Hall and Chamber of Commerce offices, the Sorenson School and adjacent ball fields. Last year the City gathered public input through statistical surveys, a community assessment and focus group discussions with teen, senior and other groups. This input was used to identify community needs for this property. "Now it's time for the City Council to review in detail the Master Plan of this property," states Rose. The Preliminary Master Plan was presented at the Council's Jan. 16 meeting. From there an informational display about the development plan will go on a "road show" of sorts. It will be displayed from mid-February to early March at local banks, grocery stores and other businesses in Woodinville. Accompanying the display will be a community questionnaire. Responses to the questionnaire will gauge the community's reaction to the proposed Civic Center concept. It is anticipated that the Council will make a final decision as early as their March 19 meeting.
The City is also launching a recruitment campaign for citizens, business and property owners and business managers to serve on several citizen advisory panels to assist with updating the City's Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan sets the trend for growth in Woodinville over the next 20 years. The Washington State Growth Management Act requires jurisdictions to update their plans in order to reflect the vision of our community's future, identify goals and policies to achieve the vision and to prepare for future growth. Community members are needed to work on elements of the plan that include: land use, transportation, housing, capital facilities, environment, human services and community design. An orientation meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 in Council Chambers, for persons interested in serving on one of the advisory panels. "Direct citizen participation in local government is the basis of community building," comments Rose. "Community members who serve on these teams best reflect where they want to see Woodinville, five, 10 and 20 years from now."
A third campaign that has begun is the City's annual Capital Improvement Plan (C.I.P.) process. The C.I.P., approved by the City Council, identifies transportation, surface water and parks projects within the City and funding sources to support each project. Proposed projects will be ranked by adopted criteria and sent to the Council for review and approval. Project obligated in the 2001 budget for construction will be carried over to completion. Community input is needed to identify improvements to the City's transportation and parks system, environmental and water quality and community facilities. A list of proposed projects to date are available now at City Hall. The list will be published on the City's Web site at www.woodinville-city.com after Jan. 24, along with an electronic comment form.
"E-Gov," or electronic government, is another project the City is undertaking this year. Woodinville has joined over 20 King County cities in an E-Gov Alliance. Participating cities will develop an E-Gov Strategy that will serve as a framework that identifies electronic government applications, such as permitting and online recreation registration, for their Web site customers. A vital component of Woodinville's Strategy will be learning the community's needs for online city services. "We are looking for an advisory team comprised of citizens and business owners or managers who would prefer to conduct business with us online rather than make a trip to City Hall, customers such as developers who would prefer to download a city permit and eventually apply online and other interested community members to provide input to us on what services we should provide on our Web site," explains Rose. The purpose of the E-Gov Alliance is to make a great leap forward in online transactional services on a scale and with an investment that would be difficult for individual cities. A side benefit is uniformity. "This will not be cheap. We are sensitive of the need to balance the vision of E-Gov from the community's perspective with sound financial evaluation of taxpayer's money."
These four major public outreach campaigns play a vital role in what Woodinville will look like, how it will conduct business and what the downtown area will encompass over the next five to 20 years.
"It's an exciting year for us to embark upon these projects," states Rose. "Successful campaigns begin with the support of the community and are likely to fail without it."
Information on these campaigns and other city happenings can be found on the city's Web site at www.woodinville-city.com.
For specific information, see list below:
Civic Center (Sorenson) Master Plan: Lane Youngblood, Director of Parks and Recreation, 425-398-9327, extension 246 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Citizen Advisory Panels for Comprehensive Plan Updates: Charleine Sell, Planning and Community Development Department, 425-489-2754, extension 232 (email@example.com).
2001-2007 Capital Improvement Plan (C.I.P.): Deborah Knight, CIP Coordinator, 425-489-2700, extension 285 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
E-Gov Community Advisory Team: Marie Stake, Communications Coordinator, 425-489-2700, extension 245 (email@example.com).