Hamilton to launch 1st comprehensive plan effort since 1998

Butler County’s largest city is about to create its first comprehensive plan effort since the one that was launched in 1998.

The comprehensive plan would create goals and guidelines that city leaders would be expected to use for the next 10-15 years in making decisions for the city’s physical development. The planning document is to take into consideration such issues as land use, economic development, transportation, utilities, parks, neighborhoods and housing, the city announced.

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“Plan Hamilton will guide the development strategies the City utilizes for the next 10 to 15 years, so citizen input in critical to ensure that Plan Hamilton’s priorities reflect the needs and vision of our residents,” said Liz Hayden, acting planning director.

Officials promise Plan Hamilton will be driven by the community’s input over the course of the next year, through online surveys, public meetings and other forums.

“The comprehensive planning process provides a great opportunity for our residents to shape the future of our city and I encourage all Hamiltonians to participate in the community meetings. This vision of this plan will guide our decisions moving forward,” said City Manager Joshua Smith.

“Community input is critically important to the process because it is the way we can ensure the vision that the plan proposes reflects the priorities of our residents,” Hayden told this media outlet.

“For Plan Hamilton to be effective, we need to hear from a large and diverse group of stakeholders,” she added. “We hope that all residents consider taking two hours of their time to share their vision for Hamilton. For those residents unable to attend, we will be working diligently to reach out to them in other ways.”

Residents can follow the process by going to www.PlanHamilton.com. That site is a way residents can find out about upcoming events, review feedback gathered during past events, and read or download reports and drafts of the plan as they become available.

Here are dates of neighborhood meetings.

  • Fairwood Elementary School, 281 N. Fair Ave., Thursday, July 20, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Booker T. Washington Center, 1140 S. Front St., Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m. to noon
  • Highland Elementary School, 1125 Main St., Monday, July 24, 5:30 to 7:30p.m.
  • Bridgeport Elementary School, 2171 Bridgeport Drive, Wednesday, August 2, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Linden Elementary School, 801 Hoadley Ave., Thursday, Aug. 10 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Final Follow-Up Meeting in City Council Chambers, 345 High Street, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Hamilton’s Vision 2020 plan, initiated in 1998, “played a very important role in turning the city’s focus toward revitalizing the downtown area,” Hayden said. “Recommendations for downtown and Main Street included allowing for mixed-use zoning, adding more parks and public open space, and creating incentives that encouraged public-private partnerships. These strategies have been executed and have helped transform downtown Hamilton.”

She added: “Community input was critical to the Vision 2020 plan and ultimately led to the Vision Commission, which continues to meet today.”

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