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Now what?: Planning advances for the impact of Intel’s investment

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Western Licking County is a wild place these days. While already experiencing growth, one year ago they learned Intel intended to build two fabs and attract suppliers and other supportive development. The Columbus Metropolitan Club (CMC) hosted a luncheon and discussion panel focusing on the future of Western Licking County after Intel’s arrival, entitled “Licking County Plans Its Ideal Intel Future.” The panel featured members of the planning team; Jamie Greene AIA, FAICP, principal at planning NEXT; Jennifer Roberts, executive director of the Thomas J. Evans Foundation; Rick Platt, President & CEO of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority; and moderated by Benjamin Lanka, business editor for the Columbus Dispatch. Panelists discussed housing, economic development, transportation, and other topics important to the communities in Licking County.

Intel’s new chip plant is projected to bring unprecedented new development to the State of Ohio. It also promises to profoundly influence the future of Licking County. Planning NEXT’s team, with leadership from the Thomas J. Evans Foundation and cooperation from 15 jurisdictions in the County, has been steadfastly focused on preparing communities for the future. This collaborative effort—FRAMEWORK—is heading into a critical new phase.

“It’s time for Ohio to get used to growth”

– Rick Platt, President & CEO, Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority

Informed by a Building Industry Association (BIA) of the Central Ohio housing study, team member Kevin Hively of Ninigret Partners focused on the housing impacts for the Framework study area. This analysis has revealed that housing is anticipated to consume much of the 45,500 acres of developable land in the area. Housing growth is expected to be centered around cities, rather than be spread proportionally through all 14 jurisdictions. This housing analysis is being considered alongside complex transportation and mobility, utilities, economic development, and land use needs and opportunities.

“In general, when you ask the public about development, they are adamantly opposed to two things, density and sprawl”

– Jamie Greene, Principal, planning NEXT

The team has deliberately designed the FRAMEWORK process so that community members have multiple opportunities to provide meaningful input that has helped to inform the work. Over 3,000 members of the community and 100 stakeholders have shared their ideas and concerns with the team.

FRAMEWORK will produce a map of recommended conservation and development that will help to shape growth and change. This map will be supported by both the technical analysis and insights from the public. In a time of uncertainty, this will help each community to make decisions that will preserve and enhance the quality of life for people who live and work in the area.

“We have had consistent, unanimous feedback that the process has been value-added”

– Jennifer Roberts, Executive Director, Thomas J. Evans Foundation

Watch the discussion here.