Home | Land and Soil Management | Land Use Roundtable Series | Ohio Balanced Growth Roundtable
Ohio's Balanced Growth Program
The Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) appointed a Balanced Growth Task Force to make recommendations about the future protection and restoration of the Lake Erie watershed which were accepted on
April 14, 2004. The Task Force was comprised of property owners, government officials, business leaders, conservationists, academia, agriculture, and other stakeholder groups.
OLEC is an agency of the State of Ohio comprised of the Directors of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Natural Resources, Health, Transportation, Development, and Agriculture. They are charged with making policies to protect and restore Ohio's most valuable natural resource, Lake Erie.
The Balanced Growth Task Force recommended that the state provide a voluntary, incentive-based program for balanced growth in the Ohio Lake Erie basin. It calls for the creation of a locally driven planning framework that includes:
• A new focus on land use and development planning in the major river tributary watersheds of Lake Erie. The goal is to begin to link land-use planning to the health of watersheds and the Lake.
• The creation of Watershed Planning Partnerships composed of local governments, planning agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other parties in each watershed. Participation in these partnerships would be voluntary but encouraged by incentives.
• The locally determined designation of Priority Conservation Areas and Priority Development Areas in each watershed.
• The development of suggested model regulations to help promote best local land use practices that minimize impacts on water quality.
• The alignment of state policies, incentives, and other resources to support watershed planning and implementation for Balanced Growth.
• The development of measurements of progress of the Balanced Growth Program.
These recommendations follow from Ohio's Lake Erie Protection & Restoration Plan and its “10 Guiding Principles”. They build on many existing watershed initiatives that have received broad community support and will allow the state to promote many other important objectives related to economic competitiveness and quality of life.
The recommendations are contained in the following two documents prepared by the Balanced Growth Task Force:
For more information:
Ohio Lake Erie Commission
One Maritime Plaza, 4th Floor