OSU students present Enon plan

Proposal suggests better downtown, more mobility choices would help attract younger residents.

The Ohio State University students who spent the semester creating a comprehensive plan designed to draw younger generations to Enon presented their 135-page plan to the village on Monday in Columbus.

The city and regional planning students’ work — which will be be rolled into the year-long, multi-section Enon Strategic Plan Chapter II project — found that younger generations want better schools and parks, a more walkable and bike-friendly village, a downtown economic district and more multi-family homes.

Students’ recommendations were based on research of Enon and its current services, a community survey and surveys of younger people.

It’s the reverse of what younger people wanted 15 years ago when the first Enon Strategic Plan was created, Councilman and Strategic Plan Committee Chair Jerry Crane noted during the presentation. Younger people then tended to want cars and their own homes, whereas now they’re more likely to want mass transportation and to rent, he said.

It also recommended the village simplify its zoning code and create design and architectural guidelines for the downtown district, as well as update its logo and motto to reflect Enon’s values and principles.

“The plan’s intent is to both help maintain Enon’s rich and prosperous heritage and create a vision for a thriving community that can be shared by all. This plan will give Enon the opportunity to enhance its strengths by drawing upon the village’s long-standing values and unique identity,” the plan’s executive summary said.

The class picked up the project after city and regional planning student Lauren Watsek, whose parents are Enon residents and herself is a Greenon High School graduate, alerted the university to the village’s need for a study.

The ESP committee will now review the students’ plan and put their recommendations in the 15-year ESP, with the full report as an attachment.

Crane said he will present the ESP’s emergency services, form of government and community living sections to council during their Jan. 22 meeting. It’s the committee’s third and final status report.

All nine chapters, including technology, village facilities and equipment, streets and sidewalks, police protection, growth and annexation and water services, will the go for council approval.

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