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R City of Reynoldsburg 2013 Strategic Plan prepared for

The City of Reynoldsburg prepared by

OHM Advisors


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Acknowledgements City Staff Brad McCloud, Mayor Sandra Boller, Administrative Staff Nathan Burd, Service Director Joe Brown, Parks and Recreation Director Mike Root, Water and Sewer Department Superintendent Fred Slota, Chief Building Official Scott Teeters, Director of IT Billie Riedel, Civil Service Secretary Bill Matthews, Street Department Superintendent

OHM Advisors Aaron Domini, Senior Planner


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Table of contents 1.

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 a. Overview 4 b. What is a Strategic Plan? 4 c. How to use this document 5

2.

Developing the Vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 a. b. c. d.

3.

Goals and Objectives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 a. b. c. d. e.

4.

Process Description 6 Initial Findings 7 Goal 7 What do we want to achieve? 7

Goal 1 - Create a City Center Goal 2 - Community Brand Goal 3 - Quality Development Goal 4 - Community Recreation Center Goal 5 - City Structure

8 10 11 14 16

Appendices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 a.

Visioning Exercise Results

18

Reynoldsburg Strategic Plan


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Introduction

Overview

What is a Strategic Plan?

The City of Reynoldsburg has developed as a residential community with suburban-style commercial corridors throughout the city. As the city ages, it is important to adjust the vision and goals of the city to align with present day conditions. This specifically includes: 1. The goals and objectives of the city administration and staff 2. Community values 3. Market trends and conditions

In its most basic form, a strategic plan is a guide for where a community wants to be in the future, and describes how it will get there. This plan is intended to set clear priorities for the City of Reynoldsburg and offer realistic strategies for achieving those goals. Overall, this document should be used to help prioritize development, programming, funding and policy decisions in a coordinated manner which supports the overall goals.

A strategic plan was developed to guide the direction of the city. In the Spring of 2012 the mayor department heads and staff took part in a strategic planning process. A set of strategic goals were developed through this process. The goals define what the participants in this process identified as important elements to focus on over the next three years. Objectives and strategies for each goal were then developed to guide the implementation of the goals.


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How to use this document The Plan is intended to be used on a daily basis as public and private decisions are made concerning new development, redevelopment, capital improvements, economic development initiatives and other matters affecting Reynoldsburg. The following is a summary of how decisions and processes should align with the goals and strategies of the Plan. 1. Staying Focused Most importantly this plan should keep the city focused on a core set of goals. Future efforts should be directed primarily on achieving these goals over other city projects. 2. Annual Work Programs and Budgets Individual city departments and administrators should be cognizant of the goals and objectives of the Plan when preparing annual work programs and budgets.

4. Economic Development Incentives Economic development incentives should be reviewed to ensure consistency with the recommendations of the Plan. 5. Private Development Decisions Property owners and developers should consider the goals and strategies of the Plan in their land planning and investment decisions. Public decision-makers should use the Plan as a guide in their development and policy decisions. 6. Be Flexible The plan is intended to be flexible and fluid, and should be updated and amended as appropriate. As projects, policies, and programs develop over time they may not exactly support the goals of the plan, but they should address the intent of the plan as appropriate.

2. Development Approvals Administrative and legislative approvals of development proposals, including rezoning and subdivision plats, should be a central means of implementing the Plan. Decisions by the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Design Review Board, and City Council should reference relevant goals and objectives. The Planning and Zoning Code should be updated in response to strategies presented in this document. 3. Capital Improvement Program The City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) should be prepared consistent with the Plan’s policies and recommendations. Reynoldsburg Strategic Plan


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Developing the Vision

Process Description On May 17, 2013 the mayor, department heads and staff took part in a strategic planning exercise to prioritize the their goals for the city for the next one to three years. The exercise was designed to help participants identify and prioritize these goals, as well as start to offer viable avenues for achieving them. Participants at the meeting were asked “What can we do to make Reynoldsburg the best it can be in the coming years?� Over 30 answers were given which were displayed to the group. Each participant then voted for their top 3 answers out of the 30 displayed to help identify their top concerns or aspirations in regards to the future of the city (see Figure 3 at the end of the document for complete results). Participants were asked to consider what actions could be taken to realize each of these goals. These suggestions would be used as a guide in formulating the objectives needed to support the goal, as well as formulating the strategies needed to achieve each objective.

Initial Findings The results of the charrette were collected and synthesized into five strategic goals for the city. A series of objectives were developed from the exercise which are specific steps that are necessary to achieve the goal. From there, a list of strategies were developed that are concrete, actionable steps that can be taken in order to meet each objective. The specifics of each goal, objective and strategy are explained in greater detail in the Goals and Objectives chapter (see Figure 1). The planning exercise resulted in the participants identifying seven priorities. There was a strong interest in creating a center of gravity within Reynoldsburg, with a focus in and around Old Reynoldsburg and the Blacklick Creek Area. In addition, participants wanted to see the development of a community center, the promotion of quality development, and the celebration of cultural diversity in the City (see Figure 2).


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Figure 1: Policy Hierarchy Goal

Objective Strategies

What do we want to achieve? Objective Strategies

What steps can we take to achieve it? What specifically needs to be done?

Figure 2: Strategic Plan Goals Goal 1: Promote Blacklick Creek as a Unique Community Resource Goal 2: Create more public gathering places Goal 3: More nimble government (budget and spending) Goal 4: Promote new, diverse, economic development initiatives Goal 5: Promote the development of a community center Goal 6: Celebrate cultural diversity/integration Goal 7: Promote the development of Old Reynoldsburg (see 2012 Plan)

The results of the participants ideas were recorded and prioritized in a brainstorming session.

Reynoldsburg Strategic Plan


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Goals and Objectives Goal 1: Promote Blacklick Creek as a Unique Community Resource

Blacklick Creek is the most significant natural resource in the community, and in larger part helps to shape the community image and brand. The Creek should be protected as a natural asset, and integrated into future public and private development plans a unique community asset.

Objective 1.1: Create better access to the creek Strategies ►► Develop low cost observation areas

Simple improvements can be made along Blacklick Creek in both Huber and JFK parks to create both formal and informal observation areas.

►► Promote new environmental education programs with the creek as a focal point as part of the program

Objective 1.2: Work with the private sector to integrate the creek in future development plans ►► Promote the development of the Bingo Hall and the corner of Lancaster and Main as two high profile sites that may result in new public space along the Creek. There are a number of development sites in the City that can help to integrate the Creek into the fabric of the community. Two sites in the Old Reynoldsburg area that could help achieve this objective are the ‘bingo site’ and the corner of Lancaster and Main.


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Goal 2: Create more public gathering places

One of the strengths of any great community is the quantity and quality of public spaces. Placemaking and public spaces have been the focal point of city planning for centuries, and are once again being uses as social and economic development tools by community leaders.

Objective 2.1: Create a new public space near City Hall and/or Old Reynoldsburg

Goal 4: Promote new, diverse, economic development initiatives

Growth at any cost has proven to be unappealing and unsustainable. New development within Reynoldsburg should enhance the character of the city over the long term, and the city must work hard to ensure that all new growth within the area is both attractive and high quality.

Objective 4.1: Make the area more attractive for quality developers

Strategies

Strategies

►► TBC

►► Revise The Code To Be More Attractive To The Private Sector

Objective 2.2: Ensure new development contributes toward the public realm Objective 2.3: Create one new public space in the Brice and Livingston area

Goal 3: More nimble government (budget and spending) TBC

A reevaluation of the code to be current and more flexible will make Reynoldsburg more attractive to the private sector. Identify existing content and processes in the code that hinder developers, and how it can be improved to promote quality development.

►► Streamline The Permitting Process

Streamlining the permit process will help ease the burden for those looking to develop within the community.

►► Fully Define And Promote Incentives

Incentives from the city should be given for quality development through various means, including density bonuses and tax abatements. Whatever incentives the city chooses to use should be promoted and communicated clearly to those looking to develop in Reynoldsburg.

►► Clearly Communicate Expectations

The city must clearly define what it considers quality development. This can be achieved through design standards or guidelines that clearly communicate what character and materials are appropriate.

Objective 4.2: Targeted Redevelopment Plan Strategies ►► Downtown Development Should Be A Priority Reynoldsburg Strategic Plan


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The city must encourage the development of the downtown area. Businesses that can benefit from a walkable, pedestrian friendly environment should be encouraged to locate to or develop within the historic downtown district.

►► Analyze Agricultural Laboratory Wooded Tract

The large tract of wooded and farm land across Main Street from the Agricultural Laboratory has been identified as an area prime for development, especially considering the large amount of available land would lend itself to a cohesive and comprehensive development.

►► Consider Taylor And Main Streets For Redevelopment

With an existing grocery store located at the intersection of two major roads within the city, the developable land available here has the added benefit of being near an existing area attraction.

Objective 4.3: Improve Perceptions of Reynoldsburg Strategies ►► Build Off Of The Existing Main Street Brand

Streetscape improvements and development guidelines within the Main Street corridor should act as the basis for future improvements within the city. Cohesive development along with streetscape improvements throughout the city will improve the overall perception of the area. Streetscape improvements can be as simple as trash cans and benches or as large as decorative signal / mast arms. Regular maintenance and upkeep of these elements will be necessary to maintain the impression of order.

►► Identify a City Champion

Identify a city champion to serve as the moderator of community and public media outreach and messaging.

►► Create and Promote A Business Incubator

Promote the development of a business incubator to reinforce Reynoldsburg’s commitment to encouraging business development and growth.

Objective 4.4: Communicate a cohesive message Strategies ►► Develop A Consistent Message Which Reinforces The Desired Brand of Reynoldsburg

Promote Reynoldsburg as a community that is safe, family oriented, business friendly, healthy, green, and has a responsive government.

►► Create a Comprehensive Messaging Campaign

The city should begin a coordinated and cohesive campaign to promote the brand of Reynoldsburg, which


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will include various mediums such as web, print and signage presences. There should be an attempt to coordinate this effort across departments within the city so the desired message is direct and clear from all levels of the government.

Goal 5: Promote the development of a community center

A community center is a way to reinforce and promote community within Reynoldsburg, as well as providing consistent programmed activity for the area.

Objective 5.1: Create a Dynamic and Multi-Functional Community Center Strategies ►► Evaluate Existing Community Programs and Activities Within the City Programs and activities already popular within the city should be given high priority within the new community center.

►► Engage Community to Identify Potential Programs and Activities of Interest

Programs and activities that are desired but not currently being offered are an opportunity for expanded service within the new community center.

►► Enlist an architect to create schematic plans responding to the needs of the community The design of the building should be guided by the programming and activities identified by the community.

Objective 5.2: Roundtable Discussion to form Strategic Partnerships Strategies ►► Identify potential partners

City leaders should identify individuals, companies, or adjacent

landowners who could benefit from the presence of a community center.

►► Engage potential partners

Potential partners should be engaged to possibly help with financing, land acquisition, program activities, or maintenance of the community center.

Objective 5.3: Site Considerations and Options Strategies ►► Evaluate sites appropriate for the Community Center ►► Sites such as the Bingo Pool site, Old Value King, and the crossing near the Sewer Plant should be considered as options for the community center.

►► Consider and evaluate potential private sector partnerships

Evaluation of the potential pros and cons of a public / private partnership, and how such a partnership would be structured.

►► Consider A Phased Approach

Constructing the community center in a phased approach would allow for forward momentum of the project, while also taking budgetary concerns into consideration. An analysis of the pros and cons of such a strategy should be completed.

Goal 6: Celebrate cultural diversity/integration

One of the unique characteristics of Reynoldsburg is the cultural diversity of the population and its neighborhoods. The community diversity should be embraced and celebrated through community spaces, programs, and special events..

Objective 6.1: TBC Goal 7: Promote the development of Old Reynoldsburg

Based upon the number of votes received, the desire to create a Center of Gravity was unanimously recognized as a top priority for Reynoldsburg. Old Reynoldsburg provides a great opportunity to Reynoldsburg Strategic Plan


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create a center of gravity within the city. By leveraging its historic character and form, the city can create an unique district that will promote future economic growth, and serve as the social and entertainment hub of the community.

Objective 7.1: Create a place that attracts businesses and people Strategies ►► Create Public Space / Plaza

Future development in Old Reynoldsburg should include quality public spaces to attract and support businesses, people and community events.

►► Promote 21st Century Multi-family Housing ►► Encourage creative housing types in and around the downtown that will attract and serve the millenial and baby boomers, as well as the creative class.

►► Activate the Streets

Businesses that encourage social / outdoor activities should be promoted within the downtown area.

►► Promote A Pedestrian Friendly Atmosphere.

Wide sidewalks, interesting and engaging architectural facades, street trees and traffic calming are all strategies that should be promoted to make areas more comfortable and inviting for pedestrians.

►► Connect the Park, Creeks, and Private Sector Businesses.

Promote and locate these programmatic elements in proximity to each other to create a critical mass of activity between business, leisure, entertainment and housing. This cluster should be near the intersection of Lancaster and Main Streets, and integrate the surrounding waterways.

Objective 7.2: Create a Unique Character in the Area Strategies ►► Refine the Downtown Brand

Create unique brand for the downtown that highlights its importance within Reynoldsburg. The brand should embody the desired character of the downtown area, be unique to the Downtown District and build on the existing identity of the City.

►► Create a Messaging Campaign

Establish a cohesive campaign to communicate the character and attractiveness of downtown to promote the historic center to both residents and visitors.

►► Renew Graphic Identity


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Evaluate and redesign the graphic identity of downtown to define the area as unique. Graphics within the area should be cohesive across all mediums. These graphics should all help to reinforce the Reynoldsburg brand.

►► Create Gateways

Create gateways to define the edge of one district from another. Gateways can take many forms including archways, obelisks or statues, signage, a change in road material, or a unique building. Landscaping should be used to further define the gateway areas.

Objective 7.3: Promote Convenient Access to Area Strategies ►► Improve Pedestrian Connectivity

Develop mid-block street crossings to improve safe pedestrian connectivity within downtown.

►► Develop A Pedestrian Bridge

Develop an attractive pedestrian bridge which will span the creek and connect the downtown area to JFK and Kennedy parks.

►► Analyze Public Parking Needs

A study of the existing parking capacity and expected parking demand should be completed to forecast the need for future public parking lots.

►► Analyze On-Street Parking Needs

A study of the existing street parking capacity and expected parking demand should be completed to forecast the need for future public parking spaces.

Reynoldsburg Strategic Plan


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Visioning Exercise Results

What can we do to make Reynoldsburg the best it can be in the coming years? Idea Promote Blacklick Creek

Votes 10

More public gathering areas

6

More nimble government (budget & spending)

5

Promote new, diverse economic development (variety of industry)

5

Community center with recreation

4

Opportunities to celebrate cultural diversity/integration

3

Potential to expand the downtown

3

Improve/expand existing parks

2

Continue a strong capital improvement plan

2

A walkable community (connected, places to go)

2

More local (mom and pops)

2

Local shuttle to connect different points of the city

2

New local ‘champions’

2

Partnerships between city and civic groups-special event coordinator

2

Bringing the community together (places and events)

1

Maintain a high quality of life

1

More vibrant Old Reynoldsburg (need a destination)

1

Historical reference

1

More civicly welcoming

1

Involve the community on important civic issues (e.g. H20 rates)

0

More after ‘5’ shops and places to go

0

More diverse cultural events

0

Diverse mixed-use community-live, work, and play

0

Development from Main Taylor to Summit (jobs)

0

Capture pass-through traffic

0

Big red barn

0

Respect the past…embrace the new

0

Enhance communication to the public

0

Term limits on council

0

New volunteer ideas Promote development of neighborhood commissions

0 0


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Reynoldsburg Strategic Plan


Reynoldsburg 2012 strategic planning retreat 100313