Resident Input Sought In Updating Wright Township Comprehensive Plan

Supervisors in Wright Township are seeking opinions from residents about their hopes for the future of the area. Those suggestions will then be used to draft the township’s new comprehensive plan, funded by the Luzerne County Office of Community Development.

“It’s something we have to do to plan for the future of the township,” Donald Zampetti, chairman to the board of supervisors, explained about rewriting the comprehensive plan. Last updated in 1997, the plan is a document that outlines goals for community development, including areas such as transportation, land use, recreation, utilities, and housing.

In mid-November, about 20 percent of households in Wright Township, which were randomly selected, received three-page surveys asking about their feelings on community growth.

“We believe that citizen participation is an essential element in this process,” supervisors wrote of drafting a new comprehensive plan, in a letter distributed with the surveys.

The survey asks residents basic questions, such as to rate their opinion of Wright Township as a place to live, from poor to excellent, and to explain why, and to state whether the quality of life here has improved, remained the same, or gotten worse in the last five years.

Residents are also asked to name any needed public projects or expenditures; to describe their positions on new growth and development in residential, commercial, and industrial areas; and to state what reason makes them stay in the township, from good schools to community atmosphere to their jobs.

The survey questions were created by municipal planner Jack Varaly, with supervisors refining some of them, Zampetti said. His hope, the chairman stated, is that most residents say they are happy with the township and see no need for much change.

It’s difficult to say what residents will voice they want changed, Zampetti related, giving the example that if many say a township swimming pool is desired, it will be considered. He went on that he hopes that at least half of those asked to complete the survey do, as last time it was done in 1997, only 30 percent returned their surveys.

The surveys, which can be anonymous, are due back to the township by Nov. 30. Once the results are compiled and presented to the board of supervisors, Varaly will begin drafting a new comprehensive plan that reflects the wants of residents. This process will take several months, Zampetti said, adding, “He’s got a lot of work to do.”

Varaly completed Wright Township’s last comprehensive plan and has done the same for other nearby townships. Originally expected to cost $20,000 of the grant funds, the survey completion is now estimated to be about $16,000. The draft of the new comprehensive plan will later be presented to the supervisors and the public at a hearing.

Anyone who wishes to participate in the community survey but didn’t receive one in the mail, can obtain one at the municipal building or by calling there at 474-9067.