Comprehensive development plans for communities sometimes seem to rely on pie-in-the-sky ideas that never come to fruition. Wheeling has seen its share of such proposals during the past few decades.
But comprehensive plans are meant to be blueprints for every facet of a city's development. They can include proposals for everything from more greenery in downtown areas to entirely new shopping districts.
Wheeling is due by state law to revise its comprehensive plan. Members of the Planning Commission have been working on the project for about a year. A consultant, Compass Point Planning, has been hired to help with the process.
Now it is time for local residents and business people to provide input. Two public meetings have been scheduled to discuss the plan and invite opinions on it. One will be held from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 29, the other from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Oct. 30. Both will be in the auditorium at West Virginia Northern Community College's B&O Building.
Ideas on "government, infrastructure, transportation, development" and other components of the plan are being sought, city Assistant Economic and Community Development Director Tom Connelly said.
To that we would add that no idea is too big, none too small to be brought forth. Think of the comprehensive planning process as both an opportunity to discuss grand ideas and to bring up pet peeves about less sweeping concerns.
It is vitally important that the public be part of the process. The comprehensive plan will be used by city officials as a sort of guidebook for policies and projects for many years to come. It will have a very real impact on life and business in Wheeling.
So if you have ideas, share them with the planners and your fellow Wheeling residents and/or business people. A good start would be to attend one of the public meetings.