History of the Richland County Regional Planning Commission:
1959– A group of Richland County Commissioners saw a need for planning to resolve the issues that a regional planning agency would address that dealt with issues ranging from infrastructure to zoning. To respond to these issues that extended across different jurisdictions and political boundaries, the Board of County commissioners and the Mansfield Mayor and City Council adopted a Resolution of Cooperation and created the Richland County Regional Planning Commission.
Early 1960s– Carroll V. Hill & Associates, a private consulting firm, created the first Comprehensive Plan.
1965– Based on a revised boundary of the City of Mansfield and its annexations, the population of Mansfield was recorded as 51,418 and was therefore determined to be an urbanized area, and fell under the transportation planning requirements that were described in the Federal Bureau of Public Roads Policy and Procedural Memorandum (PPM) 50-9.
1966– The transportation process is said to be performed by the RCRPC. A Prospectus and Work Program were developed and approved, a staff was hired and the study was underway.
The transportation planning of the “Coordinating Committee of the Comprehensive Land Use and Transportation Study” being performed by the RCRPC was designated as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) by the State of Ohio.
1971– As the RCRPC grew and assumed new transportation planning responsibilities, funding from various federal, state and local sources supported the completion of a new Comprehensive Region-Wide Plan.
1975– The first Richland County Long Range Transportation Plan and the Transportation Improvement Plan were adopted. The first Comprehensive Plan was updated.
1979– The Transportation System Management element was added to the planning program.
1983– Federal rules and regulations recognized the differences between large and small urban areas and began to tailor planning programs to the different needs of each urban area.
1995– The Richland B&O Trail is completed and connects the Villages of Butler, Belleville, Lexington and the City of Mansfield.
1998– Stanton Transit Center is completed and was Mansfield’s first transit center.
1997– Cook Road and Illinois Avenue was extended between Mansfield Lucas Road and Woodville Road.
1999– Richland County Farmland Preservation Task Force completed its work, and among its recommendations was the reevaluation of the Comprehensive Plan for Richland County.
2003– The 1970’s update of the first Comprehensive Plan was again updated to be the 2035 Comprehensive Plan of Richland County.
2005– US 30’s new alignment was completed and consisted of construction of a 4 lane divided highway on new alignment West into Crawford County.
2006– The 2035 Comprehensive Plan was finalized.
2007– Interstate 71 through Richland County was widened to 6 lanes.
2008– Completion of US 30 over SR 13’s bridge replacement and intersection improvement. Grade separation for Illinois Avenue over Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks was also completed at this time.
2009– The RCRPC celebrated 50 years of business and community betterment.
2013– Middle Bellville Road is updated and improved and includes the county’s first round-a-bout. The RCRPC’s Metropolitan Planning Organization contributed $3.8 million for the development of this project.
Today– Richland County is now composed of 3 cities, 7 villages and 18 townships and the RCRPC continues its work to improve the quality of life for the Richland County area.