Renewing Our Vision Workshops – the results are in!

The results are in! We would like to thank everyone who participated in the ‘Renewing Our Vision’ workshops either in person in August or through our virtual workshop online, which closed on October 17th. Below is a map of the workshop locations:

Workshop Locations Map

The workshop included three activities. Each revolved around a central question:

  1. How do we achieve our goals?;
  2. What to do with the lands “in between?”; and
  3. Where should this go?

 

Participation

Altogether, 84 people participated in the workshops. Not every individual answered every question in every activity, but 84 people provided input. To ensure that we were engaging a diverse range of people, we asked participants to provide their age, income, and zip code. We only have demographic data in all three of these categories for 56% of the participants (47 of 84). The graphs below represent the age and income of respondents. The map below represents the respondents’ zip codes.

Workshop participants by age compared to Hamilton County

 Age Graph - blog

Workshop participants by income compared to Hamilton County

Income Graph - blog

Workshop participants by zip code

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For the results of our ‘What do you want to grow?’ game, in the previous round of public input, we analyzed responses to see how they differed based on demographics. We did not do such an analysis for this round of public input because we were not able to tie the demographic information to all of the participants’ responses for the planning workshops. Also, because we had less participation in the second round of input than in the first, an analysis broken down by demographics is unlikely to be as accurate. While the workshops were still informative, we learned that engaging the public at existing community events and activity centers is more effective than hosting workshops to get feedback.

 

Activity 1: How do we achieve our goals?

For this activity, we asked participants for feedback on the plan goals for ‘Renewing Our Vision’.  Participants shared specific solutions for making our community more complete, connected, healthy and safe, and unique and attractive. They also voted for their favorite solutions.  The following are common themes that arose and solutions that received the most votes:

Complete Communities

  • Neighborhoods which cover all of the basic needs and encourage a variety of services/businesses
  • Mixed housing and retail in a walkable, bikeable environment
  • Affordable housing options/policies that promote affordable housing
  • Diverse housing mix, including accessory dwelling units
  • Reusing old buildings for mixed-use
  • Infill development/nodes rather than sprawl
  • Multimodal transportation infrastructure
  • Good schools

Connected Communities

  • Multimodal transportation infrastructure including complete streets, sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, bike share stations, greenways and trails, designated bus lanes, and park and rides
  • Transportation options, especially walking, biking, and a variety of transit including bus, shuttle, rapid transit, and rail
  • Sewer
  • Expanding airport service including the size of the airport and cities served
  • Destinations served by multimodal transportation including school, work, neighborhoods, retail, grocery stores, social activities, parks, recreation areas, and community centers

Healthy & Safe Communities

  • Multimodal transportation infrastructure, safe and complete streets, cyclist and driver education, and schools connected to the community for safe walking and cycling
  • Street lighting
  • Transit-oriented development
  • Better zoning for section 8 housing
  • Access to good food including grocery stores, markets, and community gardens
  • More parks and recreation areas
  • Neighborhood watch programs
  • More community programs/activities
  • Stormwater control

Unique & Attractive Communities

  • Form-based code
  • Landscaping/streetscaping, especially with native plants
  • Celebrate communities’ uniqueness/heritage through public art, signage, and community centers
  • Revitalize/reuse abandoned/historic buildings
  • Repair and clean up in neighborhoods
  • Preserve natural features
  • More, connected parks, open space, and greenways
  • Diverse, walkable retail to get people out and make areas more lively

These responses were used to refine the plan goals and develop recommendations for achieving the goals. Due to the interconnectedness and similar responses provided relating to ‘complete’ and ‘connected’ communities, these goals were merged into one goal for ‘Renewing Our Vision’.

 

Activity 2: What to do with the lands ‘in between”?

For this activity, we defined the “lands in between” as land that is not preserved and not supported by existing or planned transportation infrastructure. We asked participants to what extent they think this land should be developed.

activity2 image

Ninety-five% of respondents (71 of 75) felt that development should occur in or near areas where there is already existing development and infrastructure. Eighty-five% of respondents (66 of 78) felt that development should occur in areas needing minimal transportation improvements or in areas that have major transportation improvements in place or committed to support the development.   Sixty-five% of respondents (42 of 65) feel that most of the pattern of the “lands in between” should be maintained, but that development should be directed to key strategic areas.

A majority of the respondents felt that as a community we should discourage development (either somewhat or highly) in land with natural resources. The lowest was 61% of respondents (47 of 77) for agricultural land and the highest was 91% of respondents (68 of 75) for slopes.  Sixty-six% of respondents (44 of 67) felt that the best way to preserve natural resources is to either regulate with policy and codes or require restorative practices.

These responses informed our recommendations on where growth and development should be focused and how natural resources should be protected.

 

Activity 3: Where should this go?

For the third activity, we asked participants what criteria are most important for determining where to locate new regional facilities. The four types of facilities that were used as examples were jails, landfills, regional commercial centers, and regional industrial parks.

Station 3 -Survey_Page_1

For jails, regional commercial centers, and regional industrial parks the criterion that received the most votes was replacing/reusing existing buildings before constructing new ones. Multimodal access to these facilities also ranked highly. For landfills, taking safety precautions above & beyond minimum standards when addressing groundwater received the most votes. For jails and landfills, the most common write-in criteria was reducing the need for new facilities through rehabilitation, prevention, education, and job opportunities for jails and through composting, recycling, and reducing waste for landfills. A focus on urban infill as opposed to large centers was the most common write-in criteria for regional commercial centers. Sustainable design was the most common write-in criteria for regional industrial parks.

These responses informed our guidance for decision makers and other agencies involved with siting regional facilities.

 

What’s next?

The third and final round of public participation for ‘Renewing Our Vision’ is the draft plan review. You will have an opportunity to read the draft and share your comments and questions. Stay tuned and check back for the draft plan to be released at growingforwardchc.com!

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