New code prohibits bad development

Any zoning code (form-based or conventional) has restrictions of Use that must be fair and legal. For example, it is not legal to allow some retail uses while not allowing others. If a community wants to allow high-end retailers in its business district, its code must also allow second-tier retailers. What a form-based code does, that conventional codes usually do not do, is set restrictions based on form, building type and frontage type (such as building placement, front door placement, storefront requirements, etc.). It was these requirements – embedded in Cincinnati’s form-based code – that kept a poorly designed, second-tier, discount store from moving into one of Cincinnati’s neighborhoods recently.

Bad development that has occurred in some of Cincinnati’s neighborhoods in the past is now prohibited under the new form-based code. We have too many neighborhood business districts where the “front” of a building was built as a windowless concrete block wall or where a building was set back from the street by a quarter acre of asphalt parking. These developments have a detrimental impact on the welfare of the neighborhood – not because of the uses within them but because of the form the buildings took.

Jeff Raser, principal, Glaserworks Architecture & Urban Design
on cincinnati.com
Read the full article at http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/04/04/new-code-prohibits-bad-development/7331569/

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Form Based Code Myths and Realities

The Cincinnati Form Based Code and, more specifically, its anticipated application to Westwood’s historic business district, has spawned some misconceptions or myths.  The Westwood Coalition offers our neighbors this two page list of myths and corresponding realities.  We hope that you will take a look, read more deeply in our Further Reading section, and share this information with friends and neighbors.  Feel free to email the Coalition with questions and comments.   Here is the list of Form Based Code Myths and Realities.

Mark your calendar, details forthcoming:  The next Westwood Coalition community meeting will be the evening of December 2, 2013.

 

Presentation from the July 27 Community Meeting

On July 27, 2013, a community meeting attracted over 150 Westwood residents for a presentation and discussion about Westwood’s historic business district.  The presentation, by Cameron Ross, senior planner, City of Cincinnati’s Planning Department, gave an overview of Cincinnati’s form-based code and its design and economic principles, a look at the community-driven design process thus far, and considerations for the business district.  You are welcome to view the presentation here and post your comments and questions.  We’ll post a summary separately of the data collected at that meeting and from surveys we posted online and at the library.

More Reading

We’ve added more suggestions for further reading to the reading list.  Also, we welcome your suggestions.  Just provide the author, title, and link, if relevant, below in the Comment field.  For those of us wanting to take a deep dive into the research and writing on Cincinnati’s planning process, Westwood’s documents, and the topic of planning and revitalization, generally, this will keep you busy.  And, of course, you can pick and choose if you’re just looking for a little background information.

Suggested Reading

You might want to read up on some of the research, idea generation, city and Westwood-specific planning that has happened so far.  Feel free to email revitalizewestwood@gmail.com with other suggestions or use the Comment field.

Focus Neighborhoods Analysis  March 2010, Planning and Buildings Department, See pages 54-60 for Westwood.

Westwood Strategic Plan  Approved by Westwood Civic Association, 2009,and Cincinnati City Council, 2010

Neighborhood Charrette Closing Presentation  November 2012, See pages 108-128 for Westwood.

Plan Cincinnati: A Comprehensive Plan for the Future:  A long-range plan to guide and manage growth, protect the environment and influence future development in Cincinnati

Plan Build Live Cincinnati  Learn about and participate in the City of Cincinnati’s Plan Build Live initiative.

Planning Projects and Studies site  Planning and Buildings Department, City of Cincinnati

Form-Based Codes Background and Study Documents:  Planning and Buildings Department, City of Cincinnati

Plan Cincinnati: A Comprehensive Plan for the Future  A long-range plan to guide and manage growth, protect the environment and influence future development in our City