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GODFREY - Godfrey trustees on Tuesday discussed the village’s growth, which may be the subject of a future comprehensive plan. If such a plan moves forward, residents could be asked for input on whether or not Godfrey should have more multi-family dwellings, larger chain restaurants, and more.

“Residents are wanting Olive Garden and other businesses that require a population greater than what Godfrey has,” Woodman said. “In order to comply with those businesses needing the population, you would need to build either stack housing or big multi-dwelling institutions - apartments, condos, whatever the proper term is - and I’m not big on that, that’s just my personal opinion.”

She clarified that she does not have an issue with “reputable builders” building quality duplexes or triplexes, but she had previously read that having a high concentration of several multi-family dwellings can be “the demise of a community.”

“Do I want growth in Godfrey? Yes,” Woodman said. “I certainly am not against Godfrey growing, I simply want Godfrey to grow in the right way.”

Woodman then said she and Economic Development Director Jim Mager met previously and discussed hosting meetings with Godfrey residents to gauge how they envision Godfrey’s future before looking into having a new comprehensive plan done.

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“Are they wanting us to build stack housing to get that population up so that we can have an Olive Garden or whatever, or would they rather we do a slower growth and go that route?” Woodman asked. “There are lots of questions that I would like to have answered before we go and hire a firm.”

Trustee Jeff Weber said public input would be a built-in part of developing a new Comprehensive Plan for the village. He added that a company with experience developing comprehensive plans for other communities would be better equipped to answer questions from the public.

“Well if you do the comprehensive plan, that’s what the comprehensive plan does - they put together these meetings with the public and whatnot,” Weber said. “The whole idea is they have a lot more experience - the companies that do this - than what we do and what the public has. You want to hear what the public has to say, which is a big part of their program, so I think we need to go ahead … I think we need to decide on which one and get started.”

Trustee Rick Lauschke agreed with the idea of hiring a professional group to conduct the study, adding they would need to focus on zoning, and housing to ensure any future multi-family units are “done right” and the village is “balancing our approach to duplexes, triplexes” and more. He agreed that larger multi-family units, such as a 500-apartment complex, would likely not work in the village.

After Woodman asked the trustees how they’d like to proceed, Lauschke suggested interviewing a few different companies and narrowing it down to the top two, who would then give presentations to the Village Board.

The agenda item was only for discussion, so no official vote was taken - but with the trustees in agreement, Woodman agreed to start looking into companies to develop an updated comprehensive plan for the village. The village’s last comprehensive plan was completed in 2021.

A full recording of the March 18, 2024 Godfrey Village Board of Trustees meeting is available at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.

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