The City of Greensboro this week will begin a public process to update its Comprehensive Plan, which the City Council amends regularly – any time a rezoning request the council passes is not in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan.

The Comprehensive Plan was first approved in 2003. Since then, there has been a global recession, a halt in construction and economic growth and a recovery. Besides the constant amendments to the Generalized Future Land Use Plan (GFLUM), the City Council has also made extensive changes to the Comprehensive Plan, which in its original form could only be amended twice a year, effectively removing the ability of the City Council to rezone land because land could not be rezoned if it was not in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan.

The city government is calling its public information and input program for the comprehensive plan “PLANIT GSO.” This week, it will begin the program with two public events.

The official kick-off of PLANIT GSO is scheduled to take place from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5 at Center City Park. According to city staff, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan, District 3 City Councilmember Justin Outling and staff will attend the launch in the park.

“What we said when we did the first one is that we needed to update it periodically,” At-large Councilmember Yvonne Johnson said on Monday, Oct. 1. “I fully agree with that.” According to the Comprehensive Plan, the City Council would receive a full report on it annually and update it every five years.

Johnson said the changes to the Comprehensive Plan should include any related issues that the City Council has had to deal with, especially ones that have required lengthy discussions and that are “reasonably timely.”

“We especially need to pay attention to sites in areas of Greensboro that are hungry for business,” Johnson said. “We need to look at infrastructure. We need to look at our water mains and lines. We have had people come and ask for water and say they couldn’t get it. We have to determine if it makes sense to continue to deny them.”

Johnson acknowledged that comprehensive plans are usually pretty dry stuff, but said she isn’t against livening up the process with public events and speakers. She said, “I’m for anything that will promote business and jobs.”

Johnson said the City Council may discuss the planning program at a work session on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

On Thursday, Oct. 4, the city is scheduled to start the process before its official launch at a manufacturing summit held by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce from noon to 6 p.m. at Guilford Technical Community College’s new Center for Advanced Manufacturing, adjacent to the Jamestown campus.

Ilana Preus, the featured speaker is the founder of Recast City, a consulting firm that, according to the city, attempts to bring together small-scale manufacturers and community developers, increase the value of local real estate, and create job opportunities.