Second Summit County Community Planning Lab is in session
About 25 Summit County residents are going back to school for the second-ever Community Planning Lab.
Community Development Director Pat Putt says there’s an old adage about how many planners there are in Summit County.
“The reality is about eight of them are getting paid, but there should be about 46,000 of them,” Putt said.
That’s Summit County’s population.
“This is taking 20 to 25 people of that 46,000 and raising their game,” Putt went on, “and we're happy to do that.”
He’s talking about the second-ever Community Planning Lab. It’s a free 11-week class put on by the Summit County Planning Department.
The first-ever lab ran from January to April of this year, and the second one began Sept. 11. According to Putt, there are about 25 participants this time.
They’ll learn about land use and the process of planning, and Putt said it’s much more than that.
“It's more than just zoning, and it's more than just planning per se,” he said. “It's all the individual pieces that go into building a community. It’s land use; it’s transportation; it's how we fund these; it's how we take our land resources, open spaces, and be able to integrate those into our community designs.”
He said he hopes the participants come away with a better understanding of the process, so they can engage in public planning meetings better than before.
“If we can raise people's understanding, their competencies and their vocabularies in this thing, maybe we're gonna find people who are going to want to find themselves in the role of planning commissioners or council members,” Putt said.
The course will have 10 classroom sessions, with the final week set aside for presenting a final group project that applies the class material to issues currently facing Summit County.
Putt said there will be a third edition of the planning lab, pending final budgetary approval.