Trustee Claire Yoder and staff planner, Mike Anderson hosted the first visioning session on March 12, 2015. After a short presentation about the need for a comprehensive master plan, participants were asked to introduce themselves and provide a brief statement related to what they love about Jefferson Township. Answers included quality of life, safety, quiet environment, rural character, convenience to more urbanized locations and family history. After this exercise, a visual survey was revealed: a series of photographs of elements that could become part of the community in the future. It was explained that we not proposing any of these things, nor are they related to any coming developments; our goal was to know what participants value for the future of the Township.
To summarize the results of the visual survey, participants were generally in favor of concentrated commercial development (urban commercial center, a "Main Street USA" commercial corridor), opportunities for outdoors dining and coffee shops, event hall/barn, outdoor event space, a retreat/conference center, farmstands, walking/biking paths of all sorts and community signboards.
Participants were generally not in favor of conventional commercial uses (gas stations, strip retail, hotels), entertainment uses (Jazz venue/small concert venue/cafe, art gallery), public art or public transportation.
The results were collected and discussed at the meeting, Anderson explained the need for a diverse tax base, which would included more commercial development, as a predominately residential tax base will not be sustainable for future growth, and that the Township and stakeholders will have to carefully consider these issues moving forward into the comprehensive plan.