The Rolla Community Development Department is working on a neighborhood plan for the Schuman and Ber Juan area — the first detailed, small-scale plan for an existing neighborhood area carried out in Rolla that could pave the way for neighborhood plans proposed in other parts of the city.
As part of the planning phase, Rolla City Planner Tom Coots is holding a neighborhood meeting to address residents' concerns and create a strategy for future action.
The Schuman and Ber Juan area is currently dealing with neglect and abandonment of properties, while further transitioning from single-family housing to student-oriented multi-family housing. The goal is to identify what is essential to the residents who live and own property in the area. The neighborhood plan would outline how to address these concerns, Coots said.
Coots encourages all 895 property owners and residents that were sent an invitation to attend. Other city staff and elected officials will be on-hand to hear concerns and answer questions from owners and residents. Following the meeting, an online survey for participants to provide feedback on the variety of topics and potential items presented will be open for two weeks, Coots said.
The input will be used when preparing the neighborhood plan document, which could recommend changes to the zoning code, more proactive code enforcement against nuisances, construction of additional bicycle and pedestrian facilities, improvements to streets as well as other infrastructure, Coots said.
The neighborhood plan may also promote ways to address long-standing issues in the area, such as crime and property maintenance. The plan document will be prepared through the fall and winter and should be ready to present to residents in the spring of 2020, Coots said.
If the process is well received, neighborhood plans could be proposed in other parts of the city with the intent of becoming a part of Rolla’s Comprehensive Plan. A total rewrite of the Comprehensive Plan will be a high priority in the coming years, Coots said.
The Comprehensive Plan was prepared initially in 2000 and last updated in 2005. The city has carried out various infrastructure and corridor plans over the years, including the Rolla West Master Plan in 2008 and the Downtown Strategic plan in 2014.
The meeting is Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in multi-purpose meeting room D at The Centre located at 1200 Holloway St. Additional meetings will be scheduled, Coots said.
The neighborhood survey is available online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/neighborhood_plan.
Participants should submit their email addresses with the survey to continue involvement with the planning process.