Last week, the Council received a presentation about College Park’s new five-year strategic plan for fiscal years 2021-2025. The City’s current five-year strategic plan (for FY 2015-2020) is ending, and the Mayor and Council wish to develop a new five-year strategic plan. City Council secured a consultant Performance Breakthroughs, Inc. (PBI) to help develop City’s next five year strategic plan.

At last week’s meeting, the PBI presented their analysis and synthesis of a dozen small group meetings with residents and more than 200 survey responses regarding the City’s future. This information will help the Council begin to develop the framework for the 2021 to 2025 strategic plan.

Overall, Community responses can be summarised as follows:

You can see the presentation here:

The recording of the August 19 Strategic Plan presentation is available here.

One of the recurring themes of the survey includes the current pace of development in College Park. Residents have identified “Over-development” as one of the top weaknesses in College Park. Residents also think “Non-mindful development impacting the quality of life” will be a top challenge and threat for the next five years.

The City Council budgeted $33,000 in its FY2020 budget for the consulting services in gathering data from residents and stakeholders as part of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

The community’s view in the presentation can be found on page 18. Major highlights of the findings include

  • The Community cares mostly about (a) Green Spaces, (b) Accessibility, (c) University Relationship, (d) Atmosphere & Community
  • The Community sees as least desirable aspects: (a) Development – too much, too fast, (b) Increase in Traffic, (c) University over Residents feeling, (d) Resource Allocation & Transparency
  • The Community wants (a) Easy Access to Places they Visit (b) Plenty of Entertainment & Shopping (c) Connection & Collaboration
  • The Community would like to continue to improve on: (a) Accessibility & Connectivity (b) Atmosphere and Quality of Life (c) Environment & Sustainability (d) Atmosphere & Community (e) Safety
  • The Community foresees: (a) Non-mindful development impacting QOL (b) College Park becoming unaffordable in housing/taxes. (c) Inability to create a stable base community year-round (d) Financial problems for all as a result of COVID
  • The Community feels College Park has the opportunity to: (a) Create a truly Symbiotic Relationship with UMD (b) Increase the Events and Amenities (c) Flourish in Green Spaces
  • Overall (a) Residents want to know, participate, and interact (b) Showcasing all the different uniqueness of CP to build community (c) Stakeholders feel the relationship is good and growing
  • The Community envisions the future of CP with: (a) A community that cares about all. (b) Mobility across the City (c) Keeping a Small-Town feel with Smart Growth (d) Environmentally sustainable
  • The Community feels that Public Safety and Transportation are most important, And Community Experience & Environmental Sustainability are next
  • City Staff think that College Park is a great place to work because: (a) Contribution of the work (b) People you work with Family-feel that is flexible and stable. College Park could improve upon: (a) Collaboration & Alignment between Departments (b) Continue to grow in services and resources – esp. tech. (c) Continue to identify roles & authority where needed

PBI will work with the Council and City staff over the next several months to develop the plan, and there will be numerous opportunities for additional public input prior to Council adopting a new plan.