Request for Proposals

Comprehensive Plan

City of Westerville, Ohio

Westerville, OH

Posted: 02/06/2014
Submittal Deadline: 02/28/2014


The City of Westerville has been nationally recognized as one of "America's Best Places to Live" by Money Magazine and recently, America’s Best Suburb by Movoto. The City offers fantastic safety services, more than 40 parks, a community recreation center and 26 miles of bike and leisure paths to its residents. Westerville’s 400 full-time staff endeavor to deliver unmatched services, programs and opportunities to our residents, visitors and businesses.

Westerville is an attractive regional destination for business. Moreover, the City is the only Central Ohio suburb to own and operate its own electric and water utilities. Those who already call Westerville home will tell you that this community is among the best in the nation.

The City, settled in 1809 and founded in 1858, is nestled in northeast Franklin County and southern Delaware County (Ohio’s fastest growing region). Westerville is adjacent to I-270 and I-71, with easy access to downtown Columbus and the Port Columbus Airport, and located within 500 miles of more than half the United States and Canadian population. Its current population is 38,000, making it Central Ohio’s largest suburban community.

The City of Westerville has strong financial operations with AAA bond ratings and taxable resources which continue to show consistent growth.

The City of Westerville has a long and valued history of thoughtful planning, with community leaders repeatedly looking to the horizon to identify opportunities, develop programs and initiatives, formalize plans and centralize key directives for the coming years. In that vein, the City wishes to produce a comprehensive plan to thoughtfully grow and remain one of the best communities in America.

The City’s objective is to solicit proposals for consultative services from qualified interdisciplinary planning firms or teams who have experience in city planning, community and urban design, land use planning, transportation modeling, natural resource mapping, citizen participation and visioning, growth scenario development and analysis, and quality presentation graphics in accordance with this RFP. Following review and evaluation of all proposals, it would be the City’s intent to award a contract to the firm or team that can best support a comprehensive plan/visioning process.

The overall time-line of the project is to begin in March 2014 and anticipated to conclude with Council adoption in spring 2015.

The City desires a Comprehensive Plan to outline the community’s vision of its future by the residents, workers, visitors and businesses. A Comprehensive Plan uses this vision as a means to work towards economic, social and environmental stability and positive growth; it is also a City’s primary guide to assess the location, character and extent of proposed public and private development – as a framework, not a rule book.

A Comprehensive Plan will provide:
• A snapshot of the City’s demographics, trends and existing patterns of development;
• Shared community values and aspirations for Westerville’s future;
• Overall goals and strategies to achieve that vision;
• Options for future growth (Scenarios) to point to a ‘preferred’ growth scenario;
• Clear guidance for decision makers to make informed decisions;
• Priorities, thus serving as our “to-do” list to review during budget, infrastructure and investment discussions.

It is anticipated that city planning staff within the City of Westerville will write the text document, and that the successful consultant will:
• Refine the overall project timeline
• Coordinate all data and information needed
• Provide and monitor an on-line public engagement tool to be used April – August 2014.
• Develop a “Westerville Comprehensive Plan” booth/box/PowerPoint for April – November 2014 road show, which travels to community events and invited civic group presentations. City staff or citizen volunteers will present.
• Present multiple development scenarios for Westerville with indicators which reflect each chapter of the plan; primarily land use, transportation and economic. This will be the basis of deliverables – see Reports, below; using Community Viz or similar.
• Design and host a community design charrette for April or May 2014 – three days:
° Day one: stakeholder group discussions and setting parameters
° Day two: all day public open house – invite community to ‘design our future’
° Day three: evening public open house to present findings and overall themes
• Incorporate seven area plans (bubble diagram level) into the growth scenarios
• Report #1: Overall community goals; community values; initial visuals; capacity for growth and preservation. May / June
• Report #2: Options for future growth and potential implications. July/August
• Report #3: Preferred option for future growth, implications and
implementation strategies. September
• Final review of DRAFT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN and suggest edits before it is released for public review. November/ December

Consultants are also invited to propose additional services that may provide for meaningful enhancements to the City’s comprehensive plan.

Each respondent shall furnish ten (10) hard copies and one (1) electronic version of their submission by 3 p.m. (local Time) on Friday, February 28, 2014. It is the sole responsibility of the offeror to see that their proposal is received in the proper time. Proposals received after the specified time will not be considered.

Proposals sent via fax or e-mail transmission will not be considered.

The successful offeror will be required to execute and submit the following completed forms: Noncollusion Affidavit; Personal Property Tax Affidavit; and Certification of Compliance with Section 3517.13 of the Ohio Revised Code. Offerors are urged to include these documents with their proposal.

Adherence to the rules set forth in this RFP is mandatory to ensure a fair and objective analysis of all proposals. Failure to comply with or complete any portion of this request may result in rejection of a submitted proposal. Receipt of a proposal by the City or submission of a proposal to the City confers no rights upon the offeror nor obligates the City in any manner.

Proposals must be focused, and address the selection criteria and expected services in a concise, but specific nature. Offerors must demonstrate in their submittal that they have the professional capabilities and the organizational and administrative experience needed to accomplish this project.

The submission should contain specific responses to the following requested items:
a. Statement of Understanding: A statement describing the respondent’s understanding of the objectives defined for the proposed Plan.
b. Specific Project Experience: Information on similar or relevant projects that the respondent has executed. This detailed summary of qualifications should note relevant work in other communities comparable to Westerville (in terms of population and setting) as it relates to this request.
c. Project Approach: A detailed description of the project approach being proposed to address the requested services within the timeline. This shall include information about how the respondent would coordinate with City Staff and other consultants contracted by the City to complete the overall project.
d. Project Team: Names and qualifications of individual staff members who would play a significant role in the project. The project manager should be specified, and the proposed project work program/approach must provide a clear indication of expected methods and staffing that will be utilized to complete the
Comprehensive Plan.
e. Individual Experience: Description of the background of key members of each firm in the team and their specific participation in previous projects that would directly relate to this project. This may be done in descriptive text or in a short form (one page or less) resume. Professional certifications and licenses should be listed.
f. List of References: A list of all clients to whom the respondent has provided similar planning/design services since 2005 and a minimum of three (3) references from such clients. Reference shall include name and telephone number of the contact person. The applicant may include additional references from capacity. Each listed reference shall include a description of the services provided to the client and the specific role (lead or sub).
g. Additional Information: Any additional information specific to the parameters of the RFP that will assist the City in the overall consideration of the proposal (e.g. samples of survey methodology and forms, illustrations, etc.)
h. Pricing: The project cost is important to the City. Submissions shall include a complete cost proposal for all services/deliverables; including a total lump sum not to exceed fee for the entire project.

Maximum length of proposal: 20 pages double sided

To ensure a fair and objective evaluation of all proposals, all inquiries are required to be submitted in writing to Deputy Director, Kimberly Sharp. Written inquiries (e-mail preferred) must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the date indicated in the RFP Schedule. Questions will be documented and an addendum will be issued with the City’s responses. Such addendum will be e-mailed to all known RFP recipients and a copy will be posted to the City’s website at (select ‘Government’, ‘Procurement Opportunities’, ‘Current Opportunities’) no later than 5 p.m. on the date indicated in the RFP Schedule.