Clark County, OH

Planning NEXT helped with a comprehensive plan for Clark County and Springfield, Ohio, also referred to as CONNECT Clark County. Many conditions and trends that have impacted the County over the past several decades present significant challenges for the community. The City of Springfield and Clark County have both seen a loss in population, especially in young people. The community has also experienced a decline in key industries, as well as household incomes. The County’s previous plan was completed almost 20 years ago, and the lack of coordination and cooperation between jurisdictions has been a challenge for decades. Increasingly, community leaders were growing concerned about the deterioration of the community’s physical environment as well as significant economic challenges.

Robust Public Engagement and Stakeholder Involvement Strategy

This work relied on a robust public engagement and stakeholder involvement strategy to ensure that diverse interests shaped the plan. Over 700 people participated in this process, and the Project Team collected approximately 2,200 public comments. These engagement efforts helped produce a plan which is both aspirational and realistic.

Countywide Planning

Despite the growth and change in Central Ohio, comprehensive planning at the county level is minimal, and many counties in Central Ohio do not have an up-to-date plan. CONNECT Clark County represents the promise and potential of countywide comprehensive planning—from coordinating land use decisions, to supporting shared economic development objectives, to prioritizing infrastructure investments—and offers strategies for how to approach planning across jurisdictions.

Excitement for Implementation

The planning process was completed in February 2018. Key entities in the County who will be responsible for implementing the recommendations in the Plan are already starting to work together, and the CONNECT Clark County planning process has generated renewed community optimism and excitement for “what’s next” in Clark County.

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Project Type: comprehensive plan
Community Type: county
Client: Clark County, Ohio
Services: comprehensive planning, community engagement