One of the key factors in supporting creative placemaking is the concept of connectivity. Connections take many forms and must act in concert with one another to achieve community vibrancy.

Future development in Jefferson should focus on infill and redevelopment of existing homes. Lots where homes and businesses are vacant or blighted should be prioritized. Redeveloping rather than building on the periphery will allow the community to maximize the existing infrastructure systems.

With anticipated growth, though, some new development will take place on the edges on the community. Again, to maximize both past and future infrastructure investments, the community should make a concerted effort to cluster development in one or two targeted areas. The contemplated future land use map also envisions an urban reserve that would address stormwater issues as well provide critical habitat and a recreational amenity.

City of Jefferson will merge these concepts with their current map.

Wayfinding signage is imperative to moving people effectively throughout the community. For Jefferson, the wayfinding signage graphics are centered on the iconic Mahaney Bell Tower, a structure built in 1966 with 14 bells. In 2017, the number of bells increased to 47. The Bell Tower is one of only three carillon towers  in Iowa and one of only 148 in the country. Wayfinding signage designs can be found in Appendix H.

To achieve true community vibrancy, the bike trail needs to be more than a linear connection between the trailhead and the casino. The Raccoon River Valley Bicycle Trail and the Raccoon River itself are underused cultural tourism attractions. These two amenities combine to create one of the greatest assets for Greene County and Jefferson, both now and into the future. They are the basis for a major publicity campaign to establish Greene County as an exciting, new health and well-being destination. Further, in Jefferson specifically, real opportunities exist to develop several loops for the bike trail, both within and around the community.

Action Steps

Adopt future land use map

City Council and Staff

Work with staff and development experts to understand future land uses. Educate City Council on proposed uses.

Q1 2018

Prioritize trails for phasing purposes

Jefferson City Council and Staff

Work with stakeholders to identify biggest areas of need and key gaps and opportunities. Rank trails for improvements and/or extensions.

Q2 2018

Complete initial engineering study for trail cost estimates

McClure Phase II

Contract with McClure to conduct engineering study.

Q3 – Q4 2018

Secure trail funding

City of Jefferson and Region XII COG


Create funding map. Apply for grants as appropriate.