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Moraine ‘re-energizing’ comprehensive plan for future

As the city of Moraine sets its course for the future, community and area residents are receiving ample opportunity to offer input.

Efforts to update Moraine’s comprehensive plan, which spanned from 1995 to 2015, are well underway. It has been nearly three decades since the plan was last updated, and community leadership is striving to identify new investment and development opportunities to uplift the city’s profile for the next 20 years.

“A comprehensive plan is a collective front that can outline a community’s course for a 10- or 20-year period,” said City Manager Mike Davis. “We have participants through an ad hoc committee, focus groups, in addition business leaders and regional partners who share thoughts on the community’s direction. The plan identifies successes, opportunities we can capitalize on and areas for improvement which can include infrastructure, development, and alignment with our land use plan.”

City leadership generated feedback from local and regional residents through an online survey. It collected 200 responses during a two-month period, according to city spokesman Aaron Vietor. Moraine secured the services of Cincinnati-based American Structurepoint, an engineering, infrastructure, and architecture firm, as consultant on the initiative, with representatives also attending community programs and events to solicit input.

Moraine’s National Night Out, one of the region’s largest such programs held in August, presented community leaders with an opportunity to interact with residents in a comfortable setting. The event draws a crowd of more than 1,000 people.

“The Moraine Police Department has a long and proud history of participating in community engagement activities,” said Craig Richardson, Moraine police chief. “Our efforts have expanded thanks to our energetic public service professionals and relationships they have established with our businesses and residents. Our engagement goes beyond National Night Out.”

Also, Boo Bash, a family fun event scheduled to be hosted in October at the Payne Rec Center, serves a similar purpose for leaders, police and fire personnel and consultant representatives.

“We are excited for this year’s Boo Bash,” said Brent Shane, director of parks and recreation. “With activities ranging from a hayride to grab pumpkins to the trick or treat line and inflatables, there is plenty for kids to enjoy. We are also showing Hocus Pocus for our last Movie Night in the Park. Everyone is encouraged stay and watch the movie.”

Davis says the quest for input can go beyond Moraine residents. Individuals who visit the city or perhaps work in the community but live elsewhere are critical to the process.

“Obviously, input from our own residents and business leaders is essential. But we are part of a large region that wants to play well together,” Davis said. “So, we want to understand and provide necessary services and retail for people who are visiting or here for lunch with co-workers.”

An existing condition report, which includes demographic data and existing land, is in place. Leadership will utilize information gathered through community feedback to identify areas in need of investment and growth. This includes opportunities for retail and industry.

“We are taking the data from the existing conditions report and merging it with input gathered from business leaders, residents and non-residents,” Vietor says. “This process prepares us for the next phase of our plan.”

A primary focus of the initiative is generating connectivity between the city’s east and west side.

“Moraine is unique with great highway and river exposure, but the bridge creates a divide, so connectivity is a focal point of this effort,” Davis said. “We have also identified quadrant areas and older structures in need of investment throughout the city.”

Davis said “re-energizing” the city’s midway point near South Dixie Drive and Kettering Boulevard is a priority. Roadway projects near Dixie and Cobblegate drives are being finalized as part of Moraine’s overall efforts to enhance safety and accessibility of various services.