Planning meeting Tuesday at Wynnton

Cookies and comprehensive planning will served 6-8 tonight in the cafeteria of Wynnton Elementary School as the city continues its series of community meetings to collect residents' feelings about Columbus' future growth.

Tonight's meeting at the 2303 Wynnton Road school offers people an update on the planning process and gives them a chance to voice their own views on how Columbus should chart its course in the years to come.

"About the first 15 to 20 minutes' worth is an overall presentation of what the comp plan is, what we're trying to do and where we are with it," said Rick Jones, Columbus' planning director. After that, participants will be given key pads with which to vote their views on various topics, he said. For example, they might be asked whether they feel the city is working closely enough with Fort Benning on preparing for the post's anticipated growth.

"And then the rest of the time, about 45 minutes to an hour, is spent on breakout groups, where they actually have a map of the area, and they'll be asked basic questions, like what do you need here, what are you looking for, where would be the best place for a new subdivision, what area really needs to be improved — things like that," Jones said. "Folks are actually given the opportunity to have a hands-on session, talk about it, and then they gather that information up and bring it back to us."

Once all that data has been compiled, the city likely will have a community meeting in March to report on the overall findings. "Then we'll take that and actually put it into the comprehensive plan itself, in terms of new directions, new ideas and what not," Jones said.

That plan is supposed to serve as a sort of blueprint for the city's development. "Theoretically, it needs to be updated every year, but we do it every five years," Jones said.

And there will be refreshments — drinks and cookies for anyone who works up an appetite with all that planning.

Two more meetings are yet to be held. Also 6-8 p.m., they'll be:

Tuesday, in the cafeteria at Clubview Elementary School, 2836 Edgewood Road.

Monday, Feb. 4, in the auditorium of Kendrick High School, 6015 Georgetown Drive.

Monday, Feb. 11, in the cafeteria of Baker Middle School, 1215 Benning Drive.

For more information, call 706-653-4116.