Planning commission looks to the future

Rosemary Martin

By Seth Schmidt

The Tracy Planning Commission has an ambitious agenda for 2019.

“We’ve got a lot of things to work on,” says Commission Chair Rosemary Martin.

Development of a new city plan, nuisance ordinance compliance, sidewalk policy, and downtown revitalization are among the issues on the planning commission’s radar.

“We need to look at all of the things that can make Tracy a better place to live,” Martin comments.

The planning commission’s role, Martin feels, needs to be more than simply reviewing variance requests.

Other commission members are Rhonda Fredericks (vice chair), mayor-elect Anthony Dimmers, Shirley Anderson, James Green and Chelsea Self.   Mayor Pam Cooreman has been the advisory board’s council representative. EDA Director Jeff Carpenter attends meetings in a non-voting capacity.

City plan

A new comprehensive city plan, Martin feels, can become a road map for establishing priorities and planning Tracy’s future.  City Administrator Kris Ambuehl has given the commission copies of two other towns’ comprehensive plans to review, as a starting point for developing a new Tracy plan.

“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Martin says.  Looking at what other communities have done, she says, will be very useful.  

The City of Tracy utilized the services of Eagan consultant Fred Sabongi, in developing a city plan in 2000-01.  The  “Sabongi Plan,” as it came to be known,  was “visionary,” Martin feels, but impractical to implement fully because of its costs. 

Nonetheless, Martin feels that Tracy needs a bold vision for its future. For example, this past year, the planning commission discussed the merits of turning a block of the downtown into a no-traffic mall.  The mall concept would transform Third St., between Morgan and South streets, into a public space with trees, flowers, and benches. Parking would be moved to lots behind the block.  Martin would like to see some type of structure included on the mall to accommodate outdoor festivals and concerts, and the Box Car Days beer gardens. 

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.