The Village of Ottawa Hills has initiated a process to create a vision plan for the future of the Village, referred to as “Ottawa Hills Tomorrow.” This planning process will allow the community and local leaders to realize the ambitions of the Village and its residents and businesses in order to make better decisions in the future regarding planning, land use, and policy making. The following provides an overview of the vision planning process, including a description of visioning, the benefits of visioning, and who will be involved in the Ottawa Hills Tomorrow Plan.
WHAT IS VISIONING?
A vision plan looks at the potential of a community, place, region, or district. It is an engaging process that brings people from all walks of life together to talk about their ideas and aspirations for the future. These aspirations are unrestrained and can focus on anything from the environment, economic development, infrastructure, education, culture, recreation or any other issue that is important to those who live, work, and play in a community, region or area.
The visioning process uses a variety of tools to build consensus around a desired outcome, future, or image. The process is built extensively on public and stakeholder involvement. It asks community residents and stakeholders:
“What are your ideas for the future?”
“What kind of community do you want to be part of?”
The answers to these questions become the foundation of the vision.
WHY HAVE A VISION?
The visioning process helps communities, organizations, and individuals identify what is important to them, their ideas and plans for the future, and more importantly, how to make those ideas and dreams come true. Visioning can help communities reach goals that are hard to reach in any other way. These include:
BENEFITS OF VISIONING FOR COMMUNITIES
WHO IS INVOLVED IN THE VISIONING PROCESS?
Village Administration and staff will be overseeing the vision planning process. The Village has also retained OHM Advisors to assist in the planning process. OHM Advisors is an integrated engineering, architecture and planning firm located in Livonia MI, with seven office throughout the Midwest. OHM brings more than 50 years of public and private sector expertise, forward thinking and insightful counsel to help plan for “Ottawa Hills Tomorrow.” The Steering Committee includes:
Rex Decker, Steering Committee Chair
Kevin Gilmore, Mayor
Kate O’Connell, Village Council
Troy Greeley, Board of Education
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN PREPARING A VISION PLAN?
As part of the visioning process, information and data is gathered from prior planning studies, while current views and opinions are collected through community meetings and forums where residents are invited to provide input on the future of Ottawa Hills. Other sources include data provided from the US Census, and mapping data provided by the Village and County. The planning process also includes the following:
VISION PLAN COMMUNITY EVENTS
Ottawa Hills residents are encouraged to participate in the vision planning process. Their input is vital to a successful vision plan project.
A community summit will be held at which residents will be invited to participate and contribute directly to the data and information gathering process. In addition the consultant team will meet with small groups of community stakeholders identified by the client team and Task Force to facilitate discussion on the future of the Village.
Virtual small group and virtual town hall meetings will be conduct via telephone and through the project website to present value statements, objectives, and strategies to the general public. The outcomes of these meetings will be a prioritization of vision policy statements, and the beginning of implementation.
In addition to the community summit, this project web page will allow residents to stay up to date on the project and share their ideas regarding the future of Ottawa Hills. The project webpage will host virtual versions of the community survey, the community summit, and small group stakeholder meetings.