Community-Based Planning Assistance Program Expanded to Empower Communities to Address Future Growth

Consultant Services, Planner Pool Pilot Programs Added to Complement Existing Programs

With Central Ohio communities on the brink of unprecedented growth, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is strengthening efforts to support its member communities. In response to these challenges, MORPC has introduced an innovative initiative, collectively referred to as Community-Based Planning Assistance, a suite of programs designed to empower member communities with the tools and resources needed to envision and plan for a sustainable future.

MORPC is adding a Consultant Services Program and a Planner Pool Program to the already existing Technical Assistance Program. Together, these programs complement MORPC’s existing range of assistance offerings, enabling a rapid response to the evolving needs of Central Ohio’s diverse communities.

"Central Ohio is growing - it's a pivotal moment for the region's communities to ensure we grow better as we get bigger. MORPC is committed to ensuring that this growth is guided by thoughtful, strategic planning. Our Community-Based Planning Assistance initiative is a one-stop shop designed to help our member communities address their unique challenges and opportunities with growth and investment."

The suite of services now offered under the Community-Based Planning Assistance includes:

Consultant Services Program – The Consultant Services Program streamlines the Requests for Proposal (RFP) process for MORPC member communities. The program does this by prequalifying consultants for long-range planning projects; drafting RFPs on behalf of the community’s project goals, interests, and budgets; creating a central repository for long-range planning RFPs; conducting initial reviews of proposal submissions; and facilitating final presentations of proposals for communities. The goal is to lower member communities’ burden – as well as the consultants’ – of engaging in long-range planning activities. In its first year, the program is focused on assisting with comprehensive planning and zoning code development and updates, an area considered a priority concern by MORPC member communities.

Planner Pool Program – The Planner Pool Program aims to provide communities with direct professional assistance to support local planning functions, such as discretionary and ministerial reviews, and miscellaneous short-term projects or research related to land use, development, sustainability, or transportation. The primary benefit to communities is to fill staffing gaps, add new expertise where needed, or create short-term relief for the member agency who may be overwhelmed with an influx of development, permit or other requests. MORPC expects to begin assistance through the Planner Pool Program in mid-fall of 2023.

Technical Assistance Program – The Technical Assistance Program (TA Program) is an existing program that aids eligible MORPC members with community-based planning services that advance regional goals and specific strategies identified in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The TA Program awards technical assistance services through a competitive application process. Only local governments and MORPC members within the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) area are eligible.

"Central Ohio has been growing for years. While this is exciting and allows for incredible opportunities related to economic development and community development, it also puts immense pressures on our communities to keep up with the growth and demand for new housing and amenities. Through the expansion of our community-based planning assistance program, we aren't just adding more support to our members but also helping connect our communities to the assistance and resources available throughout the region."

MORPC member communities can utilize the form under the Request for Assistance tab on the MORPC website to provide initial information about a particular project or need. By submitting this form, communities can initiate a dialogue with staff to discuss their specific needs and explore how MORPC can contribute to their planning efforts.

"We are excited to roll out the Planner Pool and Consultant Services Program specifically to make it easier for our communities to get ahead of that growth and assist with long-range planning. This is a pilot year, and we will adjust and evaluate it on a regular basis to make sure it adds value."

To learn more about MORPC’s Community-Based Planning Assistance Programs or to request assistance through one of the programs visit Community-Based Planning Assistance –

Press Room Information

Media Contacts

Níel Jurist

Sr. Director of Communications & Engagement

Melissa Rapp

Public Information Manager

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