Wayne County Comprehensive Plan Update 2022-23

Public Review Begins for Comprehensive Plan Update

The Wayne County Commissioners presented the final draft of the Wayne County Comprehensive Plan Update, required by the state every 10 years, for public review. The Commissioners plan to formally adopt the plan following a public hearing, now scheduled for Feb. 22, 2024. The deadline to submit comments is Jan. 29, 2024.

Work began on the two-year Comprehensive Plan Update project in 2022 under the direction of the Wayne County Planning Commission and County Planning/GIS office with assistance from a consulting team from Woodland Design Associates and Shepstone Management.

This multi-year process looked at where the county stands at all levels, including everything from population and demographics to economic development and transportation. The consultants surveyed the public, both full- and part-time residents, and held meetings with critical stakeholders in the community. The Comprehensive Plan also includes the Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Plan, adopted in 2021, and the Housing Assessment and Strategy completed earlier this year. 

The process takes stock of Community Facilities, Cultural and Historic assets and more, involving a series of studies or analysis of everything from population & demographics to economic development and transportation. Taking all of that information into account, the Comprehensive Plan then sets out goals and objectives and formulates specific plans, looking at ways to reach those goals. 

The draft of the Wayne County Comprehensive Plan Update represents the community strategy for managing change, but is not in any way a binding legal document. It is a plan for dealing with growth while maintaining a balance between appropriate economic development and the preservation of our culture and our natural resources.

 In 2010, when the County Commissioners adopted the last Comprehensive Plan Update, they wanted all the work and recommendations it contained to have a real impact on the future. The result has been Wayne Tomorrow! and a way of doing business that promotes collaboration and cooperation.

Wayne Tomorrow! stands poised to carry out the vision established by the Comprehensive Plan, making this update an unprecedented opportunity to help guide Wayne County toward a shared vision of opportunity and prosperity for everyone.

Review the plan and comment.

Planning Effort Leads to Enhancements in GIS Mapping

As a result of the Comprehensive Planning process, Wayne County residents, including many professionals in the community, now have access to more in depth information right at their fingertips. During the initial meeting with County officials, the consultants noted that there was a lot of useful, GIS data layers missing from the heavily used interactive Parcel & Address Map.

“This is a fantastic improvement and huge benefit to planners, developers, residents, visitors and anyone looking to make Wayne County their new home,” said Nathan Ruckinger, a landscape architect with Woodland Design.

The upgraded Parcel & Address Map, which can be accessed from the county’s webpage using the icon for the GIS Map, has added layers including soils, hydrological features and contour lines along with school districts, voting districts, polling locations, park and game lands as well as zoning, where applicable. The map already displayed information about ownership, acreage, address and assessed value.

The Recreation, Parks and Natural Resources Plan, completed in late 2022, constitutes one elementAn image of the Hawley section of the Cultural & Recreational Map. Links to map. of the overall Comprehensive Plan and led to another new GIS Map product, the Cultural and Recreation Opportunities Map.  As part of the Recreation Plan, consultants from Woodland Design Associates visited all of the 28 municipalities and collected GIS data for all of the parks and other outdoor recreational facilities and cultural assets.

The creation of this digital map was among the recommendations in the Plan, and The Wayne County Planning/GIS Department completed the work in house, thanks mostly to Jason Zarnowski and Cullen Smith, who plotted the locations and provided informational links highlighting the libraries, museums, excursions, hiking and other trails, golf courses and horseback riding as well as boat launches, campgrounds and other points of interest.

Wayne Tomorrow! immediately put this new map to good use as part of the Community Health & Wellness Summer Scavenger Hunt for Families, designed to get both residents and visitors out exploring the county through no-cost and low-cost activities, events and locations from . Participants could use the map to help them find the listed Selfie Locations and possibly discover others.