The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission to assist in the development of an Olentangy River watershed plan.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission to assist in the development of an Olentangy River watershed plan.

Jerry Tinianow of MORPC wrote in an e-mail Dec. 22 that the grant had been approved.

"Our watershed is by far the largest ever to receive a grant of this type, so we have the opportunity to plan on a scale not yet attempted in any watershed in Ohio," Tinianow wrote.

The watershed comprises four counties, 17 townships and nine municipalities, and is about 57 miles long, MORPC documents show. Delaware County's section is about seven miles wide and runs from the northern to southern border.

Powell and Liberty Township are among the jurisdictions that in November agreed to participate in the process.

Representatives of the jurisdictions would form a partnership that would develop the watershed plan. The planning group would work with MORPC to identify the "priority conservation areas" and "priority development areas" in the various communities, Tinianow said. The process would take about two years.

"It's an opportunity for each community in the watershed to identify areas within their boundaries that they would like to conserve as preservation areas, where they want to limit the amount of and kind of growth that is happening there," said David Rutter, the MORPC representative who spoke to Powell City Council in November.

The plan would "not create a legally binding commitment, only a set of recommendations," Tinianow told Liberty Township in November.

MORPC would be the facilitator, organizer and information provider for the plan development, Tinianow has said.