A master plan with music

The crowd at the XPONential Music Festival on the Camden Waterfront got to hear some great tunes (video below) -- and had a chance to say something about Camden County's future.

Planner Bob Melvin and three members of his team asked concertgoers to fill out surveys Saturday as part of the initial phase of the first Master Plan process the county has undertaken since 1972. The $150,000 effort is being paid for with a grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)

"One of the problems we face as planners is that it's difficult to draw from a broad spectrum," says Melvin, whose firm, Group Melvin Design, has an office on the Camden Waterfront. "We also want to get the opinions of people who are younger, because they're going to be the ones living with (the plan)."

About 50 music lovers filled in and returned the surveys, and others took home a brochure that includes a QR code as well as a web link (surveymonkey.com/s/camdencounty2040 enabling them to offer input as well.

"We're trying to get input on everything from the micro, such as 'traffic doesn't work,'  to macro, such as, 'should we be striving for a different kind of built environment, and where should growth be, and where should conservation take place,'" Melvin adds. 

"The best way for us to update the master plan is to actually listen to residents," says county Freeholder-Director Louis Cappelli. "The plan will only be as good as the information put into it."

The plan is scheduled for completion in 2014.