The Delaware County Regional Planning Commission was established to provide growth management systems, planning services and general information to all governmental entities in Delaware County, Ohio, relating to land use planning and coordination for activities of regional significance. The Delaware County Regional Planning Commission was created in 1961, established via ORC 713.21(A). The first county-wide comprehensive plan was adopted in 1969.
In the 1970s a policy plan update was completed along with a land use study for Alum Creek Reservoir. The Subdivision Regulations were amended in 1986, and the completion of the Southern Delaware County Thoroughfare Plan was completed in 1988. A new county-wide Thoroughfare Plan was adopted in 2001.
In 1991, a Regional Master Planning process was initiated which culminated in the adoption of a revised County Comprehensive Plan in November 1994. Since that time, individual comprehensive plans have been completed for several communities, including Berkshire, Berlin, Brown, Concord, Harlem, Kingston, Liberty, Orange, Oxford, Porter, Trenton, Troy, and Scioto Townships, as well as the villages of Shawnee Hills, Sunbury, and Ashley. Staff has worked closely with townships to update their zoning resolutions. The most recent of these major updates have included codes in Berlin, Berkshire, Brown, Delaware, Genoa, Liberty, and Troy Townships.
Generally, the duties of a regional planning commission include:
- Preparing plans and reports on:
- Regional goals, objectives, opportunities, needs, standards, priorities and policies to realize such goals and objectives.
- Economic and social conditions
- The general pattern and intensity of land use and open space
- The general land, water, and air transportation systems, and utility and communication systems
- General locations and extent of public and private works, facilities and services
- General locations and extent of areas for conservation and development of natural resources and the control of the environment
- Long-range programming and financing of capital projects and facilities;
- Preparing plans and reports on:
- Promoting understanding of and recommending administrative and regulatory measures to implement the plans of the region;
- Collecting, processing, and analyzing social and economic data, undertaking continuing studies of natural and human resources, coordinating such research with other government agencies, educations, institutions, and private organizations;
- Contracting with and providing planning assistance to other units of local government, councils of governments, planning commissions, and joint planning councils; coordinating planning with neighboring jurisdictions, in addition to coordinating with state and federal governmental agencies in the planning and coordination of activities and programs of regional significance;
- Reviewing, evaluating and making comments and recommendations on proposed and amended comprehensive land use, open space, transportation, and public facilities plans, projects and implementing measures of local units of government; making recommendations to achieve compatibility in the region.
- Reviewing, evaluating and making comments and recommendations on the planning, programming, location, financing, and scheduling of public facility projects within the region and affecting the development of the area.
- Undertaking other studies, planning, programming, conducting experimental or demonstration projects found necessary in the development of plans for the region or country, and coordinating work and exercising all other powers necessary and proper for discharging its duties.
The RPC is empowered, via ORC 713.23(A&B), to “make studies, maps, plans, recommendations and reports concerning the physical, environmental, social, economic, and governmental characteristics, functions, services, and other aspects of the region or county, respectively…reports on goals, objectives, opportunities, and needs, and standards, priorities, and policies to realize such goals and objectives; economic and social conditions; the general pattern and intensity of land use and open space; the general land, water, and air transportation systems, and utility and communication systems; general locations and extent of areas for conservation and development of natural resources and the control of the environment; etc.”
Subdivision authority in unincorporated areas is defined in ORC 711.10. The RPC works closely with townships and county agencies such as the County Engineer, Sanitary Engineer, Soil and Water Conservation District, Health District and other utilities to ensure development occurs in accordance with the Subdivision Regulations, local zoning, and other plans.
The rezoning process defined by ORC 519.07, obligates the RPC to review all rezonings in unincorporated (township) areas, both for map changes and for text changes initiated by the township. Based on that experience, the RPC serves as a resource for other zoning-related matters such as development plan amendments, zoning resolution amendments, and similar.
In addition to the areas of authority noted above, the Regional Planning Commission serves as a partner in many County and Regional efforts. Most recently, these partnerships include the Delaware County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Go Healthy Delaware County, the County Planning Directors Association of Ohio, the Partnership for a Healthy Delaware County, local Safe Routes to School committees, MORPC’s development Summits, the MORPC Data Task Force, ODOT, and local and regional Greenways Forums. Data gathered and processed by DCRPC is also used to create future traffic projections by MORPC and other agencies.
The Regional Planning Commission developed the County’s initial Geographic Information System in 1990 to conduct a county-wide master plan. The system was used to compile and manage the social and physical environmental data (almost 60 layers). Since then, the system has been expanded to a departmental GIS for reviewing new development projects such as subdivision and rezoning proposals and for creating township comprehensive plans. Many of the standard layers are maintained by the County Auditor’s GIS office, while the RPC has continued to track data such as zoning layers, comprehensive plan data, bikeways, watersheds, sidewalks, current subdivision projects, and many more. We continuously update our technology to provide increased services for the community.