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Public Participation ProgramThe public participation program is a critical element of any planning process. Adequate public notice and comment are vital to ensuring that the planning documents created truly reflect the views of the citizens and organizations in the county. Therefore, the public participation process for the Historic Sites and Districts Plan will encourage participation by all stakeholders affected by the plan. Stakeholders include citizens, historic property owners, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood organizations, schools, religious organizations, civic organizations, local business groups, the building industry, the county government, municipalities, and advocacy groups.
The public participation program has two related components: outreach and engagement. Outreach is accomplished through a variety of methods that advertise opportunities for public participation in the planning process. Outreach is conducted throughout the planning process, but is mostly concentrated during the period of plan formulation. The ultimate goal is to inform the greatest number of people about the project. The project team intends to use a variety of outreach techniques, including:
Three general community meetings will be scheduled for late fall 2008. At these meetings the public will have an opportunity to learn about the planning process and how they can participate in further discussions. Suggestions resulting from these meetings will be collected, reviewed, and incorporated into the planning process.
In winter 2008 and early spring 2009, follow-up focus group meetings with stakeholders will be held to address specific topics or issues. At the conclusion of the planning process, in the late spring of 2009, three meetings will be held to share the plan’s preliminary findings and provide the public with an opportunity to shape the master plan as it develops.
The HPC will be part of the stakeholder process at the beginning of the plan formulation period. When the preliminary plan meetings occur in the late spring of 2009, the HPC will again be asked to comment at that time before the plan is submitted to the Planning Board for their review and comments.
Performance criteria through which the effectiveness of this public participation program can be measured will include the following: