Ford City Comprehensive Plan

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Ford City Comprehensive Plan

Click here to read the Ford City Comprehensive Plan


This plan sets the stage for Ford City’s development over the next 10 years and includes a strategic plan as well as a new zoning plan.

Click here for an overview of the Strategic Plan: Overview Presentation of the Strategic Plan

The accompanying Zoning Code is in development.

How We Created this Comprehensive Plan

  • Ford City engaged in significant community outreach, including a survey that 16% of the town responded to. Survey results are available here.
  • On July 18, Fourth Economy, the lead planning firm for the Comprehensive Plan, presented information gleaned from the survey, other community outreach, and data analysis to the Planning Commission. The presentation is available here, as a downloadable PDF.
  • In August Build Sessions on Riverfront Development Infill/Housing, Economic Vitality, Talent, and Safety and were held.
  • On Monday, August 20, an Opportunity Tour was held for regional real estate developers to visit Ford City.
  • Also on August 20, Jim Kumon, of the Incremental Development Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to teaching people how to revive their neighborhood through small real-estate projects gave a lecture about the importance of small business and small buildings.
  • On August 21, Jim Kumon and Leslie Oberholtzer of Codametrics provided a planning workshop.
  • A PDF summarizing the Build Sessions and Workshops can be downloaded here: Ford City Build Session and Workshop Notes.

The schedule for the entire planning process is listed below.



Ford City Borough is undertaking a comprehensive planning process to make Ford City a better place for people to live in, move to, and visit. The process will result in a strategic plan for priorities going forward, as well as a new Zoning Code. The consultant team is as follows:

Comprehensive Planning: Fourth Economy
Zoning Consultant: Codametrics
Small Development Consultant: Incremental Development Alliance


Month 1

  • Kick-off meeting with Fourth Economy and Codametrics where we will outline the process and lead the Steering Committee through a visioning exercise to understand potential focus areas.

Month 2

  • Community engagement via online and intercept surveys and community interviews. The purpose of this engagement is to understand how the larger community would like the area to develop, and what their preferences are.
  • Data analysis of key data indicators including population, jobs, industries and investment.

Month 3 and 4

Vision/Principal Refinement

    • We’ll present the results of our community engagement, our data analysis, and suggest some scenarios that could be possible futures for Ford City. With this information, the Fourth Economy team will lead the Steering Committee through a process of refining the vision that will drive the planning process and engagement with other stakeholder groups.  

Month 5 and 6

Priority Group Meetings

    • Up to five groups willbe formed around key topic areas that have arisen through the data analysis and community engagement process. These topics will be ones that will have the most impact on the landscape of Ford City in the next five to ten years. Groups will be formed from members of the Steering Committee and other key stakeholders and experts in the community.    
    • Host a developer tour as part of a priority group or as a separate activity. Familiarize them with Ford City and get direct feedback on what would interest them in making investments.

Month 7

Action Template Development

    • Each idea that comes out of the Priority Group Meetings will be fleshed out in an action template by a smaller group. Fourth Economy will provide guidance and data throughout this process.

Ford City Overhead

Month 8

Zoning Materials

    • While the Steering Committee Review is being completed, Codametrics will be developing an initial zoning plan draft, map and standards.

Steering Committee Review

    • The Steering Committee will review each of the ideas submitted via the Action Templates, and, by consensus, choose those that align with the vision for the community.

Month 9 and 10

Final Implementable Plan

    • Fourth Economy will work with the Steering Committee to create a plan and will provide further data analysis and research into funding sources as needed. The final plan will have gone through a thorough review and be designed for public consumption and engagement.

Draft Zoning Ordinance

    • After being reviewed by the Steering Committee, the Zoning Ordinance will be available for review by the public.

Month 11

Zoning Draft Adoption Process

  • Codametrics will attend meeting and present the draft document prior to hearing concerns and answering questions from the public.
    • New zoning plan will be brought before council for adoption.
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