CHAMPION - Township officials plan to hold public meetings early next year to get input from residents on an updated comprehensive plan being worked on by the Trumbull County Planning Commission.
Trustees and zoning officials held a recent meeting with county planning commission officials at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center to see what has been done on updating the township plan in place since 2001.
The county planning commission has worked with Champion and other communities to update their plans.
Trustee Chairman Jeff Hovanic said there is a need to update the current plan since there have been changes in the past 12 years, including the township purchase of a 75-acre property by the township hall, additional residential and commercial development, and population increase.
Julie Edwards, a planner with the commission, said there are many items from the 2001 plan that have been met while other recommendations are still ongoing.
One of the recommendations in the 2001 plan included areas for more housing development, such as directly north of Champion High School where there are new homes.
She and other officials said the 2001 plan was based on 1990 census totals and the new plan will be based on 2010 census figures.
The new plan will include information on land use changes, commercial development opportunities in the Routes 45 and 305 areas, increasing infrastructure, water and sewer, and how to develop the 75 acres of land.
Edwards said, ''The demographics of Champion have changed since the 1990 census, which was used for the 2001 plan.''
Edwards said population has increased to 9,612 in 2010. In 2000, the median age was 40.2 and today is 44.8.
"The township's population is getting older," she said.
Edwards said there were also 100 more people in 2010 than in 1990 in Champion.
In 1990, there were 8,026 people with 2,124 households and today 9,612 with 4,061 households.
The average household income today is $49,070.
"The comprehensive plan will be the community's blueprint for the future and serve as a guide to what we would like to have here for the future," Edwards said.
Also new is the 2010 Western Trumbull County comprehensive plan involving more than 10 communities, such as Champion which includes guidelines and recommendations for western Trumbull townships, villages and cities.
Trustee Bob Farmer said the community meetings, which have not been scheduled yet, will let residents provide input on what ideas and topics are being addressed in the new plan.
A community survey was also conducted this year getting input from residents and will be part of the plan.
Mark Zigmont, economic development coordinator, said, ''What makes Champion unique from other townships is it is the educational hub of Trumbull County," home to Kent State Trumbull Campus, Trumbull County Technical Center, Fairhaven Workshop and other educational learning centers.
"That is a unique distinction,'' he said.
Zigmont said a goal of the new plan is to encourage more residential and commercial development, extend water and sewer facilities where needed, and develop recreational areas such as bike trails and parks.
Hovanic said the updated plan will include the 75 acres.
"What do we want to see on that property and what can it be used for?" he said.
Officials said with the plan, it will be easier to get grants for future projects such as parks or a new township hall.
Farmer said work on the plan will always be ongoing.
The plan also will assist zoning with sign regulations, updating definitions, adapting plans for development standards and permitted uses.