Hamilton officials pursue new comprehensive plan, seek community input to shape city's future

Five public meetings scheduled

HAMILTON, Ohio -- A planning process is underway to create a document that will guide the city’s leadership for the next decade.

The new comprehensive plan will shape policies and guide decision-making related to economic development, transportation, housing and utilities.

“We need to keep moving, keep planning and keep accomplishing the vision for 10 years down the road, 15 years down the road, 20 years down the road,” said Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller. “That’s what this comprehensive plan will help us do.”

Hamilton’s last comprehensive plan, dubbed Vision 2020, was created in 1998 and updated in 2008. 

“They started that planning process because they decided that revitalizing our downtown was important,” said Liz Hayden, acting planning director for Hamilton.

City officials hope to approve and implement the new plan within the next eight to 12 months. They currently are seeking community input as part of the process.

“They can tell us what they want Hamilton to look like over the next five to 10 to 15 years,” Moeller said.

Five community input meetings will be held between now and Aug. 10. A final follow-up meeting is scheduled for Aug. 16.

“We’re hoping community members will come out to community meetings, so we can make sure that the plan we develop works best for them,” Hayden said.

Input from residents and business owners will not only inform city leaders which parts of the city to focus on, but also highlight the importance of the tentative projects.

“They’re going to prioritize what happens here,” Moeller said.

Hamilton’s urban core will likely remain an area of focus, but the plan also will affect areas  beyond downtown.

“I think we’ll still see the downtown area be a primary focus at least for the next five years,” Hayden said.

She anticipated city officials will pursue beautification efforts along the state Route 4 corridor. 

Grand Boulevard is another probable focal point, in light of the new South Hamilton Crossing railroad overpass.

“We want to make sure we have a plan for how we want the future of that area to work,” Hayden said.

City officials won’t formally establish any specific goals for the comprehensive plan until they have received input from community members.

“I would hate to say that we already have a vision for anything,” Hayden said.

For now, the only expectations for the comprehensive plan are that it will not focus solely on Hamilton’s urban core and will provide a clear path for the city’s future.

“What we’re dealing with right now is a plan that has more generalities with it,” Hayden said. 

Once adopted, the plan is expected to be in place for 10 to 15 years.

For community meeting information and other updates related to the planning process, click here.

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