Land use surveys will go out to 1,000 residents

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(Posted Feb. 28, 2019)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Sometime in the next month, 1,000 Madison County residents will receive a survey asking what they want to see in the way of land use and development.

The survey is part of a review of the county’s comprehensive land use plan, which determines land use for the county’s unincorporated areas. The plan is reviewed every four years. The county commissioners have formed a steering committee and an advisory committee for the review process. The committees will take the survey results into consideration when making recommendations for any changes to the plan.

The commissioners approved the survey questions on Feb. 26. The steering committee worked with Thomas Blaine, an associate professor at The Ohio State University who specializes in surveys, to formulate the questions. The 1,000 survey recipients will be chosen at random. The last time the county surveyed residents about land use was in 2010.

Survey takers will be asked what they think about the rate of development in the county and to rank the types of the development they would like to see–industrial, commercial, residential, recreational and agricultural. They also will be asked where they think different types of development should be located.

Under parks and recreation, survey takers will mark the types of parks they prefer to see in the county, from small public green spaces in housing developments to nature parks with picnic facilities, sports parks, bike trails, and primitive nature preserves, or they can mark that no new parks are needed.

Under agriculture, survey takers will be asked to rate their concern about invasive species and noxious weeds, as well as flooding, ponding and drainage.

Additionally, survey takers will be asked if they agree or disagree with the following statements:

  • Madison County should control rural residential development;
  • Zoning to protect farmland should be a priority in Madison County;
  • Madison County needs more public places for recreation;
  • We should attract more business to Madison County;
  • We need more housing in Madison County;
  • Madison County should allow development to take its own course;
  • Zoning of all development is important in Madison County;
  • It is important to preserve agricultural land in Madison County;
  • The character of Madison County should be changed to a more urbanized, developed community;
  • Madison County should support physical activity through bicycle and pedestrian friendly comprehensive plans and ordinances;
  • Madison County should manage for invasive species and noxious weeds on public property;
  • Madison County should plant public right-of-ways with pollinator (bees and butterflies) friendly flowers;
  • Madison County should provide ordinances that prefer native plants, discourage non-native plants and prohibit invasive species from being planted in new developments.

In addition to conducting the survey, members of the comprehensive land use plan review committees are meeting with all of the county’s township trustees to gather input. The entire review process should be complete this summer, said Rob Slane, county administrator. The steering committee likely will have recommendations for any changes to the county commissioners by July.

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