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Building a Better Boardman plan getting closer

March 22, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Building a Better Boardman is a project of Boardman Township's Planning and Zoning Department that will become the comprehensive plan to help guide the road to the future. It is a concept that has seen a lot of interest over the past couple of months.

On Jan. 18 and again on Feb. 5, meetings were held with residents and township officials regarding the plan. Township officials shared data findings and current conditions while seeking comments and ideas from residents. Boardman Planning and Zoning will use the data and input in additional planning activities and input for the comprehensive plan.

"The purpose of the meetings was to introduce the idea of a comprehensive plan," said Krista Beniston, Boardman Township's Director of Zoning and Development. "We weren't sure what to expect. We ended up with over 150 people attending the two meetings. We also did an online survey and had 618 responses."

She said the next round of info gathering will take place this summer. She said one-on-one interviews with Boardman businesses will add a different aspect of data.

"Right now, we are just starting to sort through the data we have so far," Beniston said. "We have over 200 pages of raw data to go through. This fall we hope to have a draft and seek input on that. We do hope to have a finished project document by spring of next year."

She said most townships pay a lot of money to outsource such a study. By doing it through Boardman Zoning, a lot of money has been saved.

Among some of the data collected were answers to a most favorite place in the township and a least favorite one. Beniston said the favorite places were Boardman Park and Mill Creek Park. The least favorite places were the intersections of U.S. 224 and Glenwood Avenue, and U.S. 224 and South Avenue. Traffic was the reason for both least favorite places.

Code enforcement for property maintenance was another issue set before residents. Beniston said her department may want to look at code enforcement as an issue for the plan. It will also help determine the direction of her department.

"This will affect updated our zoning code as well as going after various grants," she said.

Everything will depend on the gathering of data from the many meetings and website input. It will all take time, but one question that was asked of residents drew interesting answers.

We asked the question to describe Boardman in one word," Beniston said. "We ended up with 600 different responses from 600 people."

Beniston and her department will have the summer to put together a draft. This fall residents will get to see a rough draft of what the future of the township is going to look like.

"All summer we will be looking at the data and adding possible strategies along those lines," she said. "This draft will help up set up goals and how we are going to get there."



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