Project Website Allows Citizens to Give Input at Their Convenience
“This OLF-8 project is really a project for the entirety of Escambia County,” said Escambia County District 1 Commissioner Jeff Bergosh. “We need citizens to bring their unique perspective to this project so that our planning team will have the best information to create something that really makes a difference in Beulah and Escambia County as a whole.”
The OLF8 Master Plan project is an Escambia County-driven initiative to turn the empty helicopter field by Navy Federal Credit Union Campus into a thriving asset for the community. The project team was selected by the Escambia County Commissioners to create a plan to maximize the opportunities for jobs and community uses on this 500 plus acre site in Beulah.
“Even though we are living in unprecedented times, that is no reason to sacrifice public input, especially on this project,” said team leader Marina Khoury, of DPZ Design. “With this website, we look forward to getting feedback from the community today, which will be very helpful for us leading up to our charrette week in September and beyond.”
At MyOLF8.com, residents can find many ways to not only learn about the project, but also how to participate as a citizen in the project planning. Learn about the team members guiding the project, read the project goals set out by the county and explore the ample opportunities to leave your own input.
“This is a really big project for Escambia County, so it’s important to us to know that the citizens will have plenty of opportunities to give their input,” said Terri Berry, Project Coordinator in the Natural Resources Management Department. “We’re excited to finally hear what the community has to say and what they want to OLF8 to be.”
The website contains an interactive online map where citizens can leave virtual “flags” with their ideas, such as what they would like to see at the location, or if they know something about the geography of a particular portion that would be of interest to the project team.
MyOLF8.com also has the ability to conduct public meetings, like charrette week, with a large virtual presence. Charrette week, which begins on September 21, is the team’s chance to sit down with members of the community to hear their concerns and their wishes for the project.
During the week, the design team will use that feedback to craft a plan for the site that creates the highest and best use for the community. At the end of the week, the team will have another large presentation where the public input-based plan is debuted. This week will also consist of smaller topic-based meetings to gather citizen ideas and feedback.
You can find the full schedule online.
Project managers said the new concerns over group meetings have pushed many citizen activities online, but with perhaps even better results.
“In the last few months, we have observed a larger virtual presence at other charrettes conducted and have seen promising results,” said Khoury. “It is our aim to be as inclusive as possible and we expect to receive more input online than we could have expected in person. The platform we are using will make it easy for anyone to leave a comment, and we will easily be able to track them.”
Contact: Brooke Fleming