STEUBENVILLE - The Jefferson County Regional Planning Commission is looking for public input on a countywide land-use planning project.
Planner Rich Fender said the plan "will serve as a vision to guide the county's development over the next 20 years."
"In addition, the plan will address the possible land-use implications of shale oil and gas development," he said.
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, technical planning assistance is being provided by Freemont-based Ohio Rural Communities Assistance Program. The project is being overseen by a core committee representing a variety of public and private sector entities. Interviews have been conducted with more than 25 community leaders from all sectors, and public meetings were held this spring in Tiltonsville, Richmond and Stratton.
"Ultimately, our land-use plan will set the tone and direction for orderly growth in Jefferson County," JCRPC Director Domenick Mucci Jr. said. "It's extremely important. We have to have citizen participation, across all levels of local government. People need to be part of the process in order for the plan to be successful."
Fender said a key part of the plan is to enhance the county's quality of life through the careful consideration of future patterns of residential, industrial, recreational and other land uses. The plan will not mandate new policies and is intended to dovetail with the comprehensive planning effort now under way in Steubenville as well as previous initiatives such as the county's 2008 Community Investment Plan.
Mucci said they've posted an online survey form to solicit public input "regarding the county's assets, issues and ideal future."
"We have a lot of resources, a lot of assets and a lot of concern within Jefferson County," Mucci said. "We're trying to incorporate that into one master plan, to have an end result favorable to economic opportunities and preserving our resources is going to be important. That's why we held the public meetings, why we're asking residents to complete the survey form."
The survey will attempt to gauge public perceptions of the county's assets and selling points as well as the kinds of things people would like to see happening over the next decade or two. The survey can be accessed now through the end of July by going to www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZKTM3D8.
Mucci and Fender said the survey only takes a few minutes to complete. All input will be taken into consideration, and responses will be received at this site through the end of July."
For information, contact Fender at Jefferson County Regional Planning Commission Planner at (740) 283-8568 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.