Friday, December 20, 2013

11 December 2013 Dearborn County Comprehensive Plan Meeting Summary

Dearborn County Comprehensive Plan Meeting Summary, December 11th, 2013:


ATTENDEES: (Underlined members present)

Advisory Committee Members:

Al Abdon (E), Doug Baer (R), Craig Beckley, Andy Bischoff (E), Cliff Bischoff, Bill Black, Mike Clark, Archie

Crouch, Phil Darling, Jim Deaton, Guinevere Emery, Brett Fehrman, Rick Fields, Pat Hawkins (E), Jim Helms

(E), Jeff Hendrix, Roger Howard, Grant Hughes, Jennifer Hughes, Bruce Keller, Wade Kimmon, Dennis Kraus

(Sr.), Helen Kremer, Todd Listerman, Randy Maxwell (E), Chris McHenry (R), Jay McMullen, Chris Mueller,

Mark Neff, Jane Ohlmansiek (E), Rick Pope, Susan Pope (E), Terri Randall (E), Jim Red Elk, Mark Rosenberger,

Robert Sauerbrey, Kathy Scott, Bill Shelton, Jeff Stratman, Christina Swafford, Ralph Thompson, Harley & Jan

Ulmansiek, Bill Ullrich

County Commissioners: Kevin Lynch (E), Shane McHenry, (Art Little)

Plan Commission:

Mike Hall, Dennis Kraus, Jr., Art Little (E), Dan Lansing, Mike Hornbach, Russell Beiersdorfer, Mark Lehmann,

Ken Nelson, Jake Hoog (E)

Planning & Zoning Staff:

Mark McCormack, Troy Frasier, Karen Abbott

(~7:05 -8:35pm.)


Mark McCormack, the Planning Director, welcomed everyone and began discussions by

presenting the feedback / input that the Advisory Committee members had submitted to County

staff for the 2 ‘homework’ questions that Mr. McCormack had emailed them in early November

(Please refer to the attached handout.) Upon reviewing these questions and preliminary

feedback, Mr. McCormack asked if there were any questions or additional input for these items

and the responses included:

What are your goals for our comprehensive plan process?

Questions / Comments from meeting:

There were no additional questions or feedback items for this question.

How / what do you envision Dearborn County will look in 20


Questions / Comments from meeting:

We need to stop the exodus of our working-age population and do what we can to bring

people back by providing more educational opportunities.

The County needs to weigh the benefits and costs of providing tax breaks for businesses

to move into the community. What are the tax implications of this practice?

The County has an annual shortfall of $6 million in its transportation budget. Without the

additional revenue, the roads in the County cannot be paved on a schedule—which is

once every 28 years. Currently, only the arterials and collectors and some significant

local roads get paved. Everything else is patching and repair work.

We need to be consistent in our vision. It is a hard balance to have “rural flavor” and

improve our infrastructure and entice development at the same time.

The language of the plan should be more about what we can do and instead of what we

can’t do. Goals and objectives need to be achievable ion the timeframe of the Plan and

must be financially feasible as well—otherwise, they aren’t very meaningful.

In the next section of this meeting, Mr. McCormack presented and discussed a draft Vision for

the Comprehensive Plan. The staff utilized feedback from the Advisory Committee from its last

meeting in October, as well as from the answers provided from the ‘homework’ exercise. The

draft Vision, at the beginning of the exercise, was:

Preliminary Vision Statement

Dearborn County is an inviting, growing community with small-town charm and hospitality,

beautiful rolling hills and waterways, unique recreational opportunities, and quick and easy

access to the heart of Cincinnati and its international airport.

In the next twenty years, Dearborn County will be recognized as a great place to live, work, and

play for people of all ages and backgrounds. We will strive to grow in a well-planned,

coordinated manner—preserving and utilizing our natural resources and agricultural assets

wisely, protecting the environment, and promoting economic diversity, innovation, and

investment. The Dearborn County community will become a hub for business expansion and

recruitment, offer quality educational opportunities, and become a premier destination in the tristate

for all types of recreational opportunities.

Upon review of the draft Vision, the Advisory Committee suggested some changes:

The word ‘play’ in the first sentence of the second statement should be changed to

something like ‘enjoy life’…It is broad a term that may not apply to all.

The Vision should reference / include residents and visitors (both).

The Vision should be applicable to multiple generations—and maybe should reference

our past, present, and future.

Our Vision should highlight our recreational opportunities more.

We don’t necessarily need to define a specific time period for the Vision.

The Vision should reference the Ohio River and our railroad linkages.

Our Vision should acknowledge that we will have, not just offer, quality educational

opportunities and a skilled, educated labor force.

We should acknowledge that we will be making an effort to protect our ‘rural’


We should reference that we want to be a healthy community.

Following the discussion of the Vision Statement, Mr. McCormack proceeded to review the

Guiding Principles of the Comprehensive Plan and asked if there were any questions, comments,

or recommendations regarding these items. Everyone in attendance seemed to be in agreement

with these items.

Mr. McCormack concluded the meeting by noting that he would be emailing the Advisory

Committee and board members with a schedule of the next couple of meetings for next year as

well as some informative materials related to the group’s next set of topics / work regarding

updating the Plan’s Elements.

The meeting ended at 8:35PM

UPDATED Vision Statement

Dearborn County is, and will continue to be, an inviting, growing community with small-town

charm and hospitality—home to remarkable rolling hills and scenic views of the Ohio River, and

diverse, year-round recreational opportunities—with quick and easy access to the heart of

Cincinnati, its international airport, and the tri-state’s unique rail and river transportation


Dearborn County will be recognized as a great place to make a career, build a home, and enjoy

life. We will strive to grow in a well-planned, coordinated manner that ensures a high quality of

life for everyone—preserving our rural heritage(s), utilizing our natural resources and

agricultural assets wisely, protecting the environment, and promoting economic diversity,

innovation, and investment. We will be a safe and healthy community with quality educational

systems and a commitment to job creation and business expansion.

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