City of Lebanon, OH
Comprehensive Plan

Lebanon prides itself on its sense of community and vibrant downtown, both of which draw regional interest. A historic setting with many nationally registered historic buildings, Lebanon is a great place to raise a family. Geographically nestled between two metropolitan areas, the City has felt growth pressure but wants to maintain its charm. After leading a successful downtown master plan process in Lebanon, Planning NEXT was again chosen to lead the inclusive comprehensive plan process. The process asked participants, in a challenging time of civil unrest and amid health concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to think beyond the current state and envision the future of Lebanon.

A strong foundation

Lebanon has been diligent and progressive with planning efforts, implementing recommendations, and taking action. Envision Lebanon involved the creation a land use plan, defined additional programming needs and provided a guidebook of economic development opportunities. A 28-member Steering Committee was formed, comprised of community partners and experts who provided guidance and insight throughout the process. Public workshops were held in a safe environment with a focus on touchless-engagement through custom-built smartphone tools. An open house event, featuring free ice cream, was a chance for the community to celebrate the plan, provide feedback, and prioritize draft actions.

Four focus areas

Four target locations were identified by staff for additional attention and planning. These were largely yet-to-be-developed lands with concerns about how they may change without proper foresight. Through engagement of stakeholders in the area and technical analysis, the team worked with the community to establish a clear set of next steps for each unique geography.

Turning a vision to action

In the immediate months following adoption, city staff and leadership took strides toward implementation. Zoning changes were undertaken to allow for the newly created character type, public meetings were held to increase housing rental information access, and a large development was modified to better align with comprehensive plan policies. Though there has been recent changes in elected officials, Envision Lebanon establishes a list of actionable items for the community.


Project Type: comprehensive plan
Community Type: city
Client: City of Lebanon
Services: strategic planning, public engagement, social media and online engagement