Allamakee County adopts its new comprehensive plan, “All in Allamakee”

At its Monday, May 3 regular meeting, the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to adopt a new comprehensive plan for the County, called “All in Allamakee”, or the “All-In Plan” for short. The plan’s origins lie in 2018, when Allamakee County contracted with Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) to develop a completely new plan and vision for the County - the previous plan having been completed in 2002. UERPC Senior Transportation Planner Aaron Detter, AICP was project manager for the new planning effort.

Early in the project, a steering committee for the project was created which was composed of economic development and tourism representatives, community members, County staff, and members of the Allamakee County Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Adjustments. Throughout the project, the steering committee met to discuss the planning process, review progress, fine-tune the project’s vision statements and goals, and to refine the final document in preparation for final review by members of the public, the Allamakee County Planning and Zoning Commission, and the County Board of Supervisors.

The planning process for “All in Allamakee” involved a robust public engagement component consisting of online surveys, multiple public input events at different locations around the county, and continuous opportunities for community members to provide comments and feedback throughout the planning process. This robust public engagement is the basis of the plan, resulting in community-derived vision statements and goals and a community-vetted policy framework to guide Allamakee County both presently and into the future.

“The new comprehensive plan started with the people of Allamakee County,” said Jim Pladsen, chair of the Allamakee County Planning and Zoning Commission, and a member of the project’s steering committee. “They answered surveys and came to public input meetings to talk about how they see the county today and what they feel would improve our future.”

At public input meetings held in Lansing, Waukon and Postville, attendees had the opportunity to review current demographic information, economic indicators, employment and population projections, and more. They identified the things that make Allamakee County a great place to live and visit, as well as things about the county that could be improved.

An open house event held at the Waukon Wellness Center welcomed members of the public to review compiled data and community input from the online survey. Attendees also assisted in reviewing and refining draft vision statements that were created for each topic area of the plan based on the input, values and priorities identified by plan participants.

During April and May of this year, the draft plan was published for public review and the County Board of Supervisors held a series of three public hearings to discuss the plan, hear any additional comments from the public, and consider adoption. After the third public hearing at their May 3 meeting, the Supervisors voted to adopt “All in Allamakee” as the official comprehensive plan for Allamakee County.

“The All-In Plan will be an important document to use as we chart a course to the future,” said Allamakee County Supervisor Dan Byrnes after the plan’s adoption.

“The steering committee and Planning and Zoning Commission thank everyone who gave their time and thoughts to the project,” added Pladsen. “We believe, as time goes on, people will be able to see Allamakee County using the All-In Plan to not only maintain the many good things going on now, but also to build upon them.”

The plan document is available on UERPC’s website as well as the Allamakee County website. By the end of the summer, bound hard copies will be available for viewing at the Allamakee County Courthouse and at city offices in Harpers Ferry, Lansing, New Albin, Postville, Waterville and Waukon. The towns’ libraries will also have reference copies available for members of the public to review, use and reference.

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