Western Licking County Accord

Overview

The proposed Western Licking County Accord is designed to protect the area’s quality of life, including its rural, small -town character, with policies and development standards that promote desirable land uses and determine the locations where new development will best serve the communities.

Protecting Our Quality of Life

The proposed Western Licking County Accord is a collaborative initiative between Jersey Township, the village of Johnstown and the city of New Albany to proactively plan for and responsibly manage future growth in a way that protects the desirable quality of life residents enjoy and strengthens local economies.

Managing Future Growth

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission estimates that the central Ohio population will grow by one million people by 2050. That growth will impact Western Licking County. If approved, the accord is a non-binding agreement that serves as a policy document to guide public investment and public and private development decisions to manage that growth. Many communities throughout central Ohio have worked together through multi-jurisdictional accords, such as the Big Darby Accord and the Rocky Fork-Blacklick Accord, to successfully preserve natural features and promote responsibly managed land use.

Promoting a Shared Vision

The planning process allows the three communities to pool their resources, gives people a voice in establishing a shared vision and promotes coordination of development and infrastructure improvements in areas that cross jurisdictional lines. The plan takes into consideration all future land uses — from agriculture, rural residential and open space to civic, commercial, office and industrial/distribution.

Analyzing Current Conditions and Future Trends

To ensure that the WLC Accord represents the concerns and interests of residents in the three jurisdictions, MKSK, a planning and landscape architecture firm, was retained to conduct an analysis of existing conditions, current plans, future trends and area assets (physical, economic, etc.) in the three communities.

Giving Residents a Voice

MKSK conducted meetings with the three jurisdictions’ elected officials and planning personnel, held a public workshop, led a focus group with residents and gathered additional input through an online survey in December and January.

A second public meeting will be held at 7 pm on April 20 at the Jersey Baptist Church, 13260 Morse Road, where MKSK will share findings from the online survey as well as preliminary ideas related to future land uses for community feedback. In June, MKSK will provide a draft plan that includes proposed land use policies and development standards reflecting the accord’s shared vision. After final review and discussion, each jurisdiction will have the opportunity to formally approve and adopt the plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the proposed Western Licking County Accord?

The proposed Western Licking County Accord is a collaborative initiative between Jersey Township, the village of Johnstown and the city of New Albany to proactively plan for and responsibly manage future growth in a way that protects the desirable quality of life residents enjoy while building resilient, sustainable communities and strong local economies. The accord is a non-binding agreement or policy document that, if approved, will guide public investment and public and private development decisions. It takes into consideration future land uses — from agriculture, rural residential and open space to civic, commercial, office and industrial/distribution.

Why does my community need the Western Licking County Accord?

The central Ohio region’s population is expected to grow by more than one million people by 2050. That growth will affect Western Licking County and will impact everything from land consumption to infrastructure and, ultimately, residents’ quality of life. Lack of planning leaves communities vulnerable to development that detracts from the character of the community, including traffic congestion and lower quality developments, while straining local government resources. The planning process allows our communities to pool their knowledge and resources, gives residents a voice in how their community grows and promotes coordination of  desirable development in areas that cross jurisdictional lines. The Big Darby Accord and the Rocky Fork-Blacklick Accord are examples of how communities have successfully worked together to preserve natural features and promote responsible land use.

How is the Western Licking County Accord being developed?

To ensure that the WLC Accord represents the concerns and interests of residents in the three jurisdictions, MKSK, a planning and landscape architecture firm, was retained to coordinate the process. Working with elected officials and planning staff in each community, MKSK analyzed existing conditions, current plans, future trends and area assets (physical, economic, etc.), held a public workshop, led a focus group and conducted an online survey to gather input from residents on future land uses.

What are the next steps and can I still get involved?

Yes, we welcome your input. A second public meeting will be held at 7 pm on April 20 at the Jersey Baptist Church, 13260 Morse Road, where MKSK will share findings from the online survey as well as preliminary ideas related to future land uses for community feedback. In June, MKSK will deliver a plan that reflects the input and includes proposed land use policies and development standards. After final review and discussion, each jurisdiction will have the opportunity to formally approve and adopt the plan.

Who will make decisions about future development in my community?

Each jurisdiction will continue to make its own decisions about development within its community. The accord is a non-binding document that gives each community a tool to manage growth in a way that protects the character of the community while accommodating future residential and commercial developments that strengthen the community’s tax base.

How will the Western Licking County Accord help my community maintain its rural character?

Our survey found that 86% of residents want to preserve their community’s rural, small-town character. Each jurisdiction determines how the rural character will be preserved and incorporates that vision into their own plans as well as the accord. These land use plans designate locations for certain uses, whether that is rural residential, green space or commercial. In conjunction with design standards, the land use plans preserve and protect the desirable character of the community while allowing for growth in designated areas.

Will new development lead to more traffic?

It is not necessarily new development in our communities that will lead to more traffic. It’s population growth throughout the region that will affect traffic. If we don’t adequately plan for that growth, we are likely to experience traffic congestion and other issues. Through the accord, we can avoid many issues by anticipating them and planning in advance. Additionally, together, our communities will have a stronger voice in getting support and funding from the county, state and federal government to make sure that our roadway systems can adequately accommodate that growth.

Planning Teams

WLC Accord Working Group

Jersey Township
Jim Endsley, Township Trustee
Bud Witney, Township Zoning Inspector
Jim Zablocki, Member, Township Zoning Commission Member
Johnstown
Jim Lenner, Village Manager/Planner
Jack Liggett, Service Director
Jim Blair, Zoning Inspector
New Albany
Joseph Stefanov, City Manager
Adrienne Joly, Deputy Director of Community Development
Stephen Mayer, Community Development Planner
MKSK
Chris Hermann, Principal
Aron Fraizer, Associate
Justin Goodwin, Associate

Elected Officials Group

Jersey Township Johnstown New Albany
Jim Endsley, Township Trustee
Ed Bright, Township Trustee
Derek Meyers, Township Trustee
Sean Staneart, Mayor
Carol Van Deest, Village Council
Jim Lenner, Village Manager/Planner
Colleen Briscoe, City Council
Sloan Spalding, Mayor
Joseph Stefanov, City Manager

Steering Committee

Jersey Township Johnstown New Albany
Rudy Shaffer
Debbie Carr
Danny Howser
Karen Kitts
Bill Van Gundy
Bob Orsini
Elizabeth Schwartz
Jay Hazelbaker
Neil Kirby
Marlene Brisk
Tom Rubey
Francis Strahler
Mike Durik

News

Residents Want Western Licking County Accord to Protect Area’s Rural, Small-Town Character

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 2017

Residents Want Western Licking County Accord to Protect Area’s Rural, Small-Town Character

Proactively planning for growth that preserves the rural, small-town character of western Licking County is the top concern of a large majority (86%) of residents who participated in a recent survey conducted on behalf of Jersey Township, the village of Johnstown and the city of New Albany.

The survey is part of a collaborative planning process among the three jurisdictions designed to responsibly manage growth in a way that protects the desirable quality of life that residents enjoy while building resilient, sustainable communities and strong local economies. If approved by all three communities, the proposed Western Licking County Accord will serve as a non-binding policy document to prudently guide future land use and infrastructure development.

“If current trends continue, the central Ohio population is expected to grow by one million people by 2050 and that growth will affect western Licking County residents,” says Chris Hermann, principal at MKSK, a planning and landscape architecture firm. “The Western Licking County Accord will allow these communities to employ development policies that identify desirable future land uses and locations where those land uses best serve the community.”

MKSK was retained to conduct the survey as part of its analysis of existing conditions, current plans, future trends and area assets (physical, economic, etc.) to help these communities build consensus about a shared vision that represents the interests of all residents.

Most survey participants (75%) favor a shared land use agreement and plan among the jurisdictions. More than 50 percent want design standards to guide future development and a multi-jurisdictional panel to review and make recommendations to elected officials regarding future development proposals.

Residents and community members also expressed a desire for public amenities, such as parks, and for new development to be designed and strategically located to not detract from the character of the area.

More than 75 percent of respondents said they would like to see some type of park, trail or recreational facility. Less than 20 percent said they did not want any new community uses.

“Development is not a bad word and, when it is done correctly, it can improve our quality of life and increase the tax base while avoiding traffic congestion, poor quality construction and overburdened government resources,” Hermann added. “This accord provides opportunities to preserve green space and add public amenities such as leisure trails and parks.”

More than 150 residents provided input into the planning process through focus groups, a public meeting and an online survey which was available on each community’s website during December and January.

A second public meeting will be held at 7 pm on April 20 at the Jersey Baptist Church, 13260 Morse Road, where MKSK will share findings from the online survey as well as preliminary ideas related to future land uses for community feedback. By summer, the firm is expected to provide a draft plan for the communities that includes proposed land use policies and development standards reflecting the accord’s shared vision. After final review and discussion, each jurisdiction will have the opportunity to formally approve and adopt the non-binding plan.

Western Licking County Accord
PUBLIC MEETING
April 20, 2017
7 pm
Jersey Baptist Church
13260 Morse Road