OKI Elements of an Effective Local Comprehensive Plan
OKI published the Elements of an Effective Local Comprehensive Plan in January 2016. OKI staff has presented this Guide at local conference and workshop sessions, including the region’s annual David J Allor Planning and Zoning Workshop and often features topical elements at OKI Regional Planning Forum events. To date, 150 copies have been distributed to local communities and private sector consultants. For a copy of the Guide or to request a workshop please contact Andy Meyer, Senior Planner firstname.lastname@example.org
Comprehensive Planning & Land Use Planning Guidance and Technical Assistance
Tools, research and resources related to the Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Planning are available as a service to local government in the region. OKI staff is available to provide technical assistance for specific local planning needs and projects as resources permit. In addition, OKI has developed planning guidance documents and model ordinances on special topics related to the How Do We Grow From Here? Plan. OKI staff will update the documents as needed. For additional information and links to the guidance documents, click here.
Regional Planning Forum
OKI holds information meetings each year for professional planners across the region, called Regional Planning Forum. The forum features a variety of topics that help inform planners about the issues and policy recommendations in the How Do We Grow from Here? Plan. The purpose of the Forum is to create a regional outlet for sharing information, experience and expertise among planners and those in related disciplines so that we can provide the best possible quality of life for those who live and work in our region. For more information, click here.
Fiscal Impact Analysis Model (FIAM 2.0)
The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) has developed a Fiscal Impact Analysis Model to give decision makers a better understanding of the budgetary implications of land use proposals. The model has been in use in the region since 2009 and FIAM 2.0 was launched in 2020 to better address communities needs. The Fiscal Impact Analysis Model estimates the costs and revenues associated with land use change. It can compare alternative development scenarios within a jurisdiction and analyze effects of specific development projects.
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OKI along with Northern Kentucky partners, Center for Great Neighborhoods, PDS, and the Northern Kentucky Health Department, formed the Kenton County Plan4Health Coalition in 2015. The Coalition successfully engaged four strategically located corner stores in Covington which committed to increasing healthy food options. These stores received mini-grants to purchase equipment and marketing materials necessary to include fruit/vegetable options in their inventory. The project team also engaged school administrators and implemented activities encouraging students to choose healthier snack options. Since the project concluded in April 2016, the American Planning Association has continued to promote successes from it with other regions interested in implementing similar programs.
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Solar Ready and Go Solar Ready
OKI worked with a national team facilitated by the National Association of Regional Councils and the OKI Solar Ready project and Solar Map was completed in April 2016. This project resulted in a series of best practice recommendations for local planning offices and code officials regarding rooftop solar PV regulations. These materials are housed on OKI’s website section titled Go Solar Ready and features an interactive solar map providing solar potential of rooftops across the OKI region. In 2020, OKI submitted for a SolSmart designation enabling more technical support opportunities to communities across the region interested in advancing solar energy.
Regional Quality of Life Assets
OKI introduced Community Character, a new topic area to the Elements of an Effective Local Comprehensive Plan in 2016. This addition was designed to encourage plans to inventory assets unique their communities and analyze methods for building up and strengthening these assets as the community changes and grows in the future.
Community Strategic Energy Planning Project
With an award from the Duke Class Benefit Fund, OKI produced eight local community energy plans from 2017 – 2020. OKI partnered with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance on the project and produced plans for the Village of Cleves, Colerain Township, Village of Silverton, Middletown, Turtlecreek Township, Harlan Township, North College Hill, and Delhi Township. Information on the project, as well as all eight plans are posted on the Energy Plan Website. In addition to producing the plans, the grant provided over $120,000 dedicated to kick start the implementation of the energy plans. Through these funds, the program leveraged a total of $460,594 in improvements through August 2020.
Although generally based on content from the US Department of Energy’s guide on producing a local energy plan, OKI worked with the local governments to tailor each plan to the local community’s situation; and each plan featured robust public input.
Ways this project benefits the local Community and the Region:
- Builds awareness of how energy affects local communities and ties into traditional community planning topics like transportation, housing, economic development, and natural systems
- Develops a knowledge base, data, and indicators that can be used to understand energy impacts throughout the region
- Provides funds to kick-start the implementation of the plans
- Builds stronger awareness of local priorities regarding energy, which is expected to lead to further local and regional activity on energy issues
This project is resulting in a much better understanding of something that is currently lacking from the discussion of energy issues — and that is local community priorities. We have come to understand that things work better when our regional transportation priorities and local land use priorities are mutually aligned. The same holds true for our energy policies and infrastructure. It is essential that we develop a locally-driven set of energy priorities and are able to effectively communicate those to everyone involved in the energy field. Technologies and regulations are changing rapidly. As a region, we need to develop a voice in that conversation. The Energy Planning Project is an important step in that process.