Xenia urges citizen input to guide development, decisions for the next 10 years

With development on the rise, the city asks residents to complete surveys as part of their neXtPlan process

Xenia leadership is seeking public input to help inform the city’s roadmap for the next decade, as developers express interest in building in and around the city.

The so-called neXtPlan, led by a group of residents and community leaders, will identify things that public officials and private partners can do to proactively improve the community.

Six surveys that touch on topics like land use, economic development, housing, mobility, utilities, public safety, and parks and recreation are on the city’s website for public input. So far, the survey with the most responses has just under 300.

“A lot of it centers around physical change in the city, like how should we guide future development and growth, and infrastructure and services to keep up with that growth,” said Xenia City Planner Brian Forschner. “We want to involve Xenia citizens in creating that plan so that it’s something that meets their expectations and something they can help shape.”

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Housing questions include whether people plan to stay or leave, and if they plan to leave, whether it’s because of amenities, housing costs or styles, or other issues. Public safety questions include input on police, fire and EMS response times, as well as the types of safety or crime concerns residents have.

Xenia’s previous roadmap was a catalyst for major development projects like the Xenia Towne Square plan, as well as development around Xenia Station and other amenities.

Issues residents have raised in preliminary responses include street maintenance, property maintenance, housing vacancy, and the visibility of the homeless population.

“There’s a lot of potential, a lot of things that Xenia can take advantage of, and people want to see us do that, and at the same time, address some of the things that are dragging us down,” Forschner said.

Additionally, Xenia is experiencing growth in new housing developments. Summer Brooke, Edenbridge, and Grandstone Trace, are all either under construction or have houses for sale. Despite slowdowns from the current housing market, companies have also expressed interest in developing other property, particularly on the edge of the city, Forschner said, adding that Xenia hasn’t had this many actively building subdivisions since the early 2000s.

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“We’ve had waves of growth in the past and I think we’re about to experience another,” he said. “We’re going to continue growing (so) how do we want to grow?”

Public feedback events will be held in early 2023 allowing residents to discuss their priorities in person with one another and with city staff. Public input, as well as analysis of demographic and market trends will be used to flesh out the final document, which is expected to be complete by the end of next year.

“It’s a form of democracy. Don’t just leave it to city leaders to decide what’s good for the community. Tell us. We’re working for you,” Forschner said.

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