Those are the words Ken Tracy, a member of Miami Township's Board of Trustees, used to describe planning in the Township.
Miami Township, Ohio, is a maturing suburban area on the east side of Cincinnati. The township covers a wide swath of land. Its population is around 40,000. It's blessed with a beautiful, and well-used park system -- including Meadow Woods Park which Larry Fronk, the Township's Community Development Director the past ten years, drove me through.
However, for many years (in the 1980s and '90s), development in Miami Township occurred at a rapid pace, without much thought to planning. Larry tells me that the Township is now investing in planning for more orderly future growth -- while trying to rectify some of the problems caused by its earlier rapid growth. As Ken noted, this has helped the Township "stabilize itself and its growth."
Take something as simple as sidewalks. The township is only now investing in filling in major gaps in its network of sidewalks. Larry told me that this is something residents want. We drove by one example, Buckwheat Road. Larry pointed out where an almost mile long stretch of sidewalk will be installed. It will connect two elementary schools (one public, one parochial), a township park, and residential areas.
But to "retrofit" this infrastructure will be costly -- in part due to drainage issues. Larry also expressed some frustration over the fact that a fairly straightforward and modest project like this requires a full blown environmental review (at a cost of $20,000) -- and has to go through the same "procedural hoops" required of a highway project.
On a grander scale, Miami Township is working on ambitious plans to convert State Route 28 -- which runs through the heart of the Township -- into an attractive boulevard.
Tied in to this plan are hopes for converting a major tract (now home to large, vacant K-Mart store) into a mixed used, town center development. As Larry explained, this would help create a stronger sense of identity for the Township.
You can also watch a two-minute video I took as we drove along Route 28, and then entered the shopping area I'll touch on next. Apologies for the rough quality of the video.