Members of the Johnston Economic Development Corporation were among the groups which participated in a series of facilitated round table discussions held on July 30 and 31, 2019 at Johnston City Hall. The discussion was part of the community engagement process for the Johnston 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The purpose of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan is to define and guide the future of development in the Johnston community.

All professionals engaged in development activity – developers, investors, business leaders, institutions which provide capital for development and others need to provide their voices in the planning process. Please do so now! Set aside a few minutes and navigate to the “Thrive 2040” website to provide feedback. 

Participants in the roundtable discussion were asked to express their thoughts about four questions (these are paraphrased).

  1. What factors attract development in Johnston?
  2. What factors may inhibit development in Johnston?
  3. How has development in Johnston changed over time?
  4. What will development in Johnston be like in the future? What should it be like?

To illustrate the importance of providing the professional developer perspective, observe some of the comments already posted. Not everyone understands:

  • The importance of having a variety of housing for all people who work in our community
  • The value of higher density development to the tax base
  • The economic challenges developers face to ensure the viability of their projects
  • That community needs will change over time, and that a comprehensive plan should be updated to address those changes
  • That land owners and developers have a right to develop their properties in a sensible and financially sustainable manner, and
  • That no one should expect undeveloped land to remain forever as an empty field or stand of trees – properties can and should be developed to their best and highest use and cities have other means to provide green space, parks, trails and other amenities to serve everyone in the community

Thanks to the members of the Johnston Economic Development Corporation for participating in this important discussion. More opportunities for input will be provided as the planning process continues through the remainder of 2019 and into 2020.

Once again, please be sure the developer voice is heard by submitting your ideas at the Thrive 2040 website. Encourage your colleagues to also submit their comments.