WARREN — Officials will have until early June to make suggestions or changes to the final sections of a comprehensive plan for the city, which the Trumbull County Planning Commission is working on.
More than 25 people, including city council members, city officials and residents, attended a briefing presentation by county planning commission staff on Tuesday, which showed a draft of the final comprehensive plan.
Mayor Doug Franklin said officials would review completed sections of the draft proposal and provide feedback for changes.
“It is long overdue. The city master plan has not been updated since the 1960s. This is a great opportunity to implement this plan soon,” said Franklin.
Julie Green, director of the planning commission, said comments should be received by June 3.
BLOCKED BY COVID-19
Nicholas Coggins, deputy director of the planning commission, said the plan was launched in 2016 but was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic and then resumed in 2021. He said community surveys were carried out in 2017 and 2018, and 1,000 people responded to help develop the plan.
“It helped us show what people wanted to see as the community progressed,” Coggins said.
Coggins said a section of the plan has goals and recommendations that include focusing on upgrading and maintaining infrastructure, such as roads and sidewalks; revitalize downtown; attracting, retaining and fostering youth enterprise, outreach and development; and tackle underserved areas.
“The city will look at ways to tackle implementations. The survey helped us find these different categories,” Coggins said.
The plan includes sections of maps, graphics and text focusing on available land, potential areas for zoning and annexation and future land use. Areas targeted for funding included the Golden Triangle, an area shared with Howland Township that is a manufacturing-centric site.
TJ Keiran, environmental coordinator/GIS specialist with the planning commission, said zoning areas – such as tax incentive zones – could be marketed for potential commercial development. Other locations would be community reinvestment areas.
Keiran said the city may consider rezoning 15 areas named in the plan.
Coggins said the plan will be helpful for the city’s future development.
“It can be consulted regularly” he said.
According to Green, polls have shown that the public is concerned about improving roads and sidewalks and public transportation.
“The city will be the entity that decides when to start implementing the completed plan. There can be short, medium or long term goals. said Green.
Polls also showed interest in community activities in parks and youth involvement, Coggins said.
Green said the plan will be ready for use once the board gives formal approval after any updates or changes have been made.
The draft plan is available on the City’s website under the heading “planning and engineering.”
Council Chairman John Brown asked if residents could be trained in the use of GIS mapping tools so they can walk through the sections of the plan that appear online.