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The future of Summit County is up for debate – and input

A vision project for Summit County which began in January is asking community members to participate in the strategic plan.
A vision project for Summit County which began in January is asking community members to participate in the strategic plan.

The Summit County planning commission wants to hear from the public on the future of the county. The first deadline to participate in its visioning process is Friday.

A visioning process is underway through the Summit County planning commission and it wants to hear from the community.

Madlyn McDonough is a Summit County planner. She said the county wants as many people as it can get to participate in crafting a strategic plan. That includes residents as well as seasonal and part-time employees, volunteers and people who recreate in the county.

“This opportunity, it seems as though this is sort of this big, amorphous, you know, it's just a vision, how could this really impact things,” she said. “But in fact, this is where public opinion matters the most, because it's going to impact so many different policies, decisions, plans, everything moving forward. So if you want to have an impact on the future of Summit County, this is really your chance to get in on the ground floor and make your voice heard.”

The vision project started in January. There will be four phases of outreach that will run until November.

“And then from the vision, we might have strategic next steps that say, based on this vision and goals that were created by the community, we should update the general plan to reflect those, or we might need to update the development codes to reflect the vision goals created by the community,” she said. “So this isn't something that gets adopted into the general plan but it could potentially influence the creation of an updated general plan.”

McDonough said some initial ways to give input are to either answer a questionnaire called Summit County Talks or fill out the questionnaire that was mailed out this month to county residents. And more opportunities are on the horizon.

“We're also going to be planning a learning series for the community so that we can get some more specific feedback," McDonough said. "So for example, we're planning to host an evening event, potentially, that would say, you know, this is what transportation in Summit County looks like, you know? Here's all the plans that already exist, here are some of the things that we're considering.”

The deadline to fill out the Summit County Talks questionnaire is Friday, March 31.