In 2016, the FHRC assisted the City of Onaga in the development of a 10-year comprehensive plan. After a seven-month engagement process with the community, the plan was adopted by the Onaga City Council with Resolution No. 12062016 in December 2016.
The document shall guide policy decisions by the City Council as it relates to future development decisions, zoning changes, capital improvements, and implementations through community and economic development. The City Council will also annually review the plan to ensure it is consistent with the goals and objectives of the community.
During the development of the plan, the FHRC staff consistently met with a steering committee reflecting a wide-range of community leaders, conducted a community survey which was completed by nearly 20% of the town's population, and held several public engagement opportunities. Each step along the way created a comprehensive plan that truly represents the community's vision for Onaga.
The entire plan can be found below, but there were several key findings that the City of Onaga will prioritize:
According to a housing assessment tool (HAT) conducted by the City of Onaga in early 2016, there are 354 housing units in the town. Of those units, 85% are single-family dwellings. However, more than 86% of all housing was built before 1980 and less than 10 units have been built since 2000. In addition to empty lots and homes in need of rehabilitation, housing became a central concern throughout the planning process.
2. Economic Development
Without adequate housing for potential employees, employers are having a hard time recruiting workers and those workers to live in Onaga. The town is rare in that it features a significant positive inflow of workers, which represents a market for future housing. The City owns "free lots" on the northwest side of town and would like to capture infill opportunities to create desirable housing options for residents.
3. Qualify of Life
Overall, the town of Onaga experiences a positive quality life, due to its own school district, park, swimming pool, Pottawatomie County Fairgrounds, a renovated streetscape in its downtown, updated infrastructure, broadband connectivity, and recently renovated medical facilities. Moving forward, the plan addresses opportunities for the town to market its small-town feeling and community assets to potential residents and workers.
While there are other strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats addressed in the comprehensive plan, this brief list provides an overview of where the City of Onaga would like to channel its energy and resources in the immediate term.
Documentation of the planning process is available at onagaplan.com. The adopted version of the plan is below.