Fayette Comprehensive Plan, part 2 11.03.2010

Written by David Green.

Fayette’s proposed comprehensive plan, part II:


By DAVID GREEN

Fayette’s proposed comprehensive plan includes a variety of data about the community’s population and resources, but the heart of the document is the list of goals and objectives.

Fulton County Regional Planning Director Steve Brown, working with Bowling Green State University graduate student Seth Brehm, studied a survey and spoke directly to several residents for ideas about changes for Fayette’s future.

“The first 37 pages [of the plan] are all data,” Brown told council members at the Oct. 19 meeting.

That changes with page 38 when community goals begin.

“Determining the goals of a community is one of the most important outcomes of the planning process,” begins the introduction to the section. “These goals represent the general policy of the community that should guide decisions made by village officials and staff.”

Village council members have not yet approved the proposed plan and changes are likely to be made, but following is a sample of the goals and objectives in the draft form of the plan.

Beautification

• Clean up the downtown area: paint buildings and storefronts;

• Repair or destroy unmaintained and vacant homes;

• Replace street signs with new ones and add banners to utility poles along Route 20.

Brown said efforts such as the gazebo on the village square give a good boost to the town’s image.

Communication

• Make public more aware of village meetings and affairs;

• Listen to public needs from residents.

Economic Development

• Advertise the strengths of the community more to help attract new businesses;

• Add more commercial lands to Fayette;

• Attract a more diversified business/service sector to Fayette that does not rely so heavily on manufacturing;

• Attract tourists/campers from Harrison Lake to Fayette (265,000 guests annually).

If the downtown doesn’t look good, Brown said, it gives visitors a negative impression of where the village is heading.

Housing

• Reduce apartments or rental homes and renters; attract more homeowners;

• Create a retirement community as population ages;

• Incorporate Hispanics into neighborhoods/community;

• Locate ideal historical homes, help preserve them, and make them a focal point of village.

Infrastructure

• Replace sidewalks along streets to eliminate pedestrians and bikers in streets;

• Encourage residents to maintain sidewalks in front of their homes, e.g. getting rid of the weeds by spraying them, etc.;

• Add new streets on south side of town to facilitate better flow to the new school and spur on new development;

• Work on drainage of fields within village limits so that land can be used for new growth.

Parks and Recreation

• Make sure groundwater pollution from Fayette Tubular will not affect the park’s health like it did to the old school grounds;

• Gauge interest of community in regards to youth programs like baseball, softball and flag football;

• Add a bathroom at east field.

Public Works

• Need alternative to wastewater existing treatment;

• Try to find a buyer for the overabundance of village water.

Zoning

• Rezone areas of the village to meet the needs of what is already there or try to develop future land in a way that will be suitable to all members of the community.

Recommendations

DESIGN BOARD—Brown suggests that Fayette form an advisory group known as the Design Review Board to set minimum guidelines for signage, painting, etc. A design board would be required in order to receive for downtown development grants.

BUILDING CODES—Brown said the village should adopt building codes within the next five years. The codes could address maintenance issues in residential areas, such as paint and gutters.

TOWNSHIP—The plan calls for better cooperation with Gorham Township “to create a more cordial economic and living area.”

In addition, Brown suggests forming a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) in the area north of Fayette between U.S. 127 and Fulton County Road 23. The district would cross the border into Michigan.

JEDDs allow neighboring units to form contractual agreements for economic development that would benefit both parties. JEDDs prohibit annexation for at least three years. The village could obtain income tax from the area while the township would collect property tax.

The area could be served by Midwest Energy for lower rates and by the Norfolk and Southern Railroad for rail freight.

A development project could benefit both Fayette and Morenci, Brown said.

NEW ROADS—The plan suggests extending South Eagle Street and Lawrence Street to Gamble Road to add routes to the school. Lawrence could extend south of Gamble where an extension of Rehn Drive would be met.

South Cherry Street could be extended and lots sold for development. Finally, a new road could be built from Main Street to Gamble Road, and Ontario Street could then be extended west to meet the new street. The new street is suggested near the Dollar General store.

Development off the new street could include a mix of commercial and industrial zoning, and even some residential building. Brown suggested looking into a Planned Unit Development (PUD) for a mix of uses.

The area could be ideal for senior living apartments to prevent senior citizens from leaving the village and moving to senior communities in Archbold and Wauseon.

Brown told council that the potential is good for residential development near the school. He suggested commercial development on the west side, toward U.S. 127, and industrial growth to the north.

BIKE TRAIL—A bike trail could be constructed from downtown Fayette to Harrison Lake State Park, and from there, south to the existing Rails to Trails path.

With current prices, the project would cost more than $900,000.

LAND USE—Brown suggests annexing land south of Gamble Road and west of State Route 66 for a single family home subdivision.

Annexation of Parkview Mobile Park is also recommended. This would lower water and sewer charges for residents there, but would give the village additional income tax revenue.

A final proposal calls for the development of a park south of Fulton and Joan streets, near the school. The plan suggests joint maintenance of ball diamonds and a track with the school.

MINOR RECOMMENDATIONS—Other recommendations in the plan include monitoring the number of apartments in the village because renter statistics already exceed the national average; improve internet access; and continue efforts to revitalize the downtown.

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    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
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