Sunbury Village Council approved the 2016 Comprehensive Master Plan at its meeting on Nov. 2.
According to Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield, who sits as a voting member on the zoning commission, one major element of the master plan update is the village’s thoroughfare plan – what future roadways will be critical as Sunbury continues to grow and develop.
Hatfield has been working towards updating a 2004 Comprehensive Master Plan that was drafted but never adopted by members of Sunbury Village Council. In 2012, Council members and members of the Planning & Zoning Commission decided to update the 2004 Comprehensive Master Plan.
The 2004 document made various recommendations based upon assumptions that had changed by 2012. Since 2003 ,the Nestlé property changed as the result of a 2005 Development Agreement with Dominion Homes, the old Miller farm is now the site of a Kroger store, there have been downtown streetscape improvements, additional sidewalks installed throughout the village, the Granville Street Bridge was built, there was a major sanitary sewer plant upgrade, and the village is no longer in the water business.
In February of 2012, Delaware County Regional Planning Commission Director Scott Sanders attended a Sunbury zoning commission meeting where he discussed options for updating the 2004 document. At that session, Sanders said since Sunbury’s 2004 document already included a visioning phase, the old document could easily be updated by holding steering committee meetings open to the public.
That process to update the master plan started in November of 2012, then ground to a halt in 2013 when council member’s attention was diverted to issues surrounding the Simon-Tanger Outlet Mall — specifically Joint Economic Development Districts, New Community Authorities, and traffic issues related to the outlet mall’s development.
A resurrected Committee began meeting late last year when Hatfield said he would like to see a master plan, complete with an updated thoroughfare plan, adopted by village council by the end of the first quarter of this year.
With the end product already approved by members of the Planning & Zoning Commission, Village Solicitor David Brehm recommended amending the master plan’s proposed bike-way page to include bike path routes through the village along Columbus Street and Vernon Street to increase cyclist’s use of businesses facing Sunbury Square.
“If bike routes take you through downtown, that adds viability to the square and trendy eateries,” Brehm said.
Hatfield agreed with Brehm.
“From a village perspective, it would be nice to have that bike traffic come through town and spend their money in Sunbury,” Hatfield said. “Until the dynamics change, we’re just going to have what we have around the square.”
After the master plan was amended and approved, Administrator Alan Rothermel said the committee that worked on it looked at it as a dynamic product.
“This should be updated one or two times a year as the village grows,” Rothermel said. “It’s a great document to foster discussion, a great first step.”
The Village of Sunbury 2016 Comprehensive Master Plan will become effective on December 2, 30 days after its approval.
In other business, it was noted that Hatfield reappointed Dave Martin as an at-large member of the Planning & Zoning Commission; which council members ratified.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.