FRAMEWORK, the unprecedented Licking County visioning/planning initiative announced by Sarah R. Wallace, Board Chair, The Thomas J. Evans Foundation and leaders of the business community earlier this summer, will produce a collaborative vision, addressing economics, land use, character of place, transportation, and other topics that, among other benefits, will support specific community planning in the county.

Since the initial announcement of the planning initiative, the 15 identified jurisdictions along with private sector business partners have confirmed funding – 65% private sector, 35% public sector – needed to engage Planning NEXT, a planning firm based in central Ohio in collaboration with Kevin Hively, Founder, Ninigret Partners, an economic consulting firm based in Rhode Island.

Planning NEXT has completed over 55 interviews collecting data and is aggressively reviewing plans and the current scope of the many county-wide studies focused on transportation, utilities, comprehensive community plans, housing, school district growth, etc. The team will identify gaps in data and determine the best strategy for integrating the vast amount of activity taking place throughout the county.

The project team also made a trip to evaluate Hillsboro, Oregon as it is believed that the pace of growth and the natural landscape is similar to what Licking County can expect. Planning NEXT captured best practices and lessons learned from the unique planning partnership between Washington County and Hillsboro, Oregon.

As the first phase of FRAMEWORK, Building the Foundation, wraps up, the initiative will seek broad-based community engagement moving into the second phase, Analysis/Visioning. This process will be multifaceted and will focus on three outreach strategies ensuring widespread geographic coverage, leveraging existing civic and social organizations for engagement, and will work to ensure appropriate demographic coverage by working to engage and identify under-represented groups.

Public engagement has launched Fall 2022 is focused on gathering ideas and insight to broadly understand the insights, perspectives, and emotions of the public. FRAMEWORK team members will be present at various community events sharing and collecting information in the upcoming months and can share thoughts online on the website.

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