WILMINGTON — A detailed housing study as well as a new county comprehensive plan will get financial support from the Board of Clinton County Commissioners, who called the projects investments.
At an appointment this week with county commissioners, Clinton County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) Executive Director Taylor Stuckert said, “I think all of you have heard at one time or another from realtors, from individuals in the community about the need for residential development in this county.”
A scarce supply in the housing stock, plus rising costs of homes are two things one hears when talking with local realtors, said Stuckert.
He said the aims of a full-bodied housing study will include obtaining data on what the exact need is, what kind of demand there is, what kind of price points can be supported in the county, and where in the county strategically speaking is housing most needed.
The housing study report is expected to contain specifics, and data from systematic surveys, and provide policy recommendations that will go into details, Stuckert said.
In short, the housing study should yield data that the Clinton County Port Authority’s economic developers and others need at their fingertips when talking to residential developers about the housing market here, he added.
The projected cost is $57,000, and the commissioners agreed Wednesday to pay half that — $28,500. For the balance, the Port Authority will assist in identifying or securing additional funding partners for the study.
Clinton County Commissioner Mike McCarty said he feels very strongly about there being a need for a housing study, and thinks it’s a tool that can be used countywide.
The Port Authority is looking to utilize Danter and Associates LLC (Danter Company) out of Columbus. Housing-related studies (multifamily, single-family, condominium, and elderly housing) account for about two-thirds of its assignments, according to its Linkedin site.
As for the County Comprehensive Plan, the last time it was updated was 16 years ago. A Comprehensive Plan communicates a community’s goals and objectives, provides a blueprint for future land use, and serves as the basis for zoning, subdivision, and land use codes.
“At 16 years old, the Comprehensive Plan is severely dated, and its replacement is long overdue,” stated a handout distributed to commissioners by Stuckert.
He said the plan needs to be kept up-to-date to make sure the focus is on the issues most important to the county in the present, while also putting the county on the path it wants to take into the future.
Clinton County Port Authority Executive Director Dan Evers, who was at the commissioners meeting, said one of the first things a site selection firm for a business seeking to locate will do is “just google” a place, and visit the respective websites such as the news media that covers the area.
“And if they go to the [Regional] Planning Commission and see the most recent plan is 16 years old, that says something,” said Evers.
Stuckert said the ordinary citizen considering where to reside can also make good use of the Comprehensive Plan with its text and maps.
If you choose to invest your hard-earned money and buy a house in a particular area of the county, you should know what the county is expecting for the future of that area, he said.
A Comprehensive Plan will indicate what is acceptable in a particular part of the county, so that if you don’t want a residential development to spring up nearby after you move there, the Comprehensive Plan can give you guidance in that respect.
The anticipated cost of an overhauled County Comprehensive Plan is about $149,500, and the county commissioners pledged half that — $74,750. The CCRPC will pay the other half.
Clinton County Commissioners President Kerry R. Steed said a Comprehensive Plan is expensive, but it’s got to be done.
Clinton County Commissioner Brenda K. Woods said both the housing study and comprehensive plan are instrumental in moving the county forward.
NOTE: An earlier version of this article that appeared online incorrectly stated the Clinton County Port Authority is responsible for paying the balance of the housing study not funded by the Board of County Commissioners. It is not. Rather, the Port Authority was asked whether it could assist in identifying or securing additional funding partners, and the Port Authority agreed to undertake that. The News Journal apologizes for the confusion caused by the original version of the article.