Different kinds of plans

There are plans, and then there are plans.

What was presented at the Downtown Master Plan Open House last week was a plan.  A good plan, as far as it goes, anyway.  There were a number of very good concepts and ideas there, on the 15 or so charts that filled the room.  From plans for a revitalized Firemans Park corner to notions of expanded housing on the riverfront, to the out-of-the-box ideas for plowing under the decidedly not historic strip mall in the heart of downtown, there was a lot to chew on.

So, why, then did the Chaska Herald report so much skepticism from the attendees?

It’s because there wasn’t any plan to take what was on the charts and turn them into reality.  For some attendees, the exercise appeared to be one of pure fantasy.

It’s a little overwhelming – a lot of long-view stuff that probably won’t happen — Tom Hayden, Chaska Farm & Garden

That’s an attitude that the City Council will need to work quickly to overcome.  The way it does so it to clearly establish a real implementation plan — setting priorities, goals, and measures for the short-, medium-, and long-term planning horizons.  It’s critical that the plan be specific, so that the Council and city staff can be held  accountable for progress towards the objectives.  If we don’t see a specific plan and objectives from the Council, that’s a signal we’re in for real trouble.

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