The Lake County Planning Commission (the Commission) was first organized in Lake County on April 16, 1927 as an advisory board to the County Commissioners and all its communities until March of 1931 when for reasons not documented, it became inactive. Ohio Revised Code 713.22 was passed in October, 1955, establishing the ability for the Board of County Commissioners to create a county planning commission. On September 7, 1956, the Commission was reactivated. The Commission has 11 members: eight community members appointed by the County Commissioners and the three County Commissioners.
In 1957, the Commission contracted with Carroll V. Hill and Associates of Dayton, Ohio to develop a comprehensive plan for Lake County. The plan was completed in 1960 and adopted as the official plan for Lake County in 1961. Between 1961 and 1964 the highway interchange study, space needs study and the garbage and refuse study were produced and the Commission turned its focus to local services and small-scale projects as the need arose. From 1968 to 1970, Lake County found it necessary to enact an austerity program due to financial problems. During this time, the Commission provided only day-to-day services to the public.
Under the Directorship of David F. Gilmer from 1971 to 1996, the Directory of County Officials was first produced along with many inventories, studies, plans and other products. The most notable of these were the Lake County Gazetteer of Lake County, Ohio, 1982, and the Lake Metroparks’ East (1993) and West End (1989) Acquisition Plans. The SBA (Small Business Administration) 503 Program was started and loan applications were done through the Commission staff until the program was transferred in mid-year 1987 to the Lake County Economic Development Center. In 1992, the HOME program was established. The Tourism Retention and Expansion Report was completed in 1994. The Perry Village Comprehensive Plan of 1996 was completed and received an award for excellence in comprehensive planning from Ohio Planning Conference. In September of 1996, the Commission moved their offices from the Lake County Administration Center at 105 Main Street to the newly renovated spaces at 125 East Erie Street.
In 1997, Mr. Gilmer retired and was succeeded by Darrell C. Webster as Director. Of the studies, plans and other products produced from 1997 to 2005, the Eastern and Western Lake County Coastal Plans and the Coastal Development Plan produced by JJR for the Lake County Coastal Plan Committee in 2005 were the most notable. In response to the Eastern and Western Coastal Plans, the Lake County Coastal Plan Committee was established in 2002. The Housing Rehabilitation Program moved to the Lake County Commissioners’ Office in 2000 and the HOME Program followed in 2003.
From 2006 to 2009, as housing and major subdivisions began to decrease, the staff increased their efforts to provide further technical planning and zoning services to all the Lake County communities. The Auburn-Crile Rd. Business Corridor Study was adopted in 2006 and the staff was asked to assist the communities with the study’s implementation strategies. In 2006, Senior Planner David Radachy was instrumental in initiating the first Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula County Planning and Zoning Workshop.
With the retirement of Mr. Webster in January, 2009, Jason W. Boyd became the new Director. In 2009, the four-person staff completed the Madison Township Rt. 20 Corridor Study, the Madison Township, Madison Village, and City of Eastlake comprehensive plans and the Perry Township Lane Road Corridor Study. A contract was signed with Fairport Harbor Village for planning services on February 2, 2009. The Commission contracted to update the City of Mentor’s Comprehensive Plan in 2009. In 2012, Jason W. Boyd was promoted to the County Administrator and David J. Radachy became the Interim Director for the Lake County Planning Commission.
On August 30, 2012, the Lake County Board of Commissioners executed a memorandum of understanding by and between the Lake County Board of Commissioners and the Lake County Planning Commission thereby officially merging the Lake County Planning Commission and the Federal Grants Office into the Lake County Office of Planning & Community Development.
On August 22, 2013, David J. Radachy became Director of the Office of Planning and Community Development.