County wants help with land use plan

Katie Baltz and Dave Steiner look over the last Wood County Land Use Plan.

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

Calling it a land use plan update is somewhat of a misnomer. Dave Steiner sees it more as a chance to make a clean slate for county planning.

Wood County is in the process of replacing its existing land use plan that was adopted in 2007.

“I just want to toss out what we have and start from fresh,” said Steiner, director of the county planning commission, the office in charge of the land use effort.

The plan adopted nine years ago hit a brick wall when the economy tanked.

“The recession hit right after that and everything stalled,” Steiner said.

But development is picking up again in the county, and a land use plan is needed to help direct that growth to the right areas. The plan will consider where zoning changes would be appropriate, where utilities should be expanded, where roadways should be built.

“I’m very pro economic development in the right places and I’m very pro farmland preservation in the right places,” Steiner said.

The plan will help guide that growth.

“It’s not a set-in-stone document,” Steiner said, but rather a roadmap with suggested directions.

But first, the county needs its citizens to give them the directions they would like to see the county develop or preserve. County officials are very aware that development concerns are very different in the southern rural areas than they are in the urban fringe areas in the northern part of the county.

So local residents are being invited to express their opinions about the future growth during a public workshop being held by the Wood County Planning Commission on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Junior Fair Building at the Wood County Fairgrounds, 13800 West Poe Road, in Bowling Green.

The event is designed to engage participants in discussions on the opportunities and challenges the county may face over the next 20 years. The event will also include exercises for participants to identify critical areas for protection, reinvestment, and growth on maps of the county.

A 15-minute reception and sign-in will be followed by small group work for approximately one and a half hours. The event will be led by county staff and consultants.

“For this effort to be successful, it is vital that the final plan accurately represents both a sustainable countywide vision and a more detailed vision held by the townships, so it is important the citizens of Wood County be actively involved in updating their plan from the very beginning,” Steiner said.

The land use plan only covers the unincorporated areas of the county, so no cities or villages are part of the plan. The update process involves the work of a steering committee, made up of members representing business, agricultural, conservation, educational and social service interests.

The county is contracting with McBride Dale, Cincinnati, for $63,000 for the land use plan. The planning process is expected to take 12 to 18 months to complete.

For more information, contact David Steiner or Katie Baltz at (419) 354-9128 or on the website: http://planning.co.wood.oh.us/land-use-plan/

 

print