Plan Blan

Comprehensive Planning Studio / Autumn 2020 / Chad Gibson

Plan Blan

Read Plan Blan

Executive Summary

Plan Blan is designed to document existing conditions of the Village of Blanchester, Ohio as of 2020, report areas of growth opportunities based on community input, and offer suggestions for implementation to be used by current and future decision-makers. An assessment of existing conditions brags Blanchester’s charming qualities: the community is patriotic, supportive of local schools, and home to many residents who self-report that the Village is a pleasant place to live. An existing conditions assessment also found the following growth opportunities: opportunity for greater racial diversity, more active spaces (e.g., parks, green spaces, etc.), and further development to support Blanchester’s steady population growth, which is inching toward city-status year by year.

Vision Statement

Delving into specific sections, Plan Blan focuses on the following areas: 1) Community Image; 2) Land Use; 3) Economic Development; 4) Infrastructure; and 5) Mobility.

Each section of the report describes the existing conditions of Blanchester as pertaining to the area of focus, then makes recommendations based on community input, stakeholder input, and best practices. In each of these, the sections explore growth opportunities at length and recommend goals of implementation guided by a rough time range (short-, mid-, or long-term), potential partners, and funding options.

History

Blanchester’s history dates back to 1832 when it was founded by and named for John and Joseph Blancett. One of the many unique features of the community is the name itself, as there is only one Blanchester in the world. Blanchester was once a stop for several primary train routes and there is evidence of the tracks that influence the present-day layout of the village. A street grid encapsulates the downtown and spans outwards into the residential areas of the community. Downtown Blanchester has suffered throughout the last century from several fires. They have lost historic places such as a building once known as Bindley Block. Constructed by John Bindley in 1896, Bindley Block originally housed the Merchants and Farmers Bank on the first floor, and the Bindley Hotel was on the second level. Over the years, the building would be home to a variety of businesses that served as the heartbeat of the downtown. While this was a hard hit for the community, residents are still hopeful for the opportunities this presents to rebuild the village center. There are still long-standing places in the community such as the famous Blanchester Showplace Cinemas. This theatre is known for being the cheapest first-run movie theatre in America. This translates to the rest of the community and the reasons why people are drawn to Blanchester. There is charm, affordability, and a distinct sense of pride rarely found elsewhere. With a population nearing 5,000, Blanchester is a small community but has vast opportunities and an exciting future ahead.

Students

  • Leo Brandon III
  • Megan Esselburn
  • Riane Federman
  • Kenneth Ganter
  • Nicholas Kearney
  • Wesley Lloyd
  • Jina Yu