The FRAMEWORK report is now published at FrameworkLC.org. Download or read online.
Here’s the full news release from the public-private, grassroots initiative:
FRAMEWORK, the initiative that emerged with the goal of giving Licking County a voice in shaping our future, has just released the FRAMEWORK report. This unprecedented effort produced an inspiring resource to assist local jurisdictions to make more informed planning, conservation and development decisions. The toolkit that will empower local jurisdictions to shape their future growth, is available at www.frameworklc.org.
- FRAMEWORK is a resource, a toolkit, to help local governments address conservation and development in their communities. It is not a binding document, rather, it is an important guide that includes public input and technical analysis. It should be utilized to empower local jurisdictions to make informed decisions.
- FRAMEWORK is a framework, a guide, a set of best practices, a set of recommended policies, and a tool that can be leveraged by local communities and the county to better plan and manage the future.
- It is not the expectation that every jurisdiction agrees with 100% of FRAMEWORK. It is the expectation that all participating jurisdictions agree that FRAMEWORK was an open and helpful process that produced insights and recommendations that could be helpful for the local jurisdictions to implement as the choose.
- FRAMEWORK does not mandate any updates to comprehensive plans or individual jurisdiction documents. It is a choice for a jurisdiction to make any updates based on what they have learned. Many have expressed an interest in capturing what they have learned through FRAMEWORK to improve their plans, their zoning and, ultimately, their community.
“We have forged important relationships with one another that will serve our communities for years to come, new collaborations have emerged, and multi-jurisdictional problem solving and resolution have begun.” said Sarah Wallace, Chair, Thomas J. Evans Foundation and neutral convener of FRAMEWORK. “We have learned together. We learned what is important to our residents. We gained a better understanding of the housing issues within our county and the long-term risks of not having a full range of housing options to serve people throughout their lives. We learned about our economy and the sectors that have driven that growth over the past 5-10 years and the implications of different types of development. We gained a better understanding about the potential magnitude of growth. While none of us have a crystal ball, we now know what could happen and how to plan to manage the growth to our advantage. We have been armed with technical data, constituent insight and tools that can help each of us make better, more informed decisions.”
On April 28, 2022 The Thomas J. Evans Foundation hosted a listening session with 14 jurisdictions, whom we believed would be most immediately impacted by growth, and Licking County Government. They were asked to share their perceived challenges and opportunities resulting from the future Intel investment.
The Evans Foundation proceeded to benchmark communities who have exhibited extreme growth and evaluated what went well and what could have been improved. They completed a national search evaluating 15 firms, interviewed a short list of four firms and then recommended proceeding with Planning NEXT, a national planning practice based in central Ohio, and their strategic economic consulting partner, Ninigret Partner’s from Providence, RI.
The business partners funded 65% of the cost of FRAMEWORK to help bring best practices and technical knowledge to communities that would not otherwise have been able to engage in this kind of work. They engaged as silent partners learning alongside the elected officials. The participating jurisdictions covered the balance, or 35% of the cost.
FRAMEWORK included 7 townships, 3 villages, 4 cities, and Licking County Government. This multi-jurisdictional collaboration is unprecedented in Licking County and the state of Ohio. “We recognize we are better together, no one will survive without locking arms,” said Granville Mayor Melissa Hartfield.
The initial project goals included:
- Bring additional financial resources to the planning process
- Serve as a neutral convener facilitating communication, collaboration, and education
- Make best practices available to empower individual communities
- Present a unified Licking County Vision to our neighbors and external stakeholders
More than 4,000 people participated in three rounds of an iterative public engagement process. Individuals were engaged in stakeholder interviews, in-person events, and online engagement. Jamie Greene, Principal, Planning NEXT described this as “one of the most robust public engagement efforts” he has seen on a project.
FRAMEWORK relied on extensive an engagement process that integrated both grassroots outreach and engagement, subject matter expertise, and insight from community leaders:
- 150 stakeholder interviews completed
- 52outreach and engagement events
- 100+ in attendance at a stakeholder meeting
- 60+ shares in newsletters, social media and publications reaching more than 60,000 individuals
- 4,000+ individuals engaged online & in person
- Extensive media coverage by more than 11 outlets – print, radio, television
- 1 Billboard on SR 161 at Mink Street
“This was an inclusive process and included thousands of people. It was about as inclusive as it could be. It’s not a mandate, just a series of thoughtful suggestions to make the county a better place,” said Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb.
Round 1: Gathering Insight – “What is most important to you?” (October-December)
- The top three priorities that emerged were schools, sense of community, and housing. “Other” came in fourth with a strong desire for public open space, agriculture, and the physical environment.
- Nearly 2,000 first round ideas were distilled into 14 principle statements. These will be the bedrock of community priorities going forward serving as touchstones for where and how development should take place in the future. The principles are listed in priority of stakeholder support.
- Net fiscal benefits resulting from development are realized, after careful analysis.
- Strong collaboration among community institutions ensures success, especially K-12 schools.
- Development and infrastructure are coordinated among jurisdictions.
- Mixed-uses and appropriately scaled development is supported in strategic locations.
- Natural landscape and rural character are prioritized for conservation.
- Design quality is prioritized.
- Conditions support an expanding and highly skilled workforce.
- Development and change are proactively managed.
- Economic sectors are diverse and sustain local growth and workforce development.
- Full range of housing choices are found.
- Agriculture remains a strong part of the local culture and economy.
- Mobility options are widely available to connect workers and employers.
- Communities benefit from growth and development.
- Growth is focused inward toward communities and adjacent to existing development.
Round 2: Focusing on the Future– Character of Place (March-April)
- Members of the public were invited to share their place-based ideas and thoughts on the current and future character of the study area. The input from both Rounds 1 and 2 were used to develop FRAMEWORK, including growth strategies, character types, actions, and an implementation plan.
Round 3: Testing FRAMEWORK (June)
- FRAMEWORK was tested with the public and their reactions were gathered. Input from this round was used to refine and finalize the final report.
In addition to the robust engagement, the FRAMEWORK process included robust technical analysis on a range of topics: conservation and development, housing, economic prosperity, transportation and the physical character of place.
Moving into Implementation
FRAMEWORK process yielding four key deliverables to help the local communities:
- 14 principle statements that will express community values about conservation and development
- Development character types to help communities express preferences of their unique physical attributes
- Conservation and Development Map
- Implementation Matrix with dozens of best practices for getting desired results.
The participating jurisdictions will decide what aspects of FRAMEWORK will be most helpful to them. They will go about implementation knowing resources will be provided to support them. The Licking County Commissioners have agreed to cover 35% of the costs for the first year of implementation support with the business partners agreeing to continue their support of the 65% balance. “The thought behind that is that the heavy lifting is yet ahead,” said Bubb. “The implementation will be the thoughtful process of using this tool as we think of our plans going forward. This is a problem-specific group, those that will feel the most development pressures. We are going to have to shape where people live and how we grow.”
The next step for the Leadership Group will be to review the FRAMEWORK toolkit and identify what implementation items are most beneficial to their community. They will then identify a timeline for when they plan to implement FRAMEWORK strategies that will benefit their community, and those priorities will inform the specific support and resources provided over the next year. The Leadership Group will meet quarterly to provide additional education, guidance on implementation items, general support and most importantly to continue the lines of communication.
Our learning will be shared with elected officials throughout Licking County during several elected official workshops in September. The success of each of our communities is dependent on collaboration and thoughtful and strategic planning. There are challenges before us but the Leadership Group continues to be confident that the opportunities far outweigh the challenges.
Multi-jurisdictional work is complex and people don’t always agree, however, the opportunity for creative solutions, increased funding, greater opportunity to manage growth in a way that all of our communities can benefit outweigh any challenges. Decisions we make today will result in an impact that will last decades.
“Our county’s future success is so dependent on continued communication and collaboration. I think we will get the best results if we really consider the effects of the decisions we are making on our neighbors,” shared Wallace.
View the complete FRAMEWORK document at www.frameworklc.org and sign up for more information as we progress into implementation. We will continue to update this website as we move through the project.