Part I of a two-part overview of Fayette’s proposed comprehensive plan
By DAVID GREEN
Fayette village council members got their first look last week at a proposed comprehensive plan for the community.
Council members and the Fulton County Regional Planning Commission would both have to adopt the plan, but village administrator Amy Metz expects some changes to occur before it becomes Fayette’s official planning document.
Regional planning director Steve Brown gave council an overview of the draft at the Oct. 19 meeting, noting that Fayette approved a land use plan in the late 1970s, and is the only community in the county without a comprehensive plan in place.
“A comprehensive plan is a living document,” Brown told council. “The key is to not let it sit on the shelf.”
Brown said village officials should become familiar with the plan and review it on a regular basis. Too often, a comprehensive plan is completed, adopted and forgotten.
Use it as a guideline for making decisions about zoning and other policies, he said, and renew it every five years.
Brown said that census data was used to create the plan in conjunction with a survey given to several village residents. A survey of village services conducted through the village office also furnished data to Brown and his assistant, Bowling Green State University graduate student Seth Brehm.
POPULATION—Brown said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the population of 1,340 decline when results from the 2010 census are released.
“Fulton County is expecting a decline for the first time since the 1930s,” Brown said.
Projections made in 2007—before the national economic crisis—called for a slight decrease in Fayette’s population, despite increases in the county’s other six incorporated villages.
HOUSING—Fayette mirrors most of the nation in housing a mobile population. During the 1990s, 64 percent of the village’s 520 housing units had new occupants. From 1970 to 2000, 88 percent of Fayette’s residential units had new dwellers.
The median price of a Fayette home was listed at $67,300, compared to $112,600 in Archbold, $77,800 in Morenci and $85,200 in Pioneer.
Brown noted that 34 percent of Fayette’s housing is made up of rental units.
EMPLOYMENT & INCOME—Statistics from 2000 show that nearly half of Fayette workers are employed in manufacturing, although Brown said the trend is now toward services.
Fayette had the lowest median household income at $28,000, with Wauseon the next lowest at $39,600. The national average was about $42,000 in 2000.
The poverty rate stood at 9.7 percent in 2000 and unemployment rose to 14.7 percent in 2009.
Brown said Fulton County might acquire LMI status (low-to-medium income) when census data is released.
An industry employment projections report for the past decade shows that agriculture is the fastest growing industry in the Toledo Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Fulton County.
Agriculture rose 42 percent, ahead of social services at 38.4 percent and air transportation at 35.9 percent. General merchandise stores showed the greatest decline at 20.3 percent, followed by railroad transportation (19.8 percent).
Brown said Lucas and eastern Fulton counties are known as one of the premier greenhouse areas of the entire country.
“We’re starting to push agricultural services,” he said.
EDUCATION—Brown said the community’s school system is great, but students tend to take their education and leave the area. He also noted a deficiency in residents with college degrees. About 13 percent of Fayette’s residents have earned a bachelor’s degree, below the county average of about 21 percent.
• Part II of the story next week will cover goals and recommendations.