The Foundation Room is located inside the Student Center.
The public is invited to attend the gathering which will include a progress update by the Strategic Task Force’s consultant, McBride, Dale & Clarion of Cincinnati. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions and voice opinions throughout the Plan Forum.
This is the third Plan Forum involving public input since the task force was launched.
As is the planning group’s tradition, members of the multi-jurisdictional Strategic Task Force will reconvene for a more detailed, follow-up briefing Friday at 9 a.m. in the same CSCC location. The public is also invited to this gathering.
Incoming manufacturers like Volkswagen and Wacker Chemie are expected to contribute heavily to the economic growth of the Cleveland and Bradley County community. Estimates show that over the next 25 years the area’s population could jump by as many as 30,000 people, that some 19,000 jobs will be created and as many as 14,000 new housing units will be constructed.
With this forecast in mind, the Cleveland City Council, Bradley County Commission, Charleston City Council, Cleveland Bradley Chamber of Commerce and Cleveland Utilities commissioned the task force to develop the BCC 2035 Joint Strategic Plan. The group’s focus is to map an organized path for development that would include input from transportation, public utilities, education, housing, law enforcement and business sectors.
“There’s a feeling that we’re approaching the proverbial crossroads,” consultant Greg Dale said at the last Plan Forum held June 17.
By crossroads, he was referring to the fact that economic development in Cleveland and Bradley County is expected to explode and the community’s infrastructure systems need to be prepared. One of the most critical is transportation.
Cleveland streets and many major Bradley County thoroughfares are already full. The predicament could worsen without proper planning.
The Plan Forum in June concentrated on providing project background, as well as describing in detail three strategic growth scenarios, but the focus is now shifting gears to transportation. This is expected to be Thursday’s concentration.
Once the initiative is completed, planners will have recommended either one of the three scenarios or identified a fourth or fifth hybrid comprised of a combination of the first three. To date, the possible growth patterns include Scenario 1 which maintains existing growth trends without additional regulations or strategy; Scenario 2 which considers infill and redevelopment of existing urban areas and it calls for about 70 percent of residential growth to occur in existing urban areas; and Scenario 3 which targets substantial mixed employment and residential growth in the southern corridor along Exit 20 and the northern corridor along Exit 33.
The initiative has identified 10 growth plan goals that are common to Cleveland, Charleston and Bradley County government jurisdictions. These goals include efficient growth; infrastructure-directed growth; economic competitiveness; fiscal sustainability; transportation choices; housing choices; natural and cultural resource protection; livability and quality of life; value existing communities and neighborhoods; and intergovernmental coordination.
The concept of infill development inside the city of Cleveland appears to be gaining momentum as evidenced from the task force’s follow-up meeting June 18, less than 24 hours after consultants disclosed the three growth scenaries and common goals.
Consultants pointed out in the last meeting one of the advantages to redevelopment and infill development is that major sustainability grants will be available in the future for jurisdictions wishing to better plan their growth.
Another advantage is that overall costs won’t be as high because most public services already exist. They just need to be expanded to accommodate projected growth.