Philomath City Hall
Philomath City Hall (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath Planning Commission’s process of updating policies within the city’s Comprehensive Plan moves to a public hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The hearing provides the public an opportunity to comment on the citizen involvement section of the comp plan.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and will be held through Zoom.

The comp plan represents the city’s primary land-use document that sets goals and policies intended to guide how the city grows over the next 20 years. Earlier this month, the Planning Commission reviewed a draft of the comp plan’s citizen involvement chapter.

A statewide planning goal requires cities and counties to “develop a citizen involvement program that ensures the opportunity for citizens to be involved in all phases of the planning process.”

According to the city, the policy “will likely focus on providing proper notice of potential land-use decisions and getting more community members engaged in planning issues.”

A copy of the meeting agenda is online here.

The City Council last year approved a main street plan, housing needs analysis and economic opportunities analysis, adding them as appendices to the current comp plan. With the supporting documents in place, the commission is tasked with reviewing the goals listed in the comp plan to ensure they are still supported by the recent analyses and reflect the current desires of the community.

The draft of the proposed chapter can be viewed online here.

The city provides citizens with the option of appearing in person at the time of the meeting at City Hall to provide public comments. To make arrangements to testify on Zoom, contact the city recorder’s office by 4 p.m. Wednesday at 541-929-6148 or ruth.post@philomathoregon.gov. Comments can also be submitted via email or delivered to City Hall with a deadline of noon Wednesday.

The city provides live-streaming of meetings on its Facebook page.

After Wednesday’s public hearing, the commission will meet again at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1 to hold final discussions and vote on a recommendation to the City Council. A second public hearing will be held before the City Council, after which it will be voted on and the new policy language will be added to the comp plan.

Once updates to Chapter 1 are complete, the commission is scheduled to review the chapters on housing, economics and urbanization, each going through a similar process of review, public hearings, discussion and recommendation to the City Council.

The final step will be to consider any needed zoning map changes. The commission plans to meet twice per month into June to complete the process.

More information about the process, scheduled hearing dates and draft documents are available for the public to review here.

For more information, contact City Manager Chris Workman or City Planner Pat Depa at 541-929-6148.