Hampton officials seek public input on improving the township

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Thursday, August 22, 2019 | 12:01 AM

Hampton Township is seeking opinions from residents about how they would like to see the community change and improve in the coming five to 10 years and beyond.

The township is beginning a comprehensive planning process — assessing how it should evolve and the best paths to follow to do so. As an early step, township officials are gathering ideas and opinions from citizens via a community Quality of Life questionnaire.

“We want to hear from residents about the kinds of change they would like to see happen,” said Amanda Gold-Lukas, Hampton’s Land Use Administrator and staff member overseeing work on the plan. “For example: What are the problems that need to be solved? Which assets and strengths should we build on?”

The questionnaire, which takes about 5 to 8 minutes to complete, is available online, with paper copies available at the front desks of the Hampton Township municipal building, police station, library and community center.

In addition to the questionnaire, Hampton Township hopes to hear from residents and business owners through other forums. One of these will be a town hall meeting at which residents and business owners may voice their opinions in person. The meeting will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Hampton Township Community Center and will be an open-house style meeting.

A comprehensive plan is a policy document intended to guide how Hampton Township will evolve in the future. The contents of the plan will be heavily influenced by the input that residents provide. Pashek+MTR, a planning firm based in Pittsburgh’s North Side, is the consultant facilitating the process. A steering committee made up of citizen stakeholders, township staff, and elected and appointed officials is providing direction.

The $80,000 planning project will create an “Implementable Comprehensive Plan,” with a focus that is primarily guided by citizen input and an emphasis on improvements that are both important to the community and feasible to achieve.

Carolynn Johnson, Township Council Vice President, said a new comprehensive plan will help set priorities in the coming years.

“The comprehensive plan will help our council to make decisions that align with citizen input and that propel Hampton Township in the direction we, as a community, want,” she said.

The planner leading this project for Pashek+MTR, Elaine Kramer, encouraged Hampton residents to complete the questionnaire and attend the public meeting.

“The more deeply rooted this plan is in citizen input, the more it will reflect the desires of the community and ultimately be implemented,” she said.