Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Salix, Iowa is a rural community in northwest Iowa, just six miles south of Sioux City. This small town is defined by its close knit community, quiet atmosphere, and connection to natural areas. With potential development pressures from the north, Salix is facing an unknown future. Because of this, Salix was identified by Woodbury County as a community needing a comprehensive plan that reflects the desires of the public and has a clear path for future development.

Urban and Regional Planning Students Yingyang Lai, Neil Menjares, Beth Rumpza and Jason Shallcross have been working with the City of Salix to develop a comprehensive plan that preserves the rural landscape, strengthens existing places, and creates celebrated spaces. This plan evaluates what Salix looks like now and how these features can be improved, preserved, or enhanced over the next 20 years. The Salix Comprehensive Planning Team has completed extensive research and worked directly with the community and stakeholders (see photo) to identify strengths and weaknesses. This led to the development of projects that improve upon weaknesses and enhance community assets.

The Salix 2035 Comprehensive Plan has four unique features: the Project Menu, the Prioritization Mechanism, the Principle Achievement Evaluation, and the Evaluation Framework. The planning team translated the plan recommendations into concrete projects, presented as the Project Menu, to make the comprehensive plan accessible to the entire community. City staff and elected officials will have an easy, quick reference on what projects to pursue and how to implement them. The Prioritization Mechanism is built into the Project Menu, where every project is ranked according to its urgency and significance, allowing the city to see which project should be done first. Each project has a Principle Achievement Evaluation that illustrates how each project achieves the three guiding principles of this plan. Lastly, each Project Menu item comes with an Evaluation Framework, a tool that the city can use to evaluate project outcomes and overall progress in reaching their goals.

On May 5th the Salix Comprehensive Planning Team will present the plan and final recommendations to the Salix residents and all other stakeholders involved throughout the Salix 2035 Comprehensive Planning Process.