Planning is a continuous process that had been initiated prior to this plan and will continue after its adoption. This new Comprehensive Plan is the result of a detailed process that brought residents and stakeholders together to identify existing conditions throughout the City, recognize potential trends, and ultimately create recommendations for the future. Plan recommendations and this website were developed over fifteen months with oversight from a project steering committee which included the Mayor of Lebanon, representatives from the Plan Commission and Redevelopment Commission, City staff, and other community leaders. The community leaders represented various non-profit organizations and private businesses; they were included because their respective expertise and experience in various backgrounds could provide benefit to the process. The committee met six times; these meetings were interactive work sessions and resulted in the overall input needed to develop the plan.
In addition to the regularly held steering committee meetings, a series of focus group discussions was held early in the process to gather input from key stakeholders and organizations. The goal of the focus group discussions was to assess the issues each group faces and understand what they hoped to achieve through comprehensive planning process.
Leaders and industry experts in each of the following categories were invited to participate:
- City staff, boards, and commissions
- Business leaders and employers
- Developers, builders, and real estate professionals
- Community institutions, non-profits, and service organizations
- Neighborhood leaders and residents
- Youth and young professionals
- Transportation organizations and utility providers
Two community open houses were held to solicit input and discuss opportunities, issues, goals and recommendations for the plan. The first meeting was held early in the process on July 31, 2018 at Lebanon High School. Open house participants were able to voice their opinions, interests, and concerns about the current conditions and future vision for the community. A brief presentation about the plan process and background was given before attendees participated in several feedback exercises. The second community open house took place on February 12, 2019; it was also held at Lebanon High School. A number of stations were organized around the plan topics. City officials and the planning consultants staffed these stations and were on hand to answer questions and provide additional in-sight. Participants were asked to confirm and prioritize plan recommendations. The key initiatives were also presented with a slideshow.
In addition to in-person input opportunities, a project website was maintained throughout the process. This website included background information, meeting materials, and a frequently asked questions section. It also hosted a number of community survey questions over a period of several months. Several of the survey questions received more than 500 responses. Complete survey results can be found in the Maps & Documents section.
The plan process was broken into four major components:
- Existing Conditions Analysis
- Vision & Components Framework
- Implementation Plan
- Final Website & Adoption
The existing conditions analysis phase looked both objectively and subjectively at the issues and challenges facing the City. Issues and opportunities were discussed with the project steering committee, at the first public open house, and during the focus group discussions. A Community Profile was prepared, highlighting demographic, housing, and retail market conditions. The existing conditions information is included in the Maps & Documents section.
The vision and components framework included the creation of the plan vision statement and associated framework topics. The vision and goals served as the structure for the remainder of the plan process. Each framework goal statement is supported by a number of objectives, many of which were generated during public engagement while others incorporate best practices demonstrated in other communities. After the objectives were refined and prioritized by the steering committee, a list of key initiatives was created. These 18 key initiatives represent the overlap and interaction of many of the most important objectives in terms of policies, programs, and development goals of the community.
The implementation plan involved identifying the relative priority of each objective. These priority timeframes can be used to aid in decision making and implementation. After translating the many plan recommendations into the website format, the plan was presented to the Plan Commission and City Council as part of the adoption process. The Plan Commission held a public hearing and approved and certified the plan on December 16, 2019. The City Council adopted the plan on January 13, 2020, after which it became the official comprehensive plan for the City of Lebanon.