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Deadline extension needed after comp plan setbacks

Afton will be going cap in hand to the Met Council to ask for an extension to the deadline to get its comprehensive plan submitted.

At the city council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 19, the planning commission chairman Jim Fox asked the city council members to formally request an extension from the Metropolitan Council by way of a resolution.

That resolution will be voted upon at the city's regular September meeting.

A letter composed by Fox outlines a new timetable for completion of the comp plan process, which has suffered a couple setbacks in the past month, as two meetings to move the draft on had to be canceled after a quorum of members failed to show up.

Of the current eight members of the planning commission, just three showed up to a workshop meeting on Aug. 18, with two others sending their apologies for being unable to attend.

However, even if the meetings had gone ahead as planned, Afton would still have been forced to ask for an extension, as one of the requirements by the Met Council is that neighboring cities, affected school districts and watershed districts are given six months to review and comment on the plan before it is submitted.

"We will not be able to meet the Dec. 31 deadline, because we still have nothing to provide to the surrounding communities for review," explained Fox on Aug. 19.

"So I'm asking that you request an extension of the Dec. 31 deadline to the Met. Council...

"Just how complete [the comp plan] is depends on whether we can get a quorum of members together."

Once an extension is formally requested, Afton will have until May 31 next year to get its comp plan in.

Under Fox's new timetable, the planning commission is set to hold a public hearing on the draft plan on October 6.

The city council will then get a chance to accept the plan at its Oct. 21 meeting, with the plan being sent out to neighboring communities by Nov. 1.

On May 19, 2009, the city council will then vote to approve the plan formally, sending it to the Met Council for review.