Revisiting the 2004 Washington County Comprehensive Plan

When I moved back to the area and started asking what kind of plans we had going, I received quite a bit of push back from those who had planning fatigue.

“We paid consultants, what a waste.”

“Plans are useless, we have tons of the shelf that didn’t yield anything.”

These are two statements that I distinctly remember. Wanting to take a look myself, I started asking around for what “plans” we had commissioned. What I found at the City of Marietta was a couple guiding documents, and citizen driven recommendations, but nothing that I would classify as a comprehensive plan. Maybe one exists, I haven’t seen it.

For Belpre they believed they had a plan that was brought forth by the Voinovich School. That was a strategic planning jump off, but the nuts and bolts of how to do it are absent.

The county however commissioned a comprehensive plan back in 2004. This was a legit comprehensive plan examining land use, utility presence, market segments, economic performance data………… is what I mean when I ask for your comprehensive plan.

Reading this document was encouraging and simultaneously soul crushing. We’ve known for years what we need to do to push our community forward but we have simply walked away from it because it is hard, expensive, doesn’t generate enough interest……….even though it is the right thing.

Take a look at some of these recommendations.

When you see exhaustive documents like this you realize, these folks didn’t have planning fatigue. They got execution scared or bogged down at what they learned.

We at the Port will be dogged in pursing these aims……………..we paid lots of money for professionals to help us diagnose what we are and how we should best proceed. Its critical we work within our knowledge set and not shoot at the hip, especially since we had this early work done.