City of Chillicothe, OH
Comprehensive Plan

The City of Chillicothe, Ohio, has tremendous assets: a rich history unmatched in the region, a tight-knit community, and a beautiful natural setting. The City’s most recent comprehensive plan was created in the 1940s. In 2021, it was time for a new plan that would respond to the public’s needs and vision. Planning NEXT was engaged to work with a strong civic leadership group aiming to maintain Chillicothe’s small-town charm, while planning for long-term fiscal sustainability. The plan highlights opportunities such as tourism, economic expansion of small businesses, and education. The process asked participants and residents of Chillicothe to think critically about their City and focus on ways to support a thriving place for decades to come.

History as opportunity

Chillicothe has deep historical roots, having served as Ohio’s capital two separate times, and also being located among many Native American burial mounds. The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, along with others in the area, are currently in the process of obtaining UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Choose Chillicothe aims to capitalize on this designation not only as a celebration of local culture, but as a economic driver for the region.

Downtown’s revival

Paint Street in downtown Chillicothe features historic architecture and a highly valued, attractive character. Recent investment in the existing building stock, a focus on the historical area and a deliberate change to traffic patterns have transformed downtown into a vibrant, walkable area. The planning process helped to shine light on this work and to continue the momentum, setting policies to maintain the area’s quality of place while allowing for forward progression.

Envisioning Three Area Plans

Through the plan’s process, three areas were identified as needing additional analysis and plan consideration. With only a few large sites left in the city, it is imperative to make the most of these opportunities for community member’s and for the city’s fiscal health. Riverside District and the Tiffin property both address housing issues in the community with unique products. The Riverside District aims to reconnect people with the Scioto River and house a new visitor center. Improvements to Yoctangee Park feature a long-anticipated amphitheater and a vision for newly acquired park acreage.


Project Type: comprehensive plan
Community Type: city
Client: City of Chillicothe
Services: comprehensive planning, area planning, community engagement