June 2010
-pdf version

Swan Creek Plan Model at National Meeting

At the annual meeting of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) in Cleveland, June 15-17, the Swan Creek Balanced Growth Plan will be a model for a workshop about regional decision-making and consensus. The Swan Creek watershed in northwest Ohio was one of three Ohio watersheds to participate in an incentive-driven test for balanced regional planning. The Swan Creek region includes 23 governmental units and widely varying land uses: urban centers, suburbs, productive farmland, and also portions of the globally rare ecosystem of the Oak Openings Region. The Balanced Growth Plan began in 2005, as TMACOG led elected officials and regional partners in a painstaking inventory of land uses. Next, public meetings were held throughout the region. Local stakeholders came prepared to compare the draft balanced growth plan to existing master plans developed by townships and villages, to the region’s Water Quality Management Plan, to zoning maps, and more. Despite sometimes conflicting attitudes toward land preservation vs. development and taxes, partners worked steadily toward a consensus and eventually more than 90% of the population and jurisdictions agreed to endorse the plan

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