Balanced Growth: a voluntary, incentive-based strategy to protect and restore Lake Erie, the Ohio River, and Ohio's watersheds to assure long-term economic competitiveness, ecological health, and quality of life.The goal of the program is to link land-use planning to the health of watersheds and major water bodies.
A watershed based planning framework is also available. Watershed Planning Partnerships comprised of local government representatives and others work toward the development and implementation of a Watershed Balanced Growth Plan. This Plan will contain maps of Priority Development Areas, Priority Conservation Areas, and Priority Agricultural Areas (if desired) based on specific measurable criteria that will support watershed-based land use planning and project implementation. See the Ohio Balanced Growth Program Strategy.
A Watershed Balanced Growth Plan is a framework for coordinated, local decision making about how growth and conservation should be promoted by local and state policies and investments in the context of watersheds. The local role is to work towards the development, adoption, and implementation of the Plan, and the state’s role is to support the local government effort and be responsive to the resulting state-endorsed Plan. For a listing of current state endorsed watershed Balanced Growth Plans, see this page.
Watershed Balanced Growth Plans interface with and complement the existing restoration oriented Watershed Action Plan (WAP) process by providing an impairment preventative approach to water quality. Like the WAPs, the state will endorse the plan, and after endorsement, the participating local jurisdictions will be eligible for state incentives.
To see the map of the current Balanced Growth watersheds (pdf), click here.