The Board of Trustees of Jefferson Township hosted a Community Outreach Meeting on June 24, 2014 to kick off the process of drafting a comprehensive plan. At this meeting, residents were asked to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the township and identify issues that mattered the most to them. In general, the township’s greatest perceived assets were its natural/rural setting, appearance, overall safety, and variety of housing options. Participants were asked to create a wish list of priority improvements. An improved roads network, additional bike trails, and park improvements were at the top of the list, while crime prevention, road and sidewalk improvements and a community center were also mentioned.
Building upon the first public meeting, a series of Visioning Sessions were held to expand on these ideas. These Visioning Sessions included a visual preference survey, where participants were asked to indicate whether they thought a particular type of building, business, amenity, or community feature “belonged” in Jefferson Township. The Visioning Sessions also included some guided discussion on the current state of the township and the opportunities that lay ahead. In those meetings, it was established that there is room in Jefferson Township for a new variety of uses; specifically a main-street type commercial corridor development that might allow for outdoor dining, a coffee shop, or small retail establishments. Additionally, participants discussed the need to diversify the tax base in Jefferson Township and identified types of businesses that would suit the township well if they were located in strategic areas of the township. The topics discussed in the Jefferson Township Comprehensive Plan were borne out of these community-driven conversations about the future of Jefferson Township.
To discuss these elements further, three Steering Committees were formed to discuss Sustainability (Land use and Economic Development), Infrastructure (Parks, Roads, Trails),
and Public Safety (Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement). The ideas and goals found in Jefferson Township 2050 are a result of hours of volunteered time invested by members of the
Jefferson Township Community.