VIENNA TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – The community in Vienna Township got its first chance to learn more about the Youngstown Air Reserve Station’s joint land use study on Tuesday night.
About two dozen people showed up for the joint committee kick-off meeting, which covered details of the policy and technical committees’ duties, as well as the value this study will have for years to come.
The study is a cooperative land use planning effort conducted as a joint venture between an active military installation, surrounding jurisdictions, state and federal agencies and other affected stakeholders.
“The air base is very valuable to us. It’s our second or third largest employer, so we want to be able to utilize everything that we can surrounding the air base to make it more valuable,” said Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda.
The idea is to create a plan to protect and sustain the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and its surrounding townships so each has a viable future in Trumbull County. The joint land use study would benefit both the air base and the region by:
- Protecting the health and safety of surrounding residents and workers
- Preserving long-term land use compatibility between the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and the surrounding communities
- Promoting community planning that addresses the compatibility issues
- Enhancing cooperation between the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and community officials
“It’s kind of like our own comprehensive plan, is how I’m viewing it. It’ll show compatibility between the township’s uses, as well as the Air Force’s uses at the air base,” said Vienna Township Trustee Phil Pegg.
The joint land use study is a federally-funded grant program by the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment.
The Youngstown Air Reserve Station is actually the first base to be awarded this study.
“It’s kind of a pioneering thing,” Pegg said.
Celeste Boccieri-Warner, a Niles native, is the vice president of Matrix Design Group, which is overseeing the land study.
“I truly believe that this is an extremely valuable economic catalyst for this region,” she said.
The group hopes this study will bridge the 10-mile radius around the Air Reserve Station, as well as Vienna and Fowler townships.
“Sustain what’s currently there, be a receiver in bringing more jobs, both with new missions and the expansion of what’s currently there, but also the spinoff indirect jobs within the community,” Boccieri-Warner said.