“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
Read the full article at http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/04/04/new-code-prohibits-bad-development/7331569/
The recommendation to approve the application of the Cincinnati form-based code to a portion of Westwood around the historic business district was on the agenda for today’s City Council meeting. However, Mayor Cranley chose to table the issue until next week’s meeting, at which time, per Council rules, it must be addressed. You may recall that on Monday, February 10, the Neighborhoods Committee of City Council voted to recommend the Westwood application of the form-based code. Per Council rules, that vote meant that the issue was to be voted on by the full City Council this afternoon but the Mayor, who sets the agenda, decided to delay. The Westwood Coalition will monitor developments and share them here.
The Cincinnati City Council will next meet on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, Room 300, City Hall, 801 Plum St, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Westwood residents are welcome to continue submitting expressions of support for Westwood’s application of the form-based code and for revitalization, generally, to all City Council members via this email address: CityCouncil@cincinnati-oh.gov
At its December 13, 2013 meeting, the Cincinnati Planning Commission approved unanimously a recommendation on amending the official zone map to adopt the Cincinnati Form-Based Code transect zones in a portion of the Westwood neighborhood (see our previous post for the map).
Numerous Westwood residents submitted comments and spoke at the meeting, mostly in favor of this recommendation, made earlier by the Westwood Coalition, and recommended to the Planning Commission by the Planning Department.
Next steps: The law department will draft an ordinance which will go to City Council. It will be assigned to the Neighborhoods Committee and then it will go back to City Council with the committee’s recommendation.
Thank you to the Westwood residents who made the effort to make informed comments at today’s meeting.
At the Westwood Coalition community meeting on December 2,Cameron Ross, senior city planner, presented the refinement of the Westwood transect map, reflecting the proposed application of the Cincinnati Form Based Code to Westwood’s historic business district. We will post notes from that meeting later this week but here is the transect map as presented and as it will be recommended to the Cincinnati Planning Commission on December 13, 2013. Click on link below. Please comment or post questions here or to the Coalition’s email address.
Westwood Transect Map 11-20-13
The Westwood Coalition welcomes the community to a meeting at Westwood United Methodist Church on December 2 at 7 p.m. We’ve talked about the Form Based Code before but this time, we’ll present refinements to the application of the Cincinnati Form Based Code to the historic business district.
Wondering what that means? Well, back in August, about 80 of us came together to look at maps and talk about the area that might benefit from the Form Based Code. We said in our report and recommendations that we’d get back together as a community to share further developments to the map, or regulating plan, once City Planning officials refined it. Come to the meeting to see the details. Bring a neighbor with you.
You might want to read our two page Form Based Code Myths and Realities in advance for a better sense of what the code is — and what it is not.