Sherwood in process of updating its comprehensive plan
(This story corrects the city's annual projected growth rate.)
The city of Sherwood is moving forward with an update to its comprehensive plan, asking residents for input on everything from how future streets should look to how to address a lack of higher-density housing throughout the city.
At issue is the Sherwood 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update, which in effect is "a roadmap for the city of Sherwood's future, our long-range future," according to Erika Palmer, the city's planning manager.
"It's really how we want to grow and see ourselves over time," Palmer said of the 20-year planning guide that was last updated in 1991. "We have been in the process of updating it for the past year and a half. We are currently just starting our last theme of the plan itself."
Helping with updating the comprehensive plan is a citizen advisory committee that is looking at many of the themes in the plan and a technical advisory committee has been convened as well.
"They certainly provide a lot of input on the policies we've drafted," said Palmer.
The city is touching on six core areas to update the document. Those include having: a thriving and diversified economy; a strong community, culture and heritage; strategic and collaborative government; attractive and attainable housing; coordinated and connected infrastructure; and healthy and valued ecosystem.
Palmer said the planning department finished looking at the comprehensive plan document involving housing last summer, conducting a housing needs analysis to determine what type of housing Sherwood is lacking.
The results showed the city needs higher density residences and so-called "missing middle" housing. In planning circles, missing middle housing is generally defined as those pre-World War II residences that included duplexes, row homes, cottages and more. Today, those discussions include accessary dwelling units, or ADUs, which are smaller living spaces that can be attached or detached to an accompanying home.
Palmer said Sherwood is currently wrapping up the infrastructure piece of the comprehensive plan as well, touching on transportation and public facilities. It includes a new piece to the plan asking how the city can create safe routes to school for children. The infrastructure plan also will look at building complete streets, streets that can be constructed for a variety of uses.
Another core area of the updated comprehensive plan focuses on developing green infrastructure.
"Green infrastructure is just looking at how we can manage stormwater in a different way that's more natural," said Palmer, noting it could include looking at where larger public water detention facilities should be locating.
Another issue the city is giving a close look at is expanding broadband internet service.
"Back in the 1990s, communities didn't really look at broadband as a utility," Palmer said. "Broadband has been a community goal. It's been a goal for (city) council so we're taking a look at how it's evolved and how it is considered a utility for all residents of Sherwood."
Up next is looking at what healthy and valued ecosystems look like with plans to examine parks and recreation areas, open space and natural resources. The city is in the process of adopting a new parks and recreation master plan, which was planned to go to the Sherwood Planning Commission for approval on Feb. 23, after the Gazette's press time.
"This chapter will fold in that parks and recreation element to that new master plan," said Palmer. "People love the parks in Sherwood."
The Sherwood 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update will go back to the planning commission before it's adopted in late spring or later in the summer before sent to the Sherwood City Council for final approval.
To weigh in on the plan, visit Sherwood2040.org.
Sherwood then and now
In 1991, the last year's Sherwood's comprehensive plan was updated, the city had only 3,000 residents.
Since then, the city limits have doubled in size.
Today, Sherwood has 19,000 residents and over the next 20 years it is projected that Sherwood will only see a 1.1% average annual growth rate.
— Sherwood Planning Department
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.