Middletown seeking public input into parks master plan: How you can help

Middletown is asking residents to take an online survey about its parks. The residents input will go into the development of a new parks master plan. CONTRIBUTED/CITY OF MIDDLETOWN
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Middletown is asking residents to take an online survey about its parks. The residents input will go into the development of a new parks master plan. CONTRIBUTED/CITY OF MIDDLETOWN

Middletown reached the first milestone toward completing the city’s new master plan.

Earlier this year, Middletown City Council approved the $145,000 contract to V3 Companies of Cincinnati to develop the parks master plan.

The company has worked with the city on the Sunset Park improvements and the city’s Long Term Control Plan for sewer improvements, and it proposed plan to improve the Middletown City Building’s plaza and eventual removal of the outside pavers on the walkways.

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Sara Evans of V3 Companies said the three-phase parks master plan project, which was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, started its Awareness Phase in May and will run until February. This phase includes visits to each park, public input and meetings with stakeholders.

Residents are encouraged to complete an online survey on the city’s website, www.cityofmiddletown.org, by Dec. 31 to provide more input during the Awareness Phase. Evans said the survey will be translated into Spanish. In addition, residents can pick up surveys at the Middletown City Building lobby, the MidPointe Public Library and at The Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton office. Surveys can be returned to the Middletown City Building.

“It’s important and necessary for Middletown residents to participate in the survey so that you can shape the plan as we look toward the future of Middletown parks,” Evans said.

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Other phases include an Exploration Phase from February through mid-March that will include concepts refinement and a public meeting. The final Vision Phase will begin in late March and run until June with finalizing of the master plan.

Sara DiLandro of V3 Companies said bike corridors are limited to the Great Miami River Recreation Trail, Ohio 4, Smith and Jacot parks. She said other bikeways could be developed through street improvements or other programs that could reach out to other regional trails to improve connectivity to other communities.

She said access to parks by walking or driving is a key aspect to determine whether there an adequate number of parks for residents.

DiLandro said more than 53% of city residents live more than a quarter-mile or a 10-minute walk from one of Middletown’s 32 parks. The city owns and operates about 321 acres of park land that are categorized as plazas, mini parks, neighborhood parks, community parks, nature preserves as well as four undeveloped park sites.