LAFAYETTE — The future of Lafayette could be shaped by residents who show up at forums on Tuesday and Wednesday to help craft a plan to guide growth here.
Lafayette’s “comprehensive plan” could lead to a series of new regulations, guidelines and incentives that encourage some types of development and discourage others.
City-parish government is in year two of working on the plan.
The effort has evolved from generalized discussions about Lafayette’s idealized future to very specific questions, such as how to reconcile competing demands on the budget for road work and public safety and precisely what areas of the parish are best suited for new commercial and residential development.
A key goal is to come to terms with what the city’s consultants estimate will be the addition of 90,000 new residents by 2030, about a 40 percent increase of the parish’s 2010 population of 221,578.
That’s in line with historical population growth in Lafayette Parish, which from 1990 to 2010 saw its population increase 35 percent, from 164,762 to 221,578, according to census figures.
Lafayette needs to prepare for the stress those new residents will put on roads, land and public services, like fire and police protection, said Kevin Blanchard, chairman of the citizens committee guiding the development of the plan.
“We have to take a step back and reassess the situation,” Blanchard said.
The input from the forums this week will used to develop a draft version of the comprehensive plan, which will be brought back to the public later this year for further input, said Cathie Gilbert, a city-parish planner who is helping manage the project.
City-parish government awarded a $1.2 million contract to the planning firm of Wallace, Roberts & Todd to oversee the creation of the comprehensive plan.
The Tuesday forum is set for 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Rosa Parks Transportation Center at 101 Jefferson St. in downtown.
The Wednesday forum is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Heymann Performing Arts Center, 1373 S. College Road.
The forums will be in an open-house format, and residents may come and go as they choose to work through a series of stations set up to gather public input.
“It will probably take most people about an hour,” Gilbert said.
For information, visit http://www.planlafayette.org.