2030 Comprehensive Master Plan Update
City of Parkersburg
The City of Parkersburg is located in Wood County, West Virginia at the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers. Parkersburg is the third largest city in the State, with a population of 31,492, and is the major population and employment center for 160,000 residents in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
The City of Parkersburg came of age during the 19th and early 20th centuries as a transportation hub and center for manufacturing and energy production in the region. This rapid expansion of the local economy was fueled by investments in the production of steel, chemical and other household goods. Companies like Borg Warner, American Viscoe and Union Carbide established large manufacturing facilities here, because of the region's distinct competitive advantages. They included access to natural resources, an abundance of fresh water and the availability of flat land along the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers. The rise of smoke stack industries in the Parkersburg area was also accompanied by a substantial growth in population.
Between 1890 and 1910, the City's population increased from 8,408 residents to more than 17,000 people. By 1930, the population had nearly doubled again. The City's population peaked in 1960 when 44,797 residents called Parkersburg home.
This growth in population and the local economy created the built environment we observe and utilize today. This includes the City's water and sewer infrastructure, roadway network, schools, parks and housing stock. Since then, the City has been able to effectively manage its measured decrease in population. Parkersburg has managed is declining population so well, that the City was recognized as one of the best shrinking places to live according to CNN's Money Magazine (April 2011). Today, the local economy is driven by several sectors. They include healthcare, government services, education and manufacturing.
The City's Plan was last updated in 2010. The plan may be viewed in its entirety at http://parkersburgcity.com/pc/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Pburg-City-Comp-Plan-2011.pdf.
In addition to the required analysis used to assist MPC in future decision making per State Code, found in Attachment 3, the Comprehensive Plan should do the following:
- Make a concerted effort to engage the community in developing a vision for the future that transcends the 2030 Comprehensive Master Plan Update. This includes engaging people of different age groups and socioeconomic status, where they are.
- Potential engagement efforts could include, but is not necessarily limited to, an information booth at upcoming events, plan website, social media page, traditional media, and discussions with school age children. There should also be stakeholder group meetings with development and civic-minded organizations such as the Parkersburg Area Association of Realtors, the Mid-Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Wood County Economic Development Commission, Downtown PKB, Parkersburg Rotary Club, and Lions Club among others. In doing so, our goal is to build the civic capacity necessary to accomplish the goals and objectives put forth in the plan.
- Take into consideration existing studies related to Transportation, Workforce Development, Downtown Development, Market Analysis, 5-yr Consolidated Plan for the City's Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Programs and Parks and Recreation Plan. The consultant selected for this project should consider this information as it will for more information strategies to be developed.
- Develop goals, strategies and action steps to achieve desired future. Per state code, this should identify potential costs, partners and responsibilities.
- Develop and/or provide illustrations (e.g. conceptual drawings and/or infographics) that convey particular findings in the plan, as well as proposed recommendations (goals, recommendations, strategies) will also be an important component of the plan.