LIMA — Lima’s residents can help plot the city’s future over the next 20 years.
The city is developing a comprehensive land-use plan tagged “Vision 2040” to help guide the way over the next 20 years. The effort was announced during Mayor David Berger’s weekly press conference Wednesday.
One of the first steps in the process is getting the public’s feedback through a 20-question survey online at j.mp/32jrjvH.
“Our main goal with this initial survey is to get a general feeling of where people stand in regards to the various services throughout the community,” said Shane Coleman, executive director of the Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission, which is partnering with the city on the project. “It’s how they view everything from housing to economic development to vacant properties.”
Sharetta Smith, chief of staff for Lima, said it appears the last attempt on a comprehensive land-use plan was more than 60 years ago, in 1960, although she couldn’t find records that Lima’s council approved it. That plan focused primarily on land use and transportation, she said.
The 2021 survey asks for some non-identifying demographic information before delving into questions about what people like about Lima and what could be improved. It’s a mix of open-ended questions and multiple-choice ones.
It has some policy questions, too, including asking what services residents might be more willing to pay more for to support, with options for sanitary sewer, central water, parks and recreation, schools, roads and bridges, police protection, fire protection, keeping open spaces and youth programs.
There’s also a sliding scale to rate public parks, trash service, street conditions, water services and walking or biking availability in neighborhoods.
“This is a chance for the community to share their values, vision and hopes for the future of Lima,” said Susan Crotty, director of community development, in a press release.
The need for a plan was a key finding in the study compiled to consider housing issues in the region.
The Regional Planning Commission has already begun working on some background work. The goal was to have the plan delivered by the end of the year, but delays in releasing Census data may alter that deadline. The organization has developed similar plans in the past for townships and villages, recently completing one for Harrod. Coleman acknowledged it will be a bigger job to create for a city the size of Lima.
Once the initial survey is tabulated, people can expect to see further surveys, focus groups and community events to help nail down issues and ideally solve them.
“We will also plan other public engagement events throughout the year to receive input about how we plan to grow and develop over the next 20 years,” Smith said.