Community Core Values

1. To build upon and retain the “Green Community” character that makes Jefferson Township an exceptional community within central Ohio.

2. To adhere to the following principals: 

  • Protect and nurture the Township’s exceptional natural landscape. 
  • Prevent inappropriately located, poorly planned and/or extremely high density development because of its negative impact on Jefferson Township’s rural beauty, natural resources, infrastructure and “Green Community” character. 
  • Identify areas where growth is likely and provide the means to accommodate that growth in ways that do not diminish the Green Community character of the Township. 
  • Promote and enhance the Township’s economic viability. 

3. To protect, promote and preserve the abilities and activities of the Jefferson Water and Sewer District, financially and otherwise, because of its integral and vital role in ensuring that the Township is and will continue to be a sustainable Green Community with the desired community character. 

4. To continue to make sure that this community is a Visioning community and a Planning community, which, through a consensus of its leaders and residents, understands, embraces and then uses innovative land use and preservation concepts, such as performance zoning, to retain the desired character of the township. 

5. To safeguard the Township’s significant special resources, such as scenic streams, farmland, rural streetscapes, healthy business community and unique residential opportunities, along with its cultural and historical heritage.

6. To build relationships with neighboring communities by recognizing and building on mutual goals. 

7. To become a “Sustainable Community” with resources sufficient to achieve the community’s goals.

Achieving the Vision

Jefferson Township has historically held a desire to implement good land use principles. It was the first township in Franklin County to exercise its local land use control power, assuming control of zoning in 1973. Land use planning has been a prevalent practice ever since, with the first land use plan being drafted by 1979. The vision held by Jefferson Township residents and their officials has remained unchanged through the years. They desire to retain the rural “Green Community” character that says “Jefferson Township” to this day. 

In the late 1980’s, Township leaders realized that achieving the Green Community vision would require exceptional measures since Jefferson Township is adjacent to a rapidly growing major metropolitan area. They recognized growth would continue to pressure the Township’s natural, economic and sociological resources, so they identified a path by which they could implement the growth management principles they desired.

Water and Sewer District
The Township vision provides development alternatives to lessen the negative impacts of growth that might be seen in other communities in Ohio. The Township created its own central water and sewer utility system to reduce existing environmental problems and meet the demands caused by growth in central Ohio; the township also began a land use planning process which was both sensitive to the rights of property owners and to the Green Community vision.

Land Use Plan
To help articulate the land use vision the Township engaged the services of Lane Kendig, a land use planner recognized nationally for his methods of managing growth in ways that preserve and protect the existing rural landscape and the environmentally important natural areas in contains. Over a decade ago, Township stakeholders embraced land use planning and development processes recommended by Lane Kendig, and these same principles are just now being expressed as desirable by numerous Ohioans. Jefferson Township implemented many procedures. A primary tool used by the township is an element of performance zoning -- allowing higher density in less obtrusive areas of a site in exchange for retention of meaningful areas of open space. Our zoning category most popular with the development community requires a minimum of 35 percent open space -- much higher than almost any other community in central Ohio.Our high development and design standards, used in concert with our willingness to work with developers, has allowed growth to be less intrusive on the existing landscape while keeping service costs down. Planning and visioning sessions among Township stakeholders help confirm that consensus for our goals is strong and sets the direction for those in charge of service delivery. Our land use map, for example, triggered development of water and sewer master plans and a study/recommendation for fire service infrastructure needs.The decision to allow and provide the tools for development where development must occur due to pressures of growth, while maintaining good growth management practices, has and will continue to work well in Jefferson Township.

Looking Forward
The Board of Trustees is committed to making Jefferson Township an exceptional place to live and work in central Ohio. In 2014 we began to update our Comprehensive Plan by holding a community outreach meeting. We value what we've learned from our residents and other stakeholders, and we are using that information to set the direction for the future.