MVRPC and Jefferson Township Received an “Excellence in Small Town and Rural Planning (STaR) Award

Dayton, OH – The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) and MVRPC member, Jefferson Township, received the American Planning Association’s (APA) “Excellence in Small Town and Rural Planning (STaR) Award” for the Jefferson Township Future Land Use Strategic Plan, a comprehensive strategic planning initiative for Jefferson Township in Montgomery County, Ohio.  STaR Awards recognize outstanding individuals and projects for their contribution to planning excellence in rural communities.

This project was a year-long, joint effort between Jefferson Township and MVRPC designed to bring residents, businesses, and community leaders together to develop the Township’s future direction and to draft a course of action.

“The Jefferson Township Future Land Use Strategic Plan employed a constructive and collaborative planning approach centered on an “explore-decide-pledge” theme. This approach was applied for every major step of the planning process, including goals and priority setting, place-making workshops, and implementation strategy development phases,” explained MVRPC’s Executive Director, Brian O. Martin, AICP. “Because of this approach, we feel confident that Jefferson Township is on the right track,” continued Martin.

Roy R. Mann, President of the Jefferson Township Trustees, commented,  "On behalf of Jefferson Township, I would  like to thank Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, both  present and former Jefferson Township trustees, and citizens of the community.  Everyone’s input and assistance helped us in achieving this award.”

This project resulted in three major outcomes:

  • Establishment of four community goals;
  • Development of a future land use vision – a place-based, strategic framework illustrating the location and types of development opportunity within the Township; and
  • Compilation of a list of implementation strategies for each of the four community goals.

STAR award 2017The process was particularly notable for its extensive public outreach to shape the plan. Each public workshop was piloted to ensure maximum citizen participation and feedback. Locals actively created the strategic framework and directly crafted corresponding implementation strategies.

Never envisioned to just sit on a shelf, the report document featured the vision, goals and implementation strategies front and center as a series of result-oriented sections, intended to be hands-on guides for task forces and staff to use as they moved forward to implement the plan. To date, all committee task forces have met with a hired facilitator and provided recommendations for producing a policy, a program or a project in concert with the Land Use Vision for the area. Additionally, both a new zoning code and map, based on citizens’ efforts in creating a conceptual framework map, were approved by Jefferson Township Trustees in October 2016.

Established in 1964, the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission promotes collaboration among communities, stakeholders, and residents to advance regional priorities.  MVRPC is a forum and resource where the Board of Directors identifies priorities and develops public policy and collaborative strategies to improve quality of life throughout the Miami Valley Region.  MVRPC performs various regional planning activities, including air quality, water quality, transportation, land use, research and GIS.  As the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), MVRPC is responsible for transportation planning in Greene, Miami and Montgomery Counties and parts of northern Warren County. MVRPC's areawide water quality planning designation encompasses five (5) counties: Darke, Preble plus the three MPO counties.

For more information on the STaR award, go to

For more information about the Jefferson Township Future Land Use Strategic Plan, go to

For information about the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, please contact Executive Director, Brian O. Martin, AICP, at or at 937.223.6323.