Warren residents surveyed for opinion of city, how to move forward

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – The City of Warren is updating its comprehensive plan for the first time since 1960. On Wednesday night, the public got its first glimpse of the process.

A survey’s been done and much of the land has been looked at and analyzed. The final report won’t be finished until May of 2019 but on Wednesday, the Trumbull County Planning Commission presented some of the data.

Nick Coggins stood before 50 people in Warren’s City Council Chambers with a cluster of statistics, describing Warren today.

“The housing stock in Warren is overwhelmingly single family but almost 40 percent of that is renter occupied,” he said.

Coggins also said 22 percent of Warren’s land is open space with nothing on it.

The city’s largest employer is health care, at 31 percent.

He said Warren has plenty of roads — 203 miles of them — and 55 railroad crossings.

“The public services between the police and fire are highly thought of here in the City of Warren.”

Coggins also had the results of 985 surveys and while residents are happy with the police and fire, they rated the streets as either fair or poor.

“Almost 90 percent of the city does not like the streets. That doesn’t come as a surprise, most people don’t like the streets in their city everywhere we go,” Coggins said.

When it came time for the public’s input, there were several suggestions.

“If you’re going to market the city and you’re going to market it to younger people, the bike trail is an asset that we have,” Bruce Ramey said.

Annette McCoy, the president of Warren’s NAACP, talked about health care.

“Our population is an older population and looking at the distance that our senior citizens have to travel just to get care should also be addressed in the plan,” she said.

Cassandra Clevenger said grocery stores aren’t evenly dispersed throughout the city.

“There’s no grocery store on the city’s south side. They’re all located on the northern side of the city and we’re completely dependent on convenience stores, dollar stores without driving to the other side of the city.”

As part of the survey, people were also asked about Warren’s strengths and weaknesses. Among the strengths were the cost of living, convenient location, and amenities like Packard Park and the Amphitheater. Its weaknesses were streets and sidewalks, the tearing down of abandoned homes, property maintenance, and the heroin epidemic.