Delaware County remains the fastest growing county in Ohio and is projected to hit a population of 200,000 within the next year, according to a recent report from the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission.

The county currently is estimated to have a population of 198,650.

Reasons for the growth are attributed to good schools, roads and low taxes. “The standard PR answers,” said Scott Sanders, executive director of the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission.

Sanders said he has heard from people who have moved to the area that taxes are lower in Delaware County.

Included in the commission report is the 2010 decennial census, showing the county as the 22nd fastest growing county in the United States by percentage rate. Central Ohio had a growth rate of 13.96 percent between 2000-2010, making the rate higher than the U.S. growth rate of 9.71 during the same time.

The Delaware County Regional Planning Commission looks at all existing developments in progress and past trends to predict the 200,000 estimate. “We have an idea of what each community build-out might look like,” Sanders said.

At the end of 2015, the county had issued 1,563 building permits, had 1,176 zoning reviews and approved 627 platted subdivision lots in townships.

Communities with the highest growth rates within the county from 2010-2016 have been between the Interstate 270 beltway and the city of Delaware.

The Columbus segment within Delaware County has seen the greatest growth — 62 percent, adding 4,471 people to the population and bringing it to a total of 11,716.

Sanders said the area is relatively safe with plenty of convenient shopping and natural areas, drawing both singles and families to the area. “It is close to Columbus, making it easy to get downtown,” he said.

The growth means a good economy for Delaware County. “You always need to be growing to a certain degree to help expand the workforce,” Sanders said.

Other areas with rapid growth included in the report are the village of Ostrander at 37 percent, Berkshire Township at 31 percent, the village of Galena at 20 percent and the village of Sunbury at 17 percent.

The majority of the rapid growth has been around the I-270 beltway. The trend is predicted to continue with smaller lots filling the area. “The market is gearing toward smaller lots, using less land (but) adding just as many people,” Sanders said.

Sanders said the county is not only seeing an increase in families and singles but also those who are retired. “There are a lot of purposed condos for the aged market,” Sanders said.

By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.