Falls Council takes action to develop new comprehensive plan for city

May 26—The Falls City Council has taken what its members believe is the first step toward the creation of a new comprehensive plan for the city.

The panel voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve a resolution that calls for "the development of an updated and revised" comprehensive plan. The Falls' current comprehensive plan, which broadly lays out a land use policy to guide development in the Falls, was adopted in 2009.

Although the resolution was endorsed by all of the council members, it was largely crafted by Republicans Vincent Cauley, David Zajac and Traci Bax. Independent Council Member Kenny Tompkins had previously offered a resolution that had called for the city to begin the process of revising the comprehensive plan by asking the city administration to prepare a request for information from outside consultants on how to create a new plan.

That resolution was tabled by the council and then later rejected.

The new resolution directs Mayor Robert Restaino and his administration to "take positive and proactive steps toward compiling studies, maps, laws, regulations, completed tasks, and anything else that is pertinent or related to the 2009 Comprehensive Plan and its implementation prior to any request for proposal for such services."

On Thursday, the mayor said he was aware of the resolution, but had no comment on it "at this point." A source with knowledge of the drafting of the somewhat convoluted resolution said it was not reviewed by city attorneys "until 20 minutes before the (council) meeting."

The city's current plan took three years to create and involved an outside consultant, the Falls Planning Board and Planning Department, along with the work of more than 100 community leaders. Though the plan was introduced in 2004, it took five years for the City Council to formally adopt it.

The council resolution said a new comprehensive plan will "serve as a road map that guides our city's future growth and development by expressing the vision, goals, strategies and policies of the community."