Superior prepares for comprehensive planning

The city's plan commission recommended a Minneapolis firm to drive community vision.

An inside view of a building
Government Center, Superior, Wisconsin. (Jed Carlson /
Jed Carlson / 2019 file / Superior Telegram

The city of Superior is laying the groundwork for updating its comprehensive plan next year.

The plan commission has recommended SRF Consulting Group of Minneapolis to guide development of the new plan at a cost of $73,224.

A comprehensive plan includes nine elements to guide housing; transportation facilities; community facilities and utilities; agricultural, natural and cultural resources; economic development; intergovernmental cooperation; land use planning, coastal management; and hazard mitigation.

The last two elements of the plan were added by the state of Wisconsin in response to climate change, according to Jason Serck, economic development, port and planning director.

“Those are the things we need to focus in on,” Serck said. “And we’ll build off of the old plan from 2010.”


Councilor Tylor Elm asked how the plan for a broadband utility in Superior would fit into the comprehensive plan. A strategic plan for a broadband utility is currently underway.

“Any kind of utility for public benefit should be incorporated in the plan,” Mayor Jim Paine said.

He said he would like to see deadlines and timelines included in the comprehensive plan.

Commissioner Brian Finstad said he was excited about the proposal but had concerns about the process being done virtually.

“When you’re planning a place, there’s no substitute for experiencing the place and being in certain spaces,” Finstad said. “As much as could be done in person, I think, would be better.”

Paine said that he would expect that once travel is possible, some of the plan’s development would be done in person.

“They were very clear this is community driven,” Paine said. “They will be experts, so they know certain best practices and trends in the industry … so when the public says what they want — the raw vision of the community — they should be able to translate that.”

Paine said he would like to see actionable goals come from the new plan. The recently adopted active transportation plan included short-, medium- and long-range goals, and he said he would like to see something similar from the comprehensive plan.


“I think it would be wise for us to finish it … and then send it right into council committees for implementation,” Paine said.

“I do like that we’re going to have a plan to implement this,” Councilor Brent Fennessey said.

The council will consider awarding the comprehensive plan contract to SRF Consulting Group on Nov. 4.

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