Document Type


Publication Date


Research Center

Center for Community Planning and Development


Jefferson Village is an incorporated municipality in Northeastern Ohio, with a population in 2000 of about 4000 residents. Originally founded in 1803 and incorporated in 1836, the Village has been the county seat for Ashtabula County since 1807. The Village is centrally located in Ashtabula County, 10 miles south of Lake Erie, and 10 miles west of the Pennsylvania border. Interstate highway 90 runs parallel to the lake shore, about 6 miles north of the village; and State Route 11 is a major north-south connector located about 2 miles east of the village. The primary employment locations in the Village are the downtown County administration and the independent professional offices that serve county-related needs, and a light industrial park to the southeast of downtown. The County fairground is also located within the village limits.

While residential, commercial and retail growth have occurred over the years, the village still retains much of its original Western Reserve town character. Over 25% of the buildings in the downtown district have historic merit, and both Chestnut and Jefferson Streets are lined with older brick commercial buildings, as well as large, well-kept residences of Western Reserve, Georgian and Victorian architectural styles. Village administration is still based in the original Town Hall, and residents take much pride in the small town charm of the community.

In 2006, new commercial development was proposed for Chestnut Street that would have required removal of a residence of historic character, replacing it with a new, generic commercial structure and a typical street-frontage parking lot. Residents were concerned, and public discourse in the local newspaper and at Town Hall led to withdrawal of the proposal. Village leadership felt that it was time to explore the historic character and economic future of the downtown district, and establish policy that could guide future decision making for the downtown.