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NIRPC's Public Participation Plan Webinar 12.22.15


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Stephen Sostaric with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) will be talking about NIRPC's 2014 Public Participation Plan and how it guides their engagement and outreach to the public. This includes the requirements for various types of projects and actions as well as how NIRPC works to make the process as accessible as possible to all residents and stakeholders.

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NIRPC's Public Participation Plan Webinar 12.22.15

  1. 1. NIRPC’s 2014 Public Participation Plan South Shore Clean Cities Webinar December 22, 2015
  2. 2. • Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission • Created in 1965 • Council of Governments • Metropolitan Planning Organization • Covers Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties and their 41 municipalities • Focus areas of transportation, the environment, & economic development What is NIRPC?
  3. 3. • Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) • Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) • Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Transportation Planning And Programming
  4. 4. NIRPC 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan • Plan to 2040 • Create a Vision • Make it Comprehensive • Social equity, transportation, economic development, environment and land use • Engage the Region
  5. 5. NIRPC 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan The CRP stresses a number of factors that point to both our changing demographics and our future opportunities with recommendations for: • Growth & Conservation • Transportation • Environment & Green Infrastructure • Human & Economic Resources • Stewardship & Governance
  6. 6. Importance of the Public Participation Plan (PPP) • Prior to 2014, PPP was last updated in 2007 • New plan includes updated outreach techniques & essential accessibility features • PPP guides how NIRPC shares information about its projects and plans in the future 12/22/2015
  7. 7. Timeline • January 2012 – Process of the PPP begins – Presentation to the 3PC committee • February 2012 – Presentation to the Environmental Management Policy Committee • March 2012 – Presentations to the Transportation Policy Committee and the Land Use Committee • April 2012 – Public Participation Task Force (PPTF) finalized • 19 members from Lake, LaPorte and Porter counties • May 2012 – Two meetings with PPTF (one face-to-face, one via webinar) • June 2012 – One meeting with PPTF (via webinar) 12/22/2015
  8. 8. Timeline (continued) • August 2012 – Final meeting with PPTF (face-to-face) – Revisions to PPP begin • October 2012 – Revisions to the Plan are finalized – Plan recommended to the TPC for the opening of the Public Comment Period on Wednesday, October 10 • December 2012 – PPP Public Comment Period extended until February 15, 2013 • January 2013 – Presentation made to 219 Green Drinks – Revisions to the plan made based on Public Comments • February 2013 – Public Participation Plan 2013 Webinar 12/22/2015
  9. 9. Timeline (continued) • March 2013 – Public meetings in LaPorte and Porter counties • Monday, March 25, Michigan City City Hall • Wednesday, March 27, Valparaiso City Hall • April 2013 – Two public meetings in Lake County • Tuesday, April 2, Hammond Public Library (1:00 and 5:00 pm) • Public Comment Period closed on Tuesday, April 2 • May 2013 – Recommendation for action by the TPC 12/22/2015
  10. 10. MPO Public Participation Process 12/22/2015
  11. 11. 12/22/2015
  12. 12. Increased Access to NIRPC Meetings • Due to the lack of public transportation to get across county lines & across most municipal boundaries access to the NIRPC office is limited. – Web-Casting Meetings - NIRPC will use its best efforts to provide real-time meeting access through equipment, staffing and internet capacity. – Variable Meeting Locations - NIRPC will consider rotating meetings of the Transportation Policy Committee when significant transportation planning decisions are on the agenda. 12/22/2015
  13. 13. NIRPC’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) • More open process for the public to comment on TIP projects – Minimum 7-day comment period for Minor Standard Amendments – Minimum 30-day comment period for Major Standard Amendments – Administrative Modifications – Emergency Administrative Amendments • Allows NIRPC Executive Director make a TIP Amendment via letter to INDOT 12/22/2015
  14. 14. NIRPC’s Public Participation Matrix 12/22/2015 (Lower) Level of Participation (Higher) Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Public Participation Goal To provide the public with balanced and objective information and to assist in their understanding of planning problems, alternatives, opportunities, and solutions. To obtain public feedback on our planning work, analyses, outreach efforts, and decisions. To work directly with the public throughout the planning process to ensure that their concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered. To partner with the public in every aspect of our planning process, including the development of alternatives and the identification of preferred solutions. NIRPC’s Promise to the Public We will keep you informed. We will keep you informed, listen to and acknowledge your concerns and aspirations, and provide feedback on how public input influences our decisions. We will work with you to ensure that your goals and aspirations are directly reflected in our planning work as much as possible, and to provide feedback on how public input influences our decisions. We will look to you for advice and innovation in formulating solutions to our planning issues, and incorporate your advice and recommendations into our decisions as much as possible. Public Involvement Techniques Website, Facebook, Twitter, Newsletters, Press Releases, Legal Advertisements, Direct Mailings, Fact Sheets, Display Advertisements Facebook, Twitter, Surveys, Comment Forms, Public Meetings Open Houses, Group Meetings, Webinars, Surveys Task Forces, Working Groups, Youth Outreach, Small and Large Group Meetings When These Techniques Will Be Used On a regular and frequent basis as reminders and to give people easy access to important information. When NIRPC needs feedback on its planning activities. To solicit public comment and opinion about issues and events. To prepare for a major planning process
  15. 15. Outreach Methodologies – Website – Newsletters – Press Releases – Legal Notices – Email & Direct Mailings – Display Ads, Announcements, & Flyers – Fact Sheets & General Information Documents – Comment Forms – Facebook – Twitter – Surveys – Open Houses – Public Meetings – Public Hearings – Webinars – Public Outreach & Inclusion – Task Forces, Steering Committees, & Working Groups – Alternate Formats 12/22/2015
  16. 16. Evaluation of the Public Participation Process • Staff will generate the following items after an event: – Meeting Report – Public Outreach Form • Appendix F: Essential Accessibility Features for NIRPC Meetings 12/22/2015
  17. 17. Appendices • Appendix A – Glossary of Terms And Abbreviations • Appendix B – Public Participation and the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan (CRP) – Vision and Values Statement for the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan • Appendix C – Commitment to Environmental Justice • Appendix D – 23 CFR §450.316 Interested Parties, Participation, and Consultation. This is an excerpt from the current federal transportation planning regulation requiring the development of a public participation plan. 12/22/2015
  18. 18. Appendices (continued) • Appendix E : Resources – Easter Seals Project ACTION (ESPA) – International Association for Public Participation – Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) – U.S. Department of Justice – U.S. Department of Transportation 12/22/2015
  19. 19. Appendix F: Essential Accessibility Features for NIRPC Meetings 1. Current parking spaces that are at least 8' wide with at least 5' aisles next to them, or the ability to block off temporary spaces for the meeting. 2. A walkway with a stable and firm surface at least 36" wide from the accessible parking to the accessible entrance to the building. 3. If the accessible route is different from the primary route to and through the building, have the ability to post signs with the wheelchair symbol that show the route. 4. A doorway of the accessible entrance into the building at least 32" wide with a door that has a lever, push plate or automatic door, or with a person to assist people to enter. 12/22/2015
  20. 20. Appendix F (continued) 5. An elevator or lift to the floor where the meeting is located if the meeting is not on the ground floor. 6. Tables where the top is between 28" to 34" with clearance around the table for a wheelchair to move, and where a wheelchair can pull under the edge of the table. 7. Wide, accessible path to the restrooms or to an accessible restroom. 8. A toilet stall or single occupancy restroom wide enough that a wheelchair can enter and close the door behind with interior space to turn around. This is an accessible stall or room size of at least 60" wide and 56" deep with a door that opens out. Rear and side grab bars are present. 9. The ability for a wheelchair to roll under the sink or to the side of the sink. 12/22/2015
  21. 21. Appendices (continued) • Appendix G : Outreach Evaluation Form for Participants – To gain feedback on outreach from participants • Appendix H : Outreach Evaluation Form for NIRPC Staff – For staff to evaluate outreach activities • Appendix I : 2012 Public Participation Task Force Members 12/22/2015
  22. 22. 2014 Participation Plan Improvements 1. Specified comment periods for plans & especially programs/ projects 2. Expected increased remote access to meetings 3. Varied meeting locations 4. Essential accessibility features for meetings 5. New social media communication 6. Enhanced information on interactive website 12/22/2015
  23. 23. 2014 Plan Improvements (continued) 7. Public participation techniques to: Inform; Consult; Involve; Collaborate 8. Useful references in appendix 9. Analyze meeting outcomes 10. Re-emergence of NIRPC newsletter – Full-time NIRPC staff assigned for public involvement & communications
  24. 24. Find NIRPC Online