The American Planning Association (APA) Small Town and Rural Planning (STaR) Division announced recently their selection of the City of Tomah Downtown Master Plan to receive the 2019 Vernon Deines Honor Award for an Outstanding Comprehensive Plan for a Small Jurisdiction.
The award, named after a renowned urban planner and founding member of the APA, is presented annually to special projects or comprehensive plans that exhibit excellence in the development of a small town or rural neighborhood, community, county or region. MSA prepared the Downtown Master Plan, which was adopted by the Tomah City Council on April 11, 2017, after a year-long community engagement planning effort. “The master plan provides a manual guiding public improvements and private investments in the City’s historic downtown,” explained Andrew Bremer, AICP, MSA project manager.
Since adoption of the plan, a number of public and private improvement projects have been completed or are currently under construction. These projects range from façade improvements and new pocket parks to larger blight elimination and redevelopment projects, including a new $10 million mixed-use residential, office, restaurant and banquet facility at the former Tee Pee Supper Club site which will serve as a new anchor destination for the downtown.
“The Awards Committee was incredibly impressed with this plan, and feel it embodies the best of small town planning,” commented the APA STaR Division Awards Committee. The committee commended the “ease of use of the plan document, achievable strategies, and variety of engagement methods utilized.”
MSA congratulates the City of Tomah as well as the other award recipients, all of whom were recognized this past weekend during the APA National Planning Conference in San Francisco, California.