BG land use survey released PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK, Sentinel City Editor   
Friday, 30 May 2014 09:05
Respondents to a recent survey about future land use in Bowling Green seem to be happy with the proposed direction the city is heading - but still see room for improvement.
The results of the Future Land Use Survey were released to the public last week.
"I think we're pretty happy with the results," said Heather Sayler, Bowling Green's planning director. Approximately 400 people responded to the survey, and more than 28 pages of comments were received. The survey report is available via the City of Bowling Green website.
The survey data comes as the result of a session on future land use held in the downtown in April. The data is being collected and considered in the crafting of the future land use section of the city's master plan. That section was last updated in the 1980s. Approximately 250 attended the April land use event, and had the opportunity to either fill out a survey there, or to do so online.
Overall, at least 70 percent of respondents seemed pleased with proposed approaches for development in the eastern portions of the city, including on East Wooster and the northeastern and southeastern neighborhoods, as well as the downtown.
However, those surveyed also seemed to think that such development is needed: just under 80 percent agreed or strongly agreed current conditions in the northeast neighborhood need attention; and 84 percent and 77 percent agreed or strongly agreed that conditions in the southeast neighborhood and in the downtown, respectively, need attention.
One comment, of the 18 showcased in the results document, said: "There are a lot of shabby looking places in the most visible places of BG, and that's a shame for the city. You can't attract new populations to a town that looks like that. The most important area of a town is downtown. It's the heart of any city. The downtown is what creates the first impressions on visitors when they first arrive in town. And the downtown in BG is not only Main St. but Wooster as well. Don't just beautify East Wooster. Make sure the building(s) are functional, clean, and up-kept."
"I think they'll definitely be given high priority," Sayler said of the survey results and comments. "We want to hear from the public, we want public support."
Approximately 78 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the sentiment that the city needs to have new zoning regulations for development "that are up to date and capable of addressing today's contemporary market and development challenges."
Nearly 83 percent agreed or strongly agreed the city "needs a new comprehensive plan to direct growth and re(development) activities." Eighty-two percent agreed or strongly agreed "it's time for Bowling Green to increase its level of reinvestment in itself." A further 74 percent of respondents said they would be "willing to see more of my tax dollars go towards improving the quality of life in Bowling Green," including aesthetic improvements.
Some comments featured in the survey focused on the importance of making the city a hip, attractive place - and the fear that younger residents are moving elsewhere.
"Bowling Green is having an identity crisis," said one such comment. "Our young professionals buy houses in Perrysburg because of a perceived identity that Perrysburg is upscale."
"I believe that it is within our abilities to make BG a more appealing and trendy place to live," read part of another comment.
That issue seemed to draw some of the strongest consensus on the survey.
Sayler said she was "blown away" that over 93 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the city "needs to be able to attract and retain young professionals."
"That's just mind-blowing to see that everybody agreed with that" she said. "I think it just says to be mindful that we want to be a destination for all sorts of people, but realizing that if we get people who are just starting out in their careers and having a family, hopefully we can keep them here for their whole life cycle."
Sayler said that the 18-person steering committee hopes to have a working draft of the future land use section of the document by the end of the summer. The committee met Wednesday.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 11:14

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