Focus on the Future workshops will allow residents to discuss what types of development they would like to see in the future.
Clark County residents will have a chance to share their vision for future development this week as as part of a $214,000 update to an 18-year-old land use plan.
The Crossroads Comprehensive Plan — a long-term strategic vision used by the city and county as a road map for future transportation, housing and economic development projects — was last updated in 1999.
Sarah Kelly, senior project coordinator from Columbus-based consulting firm Planning NEXT hired to perform the study, discussed the planning process with Springfield city commissioners last week.
Public meetings will be held this week to discuss what residents want to see in Clark County, she said. Two meetings will be held in Springfield, while the others will be in Enon and South Vienna. The goal is to get as much feedback from the community as possible, Kelly said.
“If we’re successful at the end of the process, nobody will be able to say, ‘I didn’t know this was going on’,” she said.
The finalized plan will be used as a planning and zoning document by different local boards, including the Springfield City Planning Board and Board of Zoning Appeals.
The previous plan included several outdated projects now off the table, such as building an interchange onto Interstate 70 from Burnett Road. In 1999, the county’s population was projected to be about 245,000 in 2040. The TCC is currently working off a new plan with a projected 140,000 people.
Several of the studies completed recently, including the South Limestone Street and the Eastern Edge corridor studies, will be included in the updated comprehensive plan.
The downtown Springfield Regional Medical Center should be a significant piece of the plan, Mayor Warren Copeland said, because it can drive development to the downtown.
“It has significant implications for downtown land use,” Copeland said.
Kroger also plans to build a Marketplace store south of Interstate 70, which will play a big role in redeveloping the South Limestone Street corridor, he said.
“Those are two opportunities that seem to be significant and that we need to try to get some return on the investment that has been made and will be made,” Copeland said.
An emphasis should also be placed on the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport and the AirPark Ohio industrial park, City Commissioner Dan Martin said. Both are a key opportunity to develop jobs, especially with its proximity to I-70.
“There may be some differences of what people think that should be in the future,” Martin said. “I think that would be an area of interest.”
While South Limestone Street may end up being the city’s main corridor, City Commissioner Kevin O’Neill said planners shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of the North Limestone Street area.
“The people on the north end of Springfield don’t necessarily want to increase the traffic volume any more, but they’d like to see businesses grow onto the North Limestone corridor and we’ve kind of ignored that,” he said.
All ends of town must be examined at the same time so that everyone is being treated the same, O’Neill said.
“If you’re only going to look at one, the other ends are going to suffer because it has,” he said.
An emphasis should also be placed on making the community more walk-able, Springfield City Commissioner Joyce Chilton said.
The city of Springfield, Clark County and the Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee are sharing the cost to update the plan. The TCC will pay $141,000, while the county will pay about $43,000 and the city will pay about $30,000.
The study is expected to be completed and sent to city and county commissioners for approval in December.