Arlington City Council considers Riverfront Master Plan, Comp Plan contract

Paul Ellis, community and economic development director for the city of Arlington, speaks to the Arlington City Council on March 10. - Kirk Boxleitner
Paul Ellis, community and economic development director for the city of Arlington, speaks to the Arlington City Council on March 10.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — During its Monday, March 10, workshop meeting, the Arlington City Council reviewed the Riverfront Master Plan proposed by city staff, which city of Arlington Natural Resources Director Bill Blake requested be approved, to allow the city to move forward on a grant request to the Recreation and Conservation Office for improvements to Haller Park and the Country Charm Park and Conservation Area.

Blake explained that the city led a program in 2011 and 2012 to develop the Riverfront Master Plan, complete with a citizen sub-committee and a series of meetings to gain feedback and review community questionnaires. He presented the proposed plan as the result, and cited its report of a number of comments from the community. To apply for the RCO grant the City Council must adopt a current master plan and a capital improvement plan since the city’s parks master plan expired in 2012.

“The RCO has reviewed the Riverfront Master Plan and agreed to give us until April 18 to adopt the plan,” said Blake, who elaborated that this plan will again be reviewed in 2015, as part of the city-wide Comprehensive Plan update, which will give the community additional opportunities to improve the plan’s recommendations. “If we do adopt it, we’ve got a lot of feedback to work with, which we will revisit.”

That feedback can be found, along with the rest of the Riverfront Master Plan, on the city’s website at

The city’s Comprehensive Plan update also figured into the city staff-proposed professional service agreement with the Shockey Planning Group.

Paul Ellis, community and economic development director for the city of Arlington, noted that the contract is stipulated not to exceed $30,000.

“It’s a pretty small contract, but we just lack the technical ability to do it all,” said Ellis, who summed up the Shockey Development Group’s assistance to the city, in developing its Comprehensive Plan updates, as including public outreach and interaction with the City Council, Planning Commission and staff.

In addition to assessing the city’s Comprehensive Plan, the Shockey Planning Group would schedule public hearings and meetings, as well as prepare informational materials for citizens and the media, in addition to draft and final reports outlining mandatory changes and draft amendments to the City Code, as warranted.

“I’m really impressed by him,” Council member Marilyn Oertle said of Shockey Planning Group founder Reid Shockey. “He’s smart and easy to work with.”

Oertle’s comments were echoed by fellow Council member Debora Nelson.

Both of these proposals are slated to be voted on by the Arlington City Council during their Monday, March 17 meeting, at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers.


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