Executive Summary Update to Comprehensive Plan

After extensive input from the community, the Board of Trustees in July 2010 adopted a comprehensive plan laying out goals for our community and objectives by which to accomplish them. We – including our administration, staff, employees, and appointed board members – use them as the guiding principles behind the decisions that we make on a daily basis. The comprehensive plan highlights the community’s future intentions, but it also assists the Township by serving as a guide for the overall growth and redevelopment for residents, businesses, and public officials; serving as a basis for administering the zoning resolution and for making reasonable decisions on development and rezoning applications; promoting innovative, sustainable, and green development and redevelopment practices; ensuring the continuity of long-range economic development, planning, and capital improvement policies and programs; assisting the Township in applying for state and federal grant programs; preserving the aesthetic and natural character of Howland Township; and promoting the safety, prosperity, health, morals, and aesthetics of our residents.

Year Eleven Update Now Available!



We are proud that the goals and objectives found in Howland Township’s Comprehensive Plan have become ingrained into how we – your elected officials and the many employees in our departments – plan and act. The Comprehensive Plan not only lays out the community’s future hopes and intentions but assists your Township officials in making decisions daily, both large and small. As we look back over the past eleven years, we see that many of the initiatives and actions taken in those early years have continued, while others have not. That is progress. We also see that some of the planning steps have turned into grants and then into actual projects. This is particularly true in the Golden Triangle.

We frequently note that local government plays an important role in know that our community – and the Mahoning Valley – faces challenges from an ever-changing economic environment. Four years ago, we emphasized the role that small businesses play in our local economy and that “[l]ocal governments have some ability to help create the environment for these small businesses to succeed, particularly with the physical infrastructure upon which those businesses rely.” That remains true.

And there are small actions that have large consequences. For example, in December 2010, the Board of Trustees adopted a home-rule resolution that sets forth regulations that govern the demolition of structures and the reclamation of lands following structural demolitions. This applies to all properties, residential, commercial, and industrial. Rather than allow the owner of the former Republic Steel property to cannibalize the site by taking what it wanted and leaving an eyesore with no imminent plans for development, Howland Township enforced the demolition resolution and required the property owner to demolish all of the buildings on the property and to return the property to its “green” state. If you drive by the site, you will not see anything but undeveloped land. And, now, the Western Reserve Port Authority has taken over the property in a condition that better positions it for future development. That would not have happened if Howland Township had done nothing.

We had planned to spend Year Ten examining the state of our comprehensive plan to see whether it needs updating to address the work that has been done and any conditions that have changed since it was adopted and to revise its outlook for the next decade. The pandemic changed those plans. But it also provided us with opportunities to adjust how we operate and with new federal and state funds. We intend to make strategic investments in our community that will have the greatest long-term impact.


Your township trustees,

Rick G. Clark                                  Dr. James J. LaPolla, Jr.   Matthew G. Vansuch

October 13, 2021

[1] The plan is available on the township’s website at

We encourage you to read these updates to get the full picture of where your Township is headed.

Howland Township's Comprehensive Plan:

The Plan
Year One Update Presentation
Year One Update Detailed Summary
Year Three Howland Township Comprehensive Plan Goals and Objectives
Year Five Howland Township Comprehensive Plan Goals and Objectives
Year Seven Howland Township Comprehensive Plan Goals and Objectives
Year Nine Howland Township Comprehensive Plan Goals and Objectives 
- Year Eleven Howland Township Comprehensive Plan Goals and Objectives *New