Integrated, Actionable Plan Refines Lakefront Community’s Vision for Future Growth
OHM Advisors led a process with the City of Avon Lake, a community of 23,000 residents located off the shores of Lake Erie, to update their Comprehensive Plan in celebration of the city’s Bicentennial. Meant to serve as a guide for the next 30 years, the intent of the plan was to take the near and long-term hopes for the City and tie those into strategic implementation strategies that meet the overall goals of the community.
Located only 15 miles west of Cleveland, Avon Lake has over 220 acres of parklands, recreation areas and playgrounds including 20 miles of bike lanes. Unfortunately, direct access to the lakefront is limited to two places, inspiring increased lakefront access as a primary goal of the plan strategies. In addition, the commercial and retail areas of the City were developed in earlier eras and now feel the effects of new retail expansion in neighboring cities.
Our team’s task was to work with the community to develop a holistic land use plan reflecting its current assets while focusing on targeted areas for change. We reached out to the community using traditional approaches such as community surveys, but also engaged the public at events like the Bicentennial Festival to discuss the City’s future with residents and visitors of the lake shore. The process also included collaboration with local businesses and regional stakeholders.
In the resulting plan, our team identified three targeted areas for infill and redevelopment and developed specific concept plans and design guidelines for each focus area. We also developed a lakefront policy to guide the City in developing additional public access to Lake Erie. Through this dynamic and innovative planning process, our team provided the City with a truly comprehensive plan fully integrating land use, transportation, parks and open spaces and other public amenities and outlining realistic and achievable implementation strategies for future growth.
Project Highlights: planning, visioning, site design, community engagement, development standards, zoning