Clark County residents will have a chance to weigh in on where they want future development to occur as part of a $214,000 update to an 18-year-old land use plan this year.
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, Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee Transportation Planner Cory Lynn Golden said.
“Things have changed, forecasts are different,” Golden said. “Having a new plan will be extraordinarily helpful.”
Columbus-based Planning NEXT will do the study, which could be completed in December. The Springfield and Clark County commissioners will be asked to approve the new plan, she said.
Golden presented an introduction to the process to county commissioners this week. The finalized plan will be used as a planning and zoning document by different local boards.
“It’s used every day and it’s something we should put some time and effort into,” Golden said.
A steering committee and stakeholder group has been established to analyze current trends and growth. The TCC and its consultant met with both groups, as well as Clark County commissioners earlier this week.
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“We’ll look at what’s happened over the last 20 years, take into account and develop a new plan out of that,” Golden said.
Next month, public meetings will be held to discuss what residents want to see in Clark County, she said. Two meetings will be held in Springfield, while the other two will be in Enon and South Vienna.
“Nothing is planned, nothing is written down,” Golden said. “We’re at the beginning stage.”
Public input is important because it gives planners an idea of what Clark County residents want for roads, housing, and commercial and job growth.
“We’ll take it all and record it,” Golden said. “Nothing is off limits. It’s an open forum.”
The TCC, city of Springfield and Clark County are sharing the cost of the study. The TCC will pay $141,000, while the county will pay about $43,000 and the city will pay about $30,000.
The previous plan included several outdated projects now off the table, including building an interchange onto Interstate 70 from Burnett Road.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, she said.
“It’s a significant decline in population, so that’s going to change the services that are needed and the places those services are needed,” Golden said.
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, Chamber of Greater Springfield Vice President for Economic Development Horton Hobbs said. The plan should be reflective of what’s going on today, he said, as well as what’s going to happen in the long-term.
Other plans have been created over the last 17 years, including the Greater Springfield Moving Forward initiative.
“Any good plan should be a document that’s livable and updated on a recent basis,” Hobbs said.
It’s critical to hear from the public on what it would like to see in different areas of the county, he said.
“A plan and a community’s growth is only as good as the people who live in that community,” Hobbs said. “Our future is going to be defined by our hopes, wishes and aspirations. The only way to get to that is to have an honest dialogue about where we’re going in the future.”
Intergovernmental cooperation is also an important piece of the development and implementation of the plan, Golden told Clark County commissioners last week.
“Hopefully if we can get everyone to work together that would be great,” Clark County Commissioner Lowell McGlothin said.
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HOW TO GO
Connect Clark County Focus on the Future workshops will be held at the following times:
• Feb. 21: 6-8 p.m., United Senior Services/Mad River satellite office, 7571 Dayton-Springfield Road, Enon
• Feb. 22: 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., United Senior Services, 125 W. Main St., Springfield
• Feb. 23: 6-8 p.m., South Vienna Government Center, 149 W. Main St., South Vienna
For more information, log on to ConnectClarkCounty.org.
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