Thursday, June 17, 2004

Anderson prepares blueprint for future



By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ANDERSON TWP. - This community's first complete comprehensive plan is under way, aiming to provide a roadmap for growth and traffic issues over the next 20 years.

The plan should be completed this summer, presented to the public in late fall, and, depending on input from the community, could be adopted by early 2005.

The document will include a land use plan, as well as an analysis of the township's natural resources, community facilities, transportation patterns and infrastructure capacity.

"We have never done anything comprehensive like this," said Steve Sievers, Anderson's director of development. "The goal is to have a decision-making guide for both the citizen committees we have and our elected officials."

The public can learn more about it today at a public hearing on the plan's goals and objectives. The session is part of the trustees' 7 p.m. monthly meeting at the township hall, 7954 Beechmont Ave.

Leading the process is a 25-member resident committee made up of representatives from recreation, business, schools and other segments.

Highlights so far call for:

• Developing a community center at the Beech Acres Park

• Developing and expanding on areas around the Anderson Towne Center, Anderson Lake and a possible civic, government and arts center

• Continuing efforts to improve the look of Beechmont Avenue and its traffic flow

• Attracting new businesses and assisting existing ones

With 45,000 residents, Anderson covers 31 square miles.

The township is about 80 percent built-out; some 11 percent of its land, about 2,000 acres, remains undeveloped.

Last year, trustees adopted a home rule designation that gives them greater authority to meet specific township needs without turning to Hamilton County departments or officials for help.

Resident Ken Furrier, a member of the township's green space committee, has called Anderson home for about 30 years.

"The community is known for its green space and is primarily a residential community and, overall, everyone wants to retain those features," he said.

The big gripe among the group was a familiar one: Beechmont Avenue, which carries at least 43,000 vehicles a day and has the second-highest crash rate in the county at Five Mile.

"It seems there is a lot of dissatisfaction over the traffic patterns and appearance, but it's recognized that nothing changes overnight," Furrier said.

E mail jedwards@enquirer.com.




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