Strategic Planning Committee

THE STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE IS HERE TO AID IN PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR COMMUNITY

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THE STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE WAS DISBANDED BY THE TOWNSHIP TRUSTEES ON APRIL 17th, 2024, FOLLOWING RECOMMENDATION TO DISBAND MADE BY THE SPC ON APRIL 16th, 2024.


**The content of this site will remain for reference, however may not contain the most current information on the stated topics.**


About the Strategic Planning Committee

On January 21, 2022, the Intel Corporation announced it would be making a $20 billion investment in microchip manufacturing plants in neighboring Jersey Township – a project that would impact the entire Central Ohio region – and which is just a few miles from Harlem Township. Township officials quickly understood that the development risks have never been greater.  In March 2022, the Board of Township Trustees appointed the Strategic Planning Committee to serve as their advisory body and hired a consulting firm, Crossroads Community Planning, LLC, to help identify specific strategies to implement the 2020 Comprehensive Plan, while acknowledging the fact that the Township is on the cusp of development.

In August 2022, the Strategic Planning Committee held a large Community Meeting to inform residents of the information gathered to date on the extent of these development pressures, particularly when paired with the extension of sanitary sewer service to the southern portion of Harlem Township from Columbus (in partnership with Delaware County and outside of Harlem Township's authority).  The upcoming availability of sanitary sewer service significantly impacts the types of growth pressures and development Harlem Township will see.

For the next several months, the Strategic Planning Committee held regular public meetings and drafted the 2023 Harlem Township Quick Strategy Guide to supplement the 2020 Comprehensive Plan.  The Quick Strategy Guide provides additional recommendations in the areas of land use, communications, and administrative capacity to outline steps that the Township should take to be prepared for these development pressures.

The Strategic Planning Committee held a further series of Community Meetings in January/February 2023 to present to Township residents the recommendations in the proposed Quick Strategy Guide.

The narrated presentation from these Community Meetings can be viewed here:
Harlem Township January 2023 Community Meetings Presentation

The Quick Strategy Guide was reviewed and recommended for approval to the Trustees by the Zoning Commission in February 2023, and adopted by the Trustees on March 22, 2023.

A PDF copy of the adopted plan can be accessed here:
2023 Harlem Township Quick Strategy Guide

The meetings were open to the public and were also available to attend via Zoom.

Meetings were focused on the development of new and/or updated Zoning Regulations and other economic development tools as outlined in the Quick Strategy Guide.  The Strategic Planning Committee is an advisory body only and has no legislative authority.  Adoption of any Zoning Regulation changes or other economic development tools will follow appropriate procedures for adoption by the Board of Township Trustees, in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code.

On February 28th, 2024, the Strategic Planning Committee recommended that the Township Trustees move forward with an intent to merge with the City of Westerville, which would kick of a negotiation process between the two governments.  Ohio law provides multiple ways for local governments to merge, even if their borders do not touch, as long as their councils and voters approve.  This recommendation was not adopted by the Township Trustees.






Committee Members


The former Committee was comprised of the following members, along with representatives from Crossroads Community Planning, LLC:

  • Carl Richison, as representative of the Harlem Township Board of Trustees
  • Mike Cannon, Harlem Township Director of Zoning and Development
  • Tom Nied, as representative of the Harlem Township Zoning Commission
  • Jim Steelesmith, as representative of the Harlem Township Board of Zoning Appeals
  • Steve Eisenbrown, as at large representative of Harlem Township residents
  • Bruce McClary, as at large representative of Harlem Township residents
  • Molly Snodgrass, as at large representative of Harlem Township residents
  • Crossroads Community Planning, LLC






Sub-committees

The Strategic Planning Committee had three subcommittees, as described below.

Infrastructure & Utilities
:  Sub-committee chair was Bruce McClary.  This subcommittee focuses on the current state and future needs of many categories of infrastructure within the township.  This includes but is not limited to: stormwater runoff/drainage, roads, sewers, electrical, water, natural gas, internet.

Developer Relations:  Sub-committee chair was Jim Steelesmith.  This sub-committee focuses on maintaining open dialogue with developers and/or property owners who currently own land in the township that they may wish to develop.  This sub-committee does NOT seek out developers to bring into Harlem Township, but rather seeks to stay informed of and in communication with existing developers in the township or seeking to be in the township.

Communications:  Sub-committee chair was Molly Snodgrass.  This subcommittee seeks to improve communication between the township and its residents, focusing on education and outreach, and updates the Strategic Planning Committee page on the township website.

 





Harlem Township Files and Links



Harlem Township 2020 Comprehensive Plan (Adopted November 2021)

2023 Harlem Township Quick Strategy Guide (Addendum to 2020 Comprehensive Plan, Adopted March 2023)

Intel and Columbus on Our Doorstep (August 2022 Informational Flyer)

⏯ Harlem Township January 2023 Community Meetings Presentation (Recorded Overview of the 2023 Quick Strategy Guide)

Harlem Township 2023 Newsletter (Published early August 2023)

⏯ Guest Speaker from OFBF - Dale Arnold - 2023-09-19 (Topic: Landowner Rights and Proposed AEP Transmission Line)

Betsy Goldstein presents "Intel on Intel" (Must-see presentation on the monumental impact that the Intel project will have on not just our township, but the entire region.)

2-28-24 Trustees Letter to Residents Re: Proposed Merger

2-29-2024 Community Meeting Recorded presentation from 2/29 Community Meeting

3-6-2024 Community Meeting Recorded presentation from 3/6 Community Meeting







Additional Local/Regional Resources


Proposed Westerville Merger:


**Update 2-28-24** The Harlem Township Strategic Planning Committee has recommended that the Township Trustees move forward with an intent to merge with the City of Westerville.  Ohio law provides multiple ways for local governments to merge, even if their borders do not touch, as long as their councils and voters approve. Please see the official press release, anticipated FAQs, and an estimated timeline of next steps at the following website, created specifically to keep both communities’ residents informed as this process unfolds: www.westervilleharlem.org

Community Meeting dates & recordings as follows:

2-28-24 Trustees Letter to Residents Re: Proposed Merger

**Update 3-14-24** After much feedback from the community during the meetings noted above, the Strategic Planning Committee has updated their recommendation to the Trustees to extend the timeline for a potential merger with Westerville, to allow for more time to engage with the community on this option.  In parallel, we will continue to research other options available to us as well.  3-14-2024 Strategic Planning Committee Meeting (Recording)

**Update 4-18-24** The Township Trustees on 4-17-2024 voted to stop discussions with the City of Westerville related to a potential merger.

Electric:

AEP Vassell - Green Chapel Transmission Enhancements - DISCLAIMER: Townships have no authority granted in the Ohio Revised Code to directly influence utility projects such as this.  Property owners are encouraged to understand their individual landowner rights.  The Trustees sent a letter in opposition to the project and suggesting alternate routes for consideration.  On September 19th, 2023, the SPC hosted a guest speaker from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Dale Arnold, who gave a presentation on the specific process that certain utility projects in Ohio, such as this AEP transmission line, must follow.  The presentation is worth viewing by all Harlem Township residents, and especially for property owners who might be impacted by the proposed transmission line.  **Update 10-6-23** AEP sent a letter to Harlem Township on Oct. 5th, 2023 in response to the information presented on Sept. 19th by Dale Arnold.  Please review this letter, as it contains some information which contradicts what was presented by Dale Arnold.
**Update 12-9-23** In an update on December 7th,
AEP identified the two "final" routes for the proposed transmission lines.  It is the understanding of Harlem Township that both of these transmission lines and substations will be constructed, substantially along the published routes however with potential minor variations depending on the utility easements that AEP is able to secure.  The current timeline indicates construction occurring over summer 2024 through spring 2026 (first line) and spring 2026 through spring 2027 (second line).  The township does not currently know which line will be constructed first; it will likely depend on which route first obtains the necessary easements.  The routes no longer run south of Center Village Road and mostly affect the northeast quadrant of the township.  See AEP's project page linked above for more information.
**Update 2-9-24** On January 24th, 2024, AEP Ohio representatives filed a Letter of Notification with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) for one of the two proposed 13-mile 345-kV lines known as the Vassell-Green Chapel 345 kV Transmission Line Project, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Case No. 24-0014-EL-BLN. This is the northernmost route; AEP officials plan to file a separate Letter of Notification for the second line in the future. Local governments in the project area have automatic right to intervention but must notify the OPSB of their intention to intervene. On February 5th, 2024, Harlem Township Trustees filed a Notice of Intervention with the OPSB, to intervene and participate in the case as a full party of record. Residents impacted or concerned about this project can file a written comment in the case at any time by sending an email to ContactOPSB@puco.ohio.gov.  Comments already submitted by residents can be viewed on the PUCO site, under “Public Comments”. Additional information provided by PUCO: The OPSB technical staff will file a report of investigation on or around April 11, making its findings known to the OPSB and the public. This report will be filed online in the case record. In its report, the OPSB staff will recommend an approval date for the proposed project (or recommend suspension of the application). The recommended approval date must be no sooner than seven calendar days after the filing of the staff report and no later than 90 days after the filing date of the application. If the OPSB does not take action before the approval date set forth in the staff report, the project is automatically approved, subject to any conditions contained in the staff report, on the day after the date set forth in the staff report.
**Update 3-20-24** On March 15th, 2024, AEP Ohio representatives filed a Letter of Notification with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) for the second of the two proposed 13-mile 345-kV lines known as the Vassell-Curleys 345 kV Transmission Line Project, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Case No. 24-0118-EL-BLN. This is the southernmost route; AEP officials already filed a separate Letter of Notification for the first line, the northernmost route known as the Vassell-Green Chapel line, on January 24th (see above). Local governments in the project area have automatic right to intervention but must notify the OPSB of their intention to intervene. Harlem Township Trustees filed a Notice of Intervention with the OPSB for the first transmission line, to intervene and participate in the case as a full party of record.  It is expected that the Trustees will file a similar Notice of Intervention for this second line. Residents impacted or concerned about this project can file a written comment in the case at any time by sending an email to ContactOPSB@puco.ohio.gov.  Comments already submitted by residents can be viewed on the PUCO site, under “Public Comments”. Additional information provided by PUCO: The OPSB technical staff will file a report of investigation, making its findings known to the OPSB and the public. This report will be filed online in the case record. In its report, the OPSB staff will recommend an approval date for the proposed project (or recommend suspension of the application). The recommended approval date must be no sooner than seven calendar days after the filing of the staff report and no later than 90 days after the filing date of the application. If the OPSB does not take action before the approval date set forth in the staff report, the project is automatically approved, subject to any conditions contained in the staff report, on the day after the date set forth in the staff report.



Sewer:

Big Walnut Sanitary Sewer Trunk Extension Phase 2 - Construction started in May 2023 on the project that will extend sanitary sewer service from the City of Columbus to the southwest corner of Harlem Township, just west of the Smothers Road roundabout.  From that point, sanitary sewer feeder lines will be extended into the southern half of the township based upon actual demand for service.  The Sewer Trunk Extension Phase 2 has a tentative completion date of mid-2026.  The extension of feeder lines into the township falls under the authority of the Delaware County Regional Sewer District and will take place after the completion of the trunk extension.
**Update 1-9-24** Construction of shaft has reached its final depth below ground for the sewer line.  Through January, the Tunnel Boring Machine will be transported to the site in segments and assembled at a depth of 180' below grade.  Once assembled, horizontal boring will begin.


Natural Gas:

Intel Pipeline Project - Construction started in May 2023 on a 12" diameter high pressure natural gas distribution pipeline, from a point near the intersection of South County Line Road and Evans Road on the eastern edge of the township.  This 4.15-mile pipeline will run along the eastern side of South County Line Road in Licking County until it reaches US-62 and then zig-zag to the Intel site. 


Roads/Transportation:

Licking County TID - Local Roads Study Presentation - Licking County Transportation Improvement District focuses on planning for transportation infrastructure within a 10-minute drive time of the Intel site.

ODOT State Route 37 Corridor Studies (PID 119328 "SR 37 Corridor Study" from I-71 to SR-161 and PID 119326 "SR 161 and I 70 Connection Study" from SR-161 to I-70) are in the early planning stages.  For more information about both projects, go to the ODOT site that tracks open projects through "Ellis", their project management system and search under each PID number.  More information and opportunities for public input on this project can be found here.


Regional Planning:

Delaware County Regional Planning Commission - The Delaware County Regional Planning Commission was established to provide growth management systems, planning services and general information to all governmental entities in Delaware County, Ohio, relating to land use planning and coordination for activities of regional significance.

FRAMEWORK Licking County - With the opportunities sparked by the presence of Intel and other economic development efforts (suppliers, Meta, Google, Amazon, Amgen, etc.), the FRAMEWORK process aims to guide growth and change, not just react to it. Alignment of public and private leadership around a shared vision offers an unprecedented chance to shape a shared and impactful future.  Licking County has much to gain by strategically aligning interests around a shared vision for the future.

Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) coordinates planning for land use and infrastructure development within the central Ohio region.






Maps

Current Harlem Township Zoning Map

Current Harlem Township Comprehensive Land Use Plan

Recent Annexations of Parcels to Sunbury from Berkshire & Trenton Townships

AEP Vassel-Green Chapel Transmission Line Maps - Proposed - northernmost route - Maps starting on page 16

AEP Vassel-Curleys Transmission Line Maps - Proposed - southernmost route - Maps starting on page 15




 





Meeting Minutes


Most recent minutes are at the top.
Dates listed without hyperlinks have meeting minutes that are either pending approval or have not yet been uploaded to the township website.

2024
2024-04-16 Pending Video Presentation on Annexations and Development Tools.
SPC votes to Disband
2024-04-02 Meeting cancelled - inclement weather.
2024-03-14 Pending Video Special Meeting: Merger
2024-02-06 Minutes Video  
2024-01-09 Minutes Video  

 

2023
2023-12-05 Minutes Video  
2023-10-17 Minutes    
2023-10-03 Minutes    
2023-09-19 Minutes Video Guest Speaker from OFBF
2023-09-05 Minutes Video  
2023-08-15 Minutes Video  
2023-08-01 Minutes    
2023-07-25 Minutes    
2023-07-18 Minutes Video  
2023-06-20 Minutes    
2023-06-06 Minutes    
2023-05-16 Minutes Video  
2023-05-02 Minutes    
2023-04-18 Minutes Video  
2023-04-04 Minutes Video  
2023-03-21 Minutes    
2023-03-07 Minutes    
2023-02-21 Minutes Video  
2023-01-03 Minutes    

 

2022
2022-12-20 Minutes  
2022-12-06 Minutes  
2022-11-15 Minutes  
2022-11-01 Minutes  
2022-10-18 Minutes  
2022-10-04 Minutes  
2022-09-20 Minutes  
2022-09-01 Minutes  
2022-08-16 Minutes  
2022-08-02 Minutes  
2022-07-19 Minutes  
2022-07-05 Minutes  
2022-06-21 Minutes  
2022-06-07 Minutes  
2022-05-24 Minutes  
2022-05-03 Minutes  
2022-04-19 Minutes  
2022-04-05 Minutes  
Frequently Asked Questions
This section coming soon!
This section coming soon!