At the foundation of the comprehensive plan is the question: “What do you want your community to be?” Recognizing that the people who live, work and play in a community should have input in how that community develops, Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” Law, Statute 66.1001(4)(a), mandates:
The governing body of a local governmental unit shall adopt written procedures that are designed to foster public participation, including open discussion, communication programs, information services and public meetings for which advance notice has been provided, in every stage of the preparation of a comprehensive plan. The written procedures shall provide for wide distribution of proposed, alternative or amended elements of a comprehensive plan and shall provide an opportunity for written comments on the plan to be submitted by members of the public to the governing body and for the governing body to respond to such written comments. The written procedures shall describe the methods the governing body of a local governmental unit will use to distribute proposed, alternative, or amended elements of a comprehensive plan to owners of property, or to persons who have a leasehold interest in property pursuant to which the persons may extract nonmetallic mineral resources in or on property, in which the allowable use or intensity of use of the property is changed by the comprehensive plan.
The public participation plan for the Racine County comprehensive plan was intended to actively involve residents, business owners and other stakeholders in the planning process.
Racine County Tomorrow: Racine County’s Smart Growth Newsletter
Public Participation Opportunities
Open House/Public Hearings: Summer 2009
Following the completion of the draft multi-jurisdictional comprehensive plan and approval of the draft by the MJAC, each local community conducted a joint open house/public hearing meeting to encourage residents to review the plan and provide their comments, either informally at the open house or formally during the public hearing. A record of these meetings will be included in the appendices of the final comprehensive plan document.
City of Burlington (7/21/09)
City of Racine (8/12/09 and 8/18/09)
Village of Caledonia (8/4/09)
Village of Elmwood Park (7/9/09)
Village of Mt. Pleasant (6/16/09)
Village of North Bay (6/30/09)
Village of Rochester (6/17/09)
Village of Sturtevant (6/2/09)
Village of Union Grove (6/22/09)
Village of Waterford (6/8/09)
Village of Wind Point (7/6/09)
Town of Burlington (7/23/09)
Town of Dover (6/10/09)
Town of Norway (6/24/09)
Town of Raymond (7/20/09)
Town of Waterford (6/1/09)
Town of Yorkville (6/22/09)
Racine County Economic Development and Land Use Committee (9/21/09)
Public Informational Meetings: Spring 2009
In April and May 2009, three public informational meetings were conducted (in the Village of Waterford, City of Racine, and Village of Mt. Pleasant) to provide an update to community members regarding the comprehensive plan. In accordance with the Racine County Public Participation Plan, these meetings were held following the completion of the seven key planning elements: issues and opportunities; agricultural, natural, and cultural resources element; land use element; housing element; transportation element; utilities and community facilities element; and economic development element.
Racine County Fair Smart Growth Information Booth: July 2007 and July 2008
The Smart Growth Team and members of the MJAC provided information at the Racine County Fair in both 2007 and 2008. In 2007, maps, fact sheets and newsletters were on display, and several fair-goers stopped to learn more about the comprehensive plan and public opinion survey, to get an update on the plan’s progress, and to share their ideas and concerns about future development in the County.
In 2008, aerial photos showing development between 1963 and 2005 were displayed, along with the Union Grove 2035 Land Use Map, and other maps from the plan. Bookmarks were distributed, bearing the smart growth website address and the comprehensive plan vision statement, and a slideshow was developed to show some aspects of the plan’s background and purpose.
1963 and 2005 Aerial Photos showing Historical Land Cover:
- Villages of Caledonia and Wind Point and City of Racine
- Town of Burlington and City of Burlington
- Town and Village of Rochester and Village of Waterford
Racine County Multi-Jurisdictional Comprehensive Plan Slideshow (16MB, wma file)
Public Informational Open House Meetings: September – November 2007
From September through November 2007, four public informational open house meetings were conducted in order to provide interested residents with information about the comprehensive planning process and the completed draft chapters of the plan, as well as to gather input about the issues facing the County through a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats identification exercise.
Comprehensive Plan Public Opinion Survey
In May 2007, a countywide public opinion survey was conducted in an effort to collect widespread input for the comprehensive plan. The survey was designed by the MJAC, with assistance from SEWRPC and UW-Extension, to address the nine planning elements required by State law, including residents’ opinions about housing, economic development, transportation, and land use. Results from the survey will be used to guide the development of the Issues & Opportunities Element of the multi-jurisdictional comprehensive plan.
Noting the over-representation of older adults in the survey sample and the under-representation of the City of Racine, County Board Supervisor and MJAC member Ken Hall requested additional analysis of the survey results by age group and a comparison of the City of Racine results with the countywide results. This was completed in April 2008.