Why Lewes needs a full time planner

February 27, 2014

Three cheers to the Lewes City Council for including the cost of a consultant city planner in the new city budget. Many thanks to them for their enlightened outlook on this issue.

A good credentialed city planner must become part of the community if he/she is to provide the quality input we so desperately need. Ideally a person in this position gets to know the people, the issues, understands the past and looks to the future. Successful planners do not give orders, usurp the responsibilities of others, or hand out plans and then leave.

A qualified planner looks at the issues from all sides, brings his expertise to the problems and helps us to reach a consensus on how to move forward. Their expertise often enables them to come up with alternate solutions that will please everyone. They are able to bring grant money into a community and their input guides us to use our resources wisely. They are not anti-growth, anti-business or anti-development. Their goal is to create sustainable communities where people like to live, want to visit and businesses want to set up shop. Thus, it is vital for the city council to find room in this budget for a full time resident certified planner.

If this cannot be done, is it feasible to reach out to surrounding communities, pool our resources and hire a full time area resident planner? Most of us take advantage of the amenities offered by all of our beach communities, and actions taken by one often impact others.

The Lewes City Council must be commended for taking the lead on this issue. But it is also vital that our initial effort into the realm of planned growth be successful. Otherwise we will exacerbate the resistance and xenophobia present in our community , give fodder to the naysayers, and we will be back at square one. A part-time consultant will not be sufficient. We need a full time Credentialed Planner if this venture is to work. A good full time city planner is worth his/her weight in gold.

Ann Nolan

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