Plain City officials are asking for public input into a plan they believe will shape the village for the next decade and beyond.
As part of its Dec. 17 meeting, village council will hold a public hearing for a proposed comprehensive plan. Following the hearing, council is expected to hold a third reading and final vote on the plan.
According to the plan, it is “the result of a community-driven process which as implemented will guide development and decision-making on Plain City for the next 10 to 20 years.”
The planning firm of MKSK said more than 200 residents, business owners and area stakeholders participated in the planning process, which the village paid $98,000 for.
“The plan is not a regulatory or legally binding document, but rather a guide for decision makers, village staff and community leaders as they implement the community’s vision,” according to the document, which is a draft until approved.
The plan sets what it calls the “Village Vision” that “The Village of Plain City is a family oriented community that works cooperatively to promote outstanding quality of life, securing a sustainable environment for future generations, while preserving our unique heritage and character.”
Village Administrator Nathan Cahall said the document, “essentially gives people a road map of how the village council envisions the community developing and redeveloping over time.”
He said the plan focuses not only on future land use, “but also redevelopment of certain areas.”
Council President Kerri Fergusson said the plan also considers the future growth and development of the village and region.
“As annexation occurs, council will have a land use guide to help plan future development,” Fergusson said.
She added that the plan, “lays out a conceptual plan that shows how all parts of our community fit together.”
“This is all important to improve the quality of life for our residents as well as to encourage people to move here,” Fergusson said.
The plan recognizes the regional growth as well as some of the specific opportunities and challenges facing the village.
According to MKSK, “residents want to see a thriving Uptown district.” The plan details that Uptown revitalization was the most talked about topic overall throughout the planning process.
Additionally, plan writers identified that, “participants in the planning process love Plain City’s small-town feel and support methods to preserve the sense of community they experience in the village for generations to come.”
Through the process plan organizers determined the community, “highly values parks, open space and natural features with many ideas for increasing park space, connecting neighborhoods to parks and celebrating the scenic Big Darby Creek.”
Plan writers also noted that the community understands Plain City is likely to continue growing and wants to plan to help control growth “so it supports the village while preserving its character and aesthetics.”
Officials said they identified community priorities as:
-small town identity;
-parks and recreation;
-the Big Darby;
-housing supply and affordability;
-control of growth and amenities.
Using those priorities, plan writers said the plan works to:
-maintain the character of the community;
-create an inter connected open space system;
-support neighborhoods and housing needs;
-promote economic development;
-connect the community
-preserve the environment;
-strategically leverage infrastructure;
-coordinate regionally and collaborate locally.
The comprehensive plan includes 10 initiatives, “to inspire the community to think big and to bring people together around common goals and projects.”
The initiatives include ideas to create a public gathering space in uptown, transform Bicentennial Park into a plaza, optimize parking in Uptown, invest in Uptown streetscapes, redevelop Sweeney Run to expand Uptown, create a community center, extend Heritage Trail into Uptown, create a Metro Park, improve and expand Pastime Park and create neighborhood parks.
The plan also includes nine next steps it calls “elements more immediately necessary to the success of the implementation of this plan.”
The next steps call for the village to finalize its 208 plan agreement with the City of Columbus, update it’s zoning map and regulations, prepare for the municipal shift after Plain City becomes a city, modernize the capital improvements plan, create an Uptown master plan, extend the Heritage Trail to the Uptown, develop a parks master plan, study access management on U.S. 42 and create overlay district for the state Route 161 corridor.
“The comprehensive plan has recommendations for an action plan,” said Fergusson. “At the beginning of each year council will have the opportunity to incorporate action items into the goals for that year.”
The plan in its entirety can be viewed in its entirety by following the linkls on the village website.
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