Comment sought on plan for city, Lucas Co.

3/14/2014
BLADE STAFF

A 10-day blitz began Tuesday to solicit public opinion about a 65-page planning document that Toledo and Lucas County officials said will be their most comprehensive tool for guiding the region’s economic and development policies for years to come.

Called the Going Beyond Green Plan, the document — assembled by a large contingent of area business, government, and nonprofit groups — can be viewed by visiting Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission’s Web page, lucascountygreen.com, and pulling down the tab titled “Greater Toledo: Going Beyond Green.” The link to the report is at the bottom of that page.

“Sustainability is not an option. It’s an absolute,” Toledo Mayor Mike Collins said twice during the news conference. Comments will be accepted through March 21.

Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak said the report aims to take a more holistic, collective vision for the region, based on its unique environmental, economic, and social needs. “It won’t be fully developed if residents don’t weigh in,” she said. She added that the region is at a “critical juncture” because of its need to balance those concerns. She and Mr. Collins said the region’s success at striking a better balance will affect Toledo’s ability to promote itself and its greatest natural asset, Lake Erie.

In a recent letter to U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), Mayor Collins said the lake’s recent toxic algae blooms are “having a significant adverse impact on the quality of life and the economic vitality” of the region. The mayor says he sent similar letters to Ohio’s senators and President Obama.