Jul 28, 2014
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Turkey Farm Debate Turns to Younger Generation

Planner David Banisch said the fate of Larison's needs feedback from younger residents.

Turkey Farm Debate Turns to Younger Generation

The long process deciding the fate of the Larison's Turkey Farm property just got a little longer.

After a pair of visioning meetings to decide the fate of landmark property, planner David Banisch came to the conclusion that more outreach is necessary to settle the long-standing debate.

Banisch said that the two meetings were well-attended and the minutes showed about 120 comments from the public.

"One of the things that occurred to me was that the two crowds themselves tended to be older residents of the community," Banisch said. "And younger age groups weren’t in attendance. In that regard they weren’t able to provide comments."

Banisch added that the age distribution in the borough is 25 percent ages 30 to 49 and another 23 percent is ages 20 to 29. Age groups that weren't represented in the visioning.

"What I'm recommending is that we conduct an additional outreach and try to get a broader base of comment. I think that'll be useful," Banisch said. "The younger segment of the population tends to be more mobile, they certainly represent the very important part of the discretionary income that's available in the community. Their lifestyle choices are voiced through their mobility; they go places when they want to go places, when their kids want to go places they go places. They know where they're going and why they're going. I think it would useful to the process to hear from them."

The additional outreach will be made possible by the PPGIS website, which Bansich said will be up by Friday. Residents and non-residents will be able to leave comments regarding the visioning project, and the group's summary and analysis will be posted along with the the draft visioning statement once it's prepared, according to Banisch.

"Also, we're proposing a schedule here," Banisch said. "That is to basically have the website up by the end of the week, and we'll solicit comments for a few more weeks from these other groups. That comment period will go on for a few weeks and then we'll prepare the draft vision statement to come back to you with what we think this means."

After receiving comments from the other demographic, Banisch will make another presentation at the council's Jan. 15 meeting, which is the next time this topic will be broached. The Jan. 15 meeting will "point [the vision] in another direction" and the group will revise the statement and post it on the website.

"Then we would come back to you in February with a refinement, and the idea would be to move in the direction of an ordinance probably by March," he said. "That is a tentative schedule at this point."

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