Lebanon’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan is unlikely to come to a vote until after November’s mayoral election.
The Lebanon Regional Planning Commission discussed the item during a preliminary meeting held Tuesday, where members sought to defer it until the four-way race has wrapped up.
“In order for there to be any execution or implementation, leadership has to own it and be willing to drive it,” vice-chairman Mack McCluskey said. “Otherwise it’s a coffee table book. It’s a check — we have a plan. So I would strongly recommend we do nothing until after the election.”
Chairperson David Taylor also supported deferral, and commissioners discussed scheduling options ranging from mid-November to January 2021.
“This thing’s been worked on for three or four years,” Taylor said. “A three-month delay’s not going to hurt anything one way or the other.”
Lebanon Planning Director Paul Corder said his staff is comfortable with pushing back the vote as well.
“Ideally, planning is a nonpolitical thing,” he said. “So in that spirit, I think that’s a good idea … we’ll bring this back up in November and try to have a work session for everybody.”
Once the commission is ready for further discussion, they will have the chance to make amendments to the document, which aims to serve as a guideline for the city’s long-term growth and development.
“The one thing we feel like is deficient is the goals and objectives,” Corder said. “We pushed and pushed to get feedback and comments on goals and objectives and really were not getting any, so I think that’s something the planning commission can really dig into and give their feedback on.”
Lebanon city councilors have also pushed for more public meetings about the plan after a virtual open house in August saw only six survey comments. The city has held multiple other meetings and citizen surveys throughout the process to refine the document.