The Westwood Coalition submitted its approved recommendations to city officials today, including the adoption of the Triangle option, pictured here, corollary improvements on Town Hall grounds and throughout the historic business district, and a planning process for the implementation of the improvements. As we wrote in the transmittal letter to the Mayor, City Council, and department heads, we “…highlight the deep and wide participation of Westwood residents who have engaged richly in discourse about place making and the economic vitality of our neighborhood. We look forward to working with [the city] over the coming years as we bring these recommendations to life.” We also benefited from expert opinion that reinforced community insights and offered important perspective. After months of research and community input, the Coalition is very pleased to have the approval of community groups and residents.
Now, our participating groups are rolling up sleeves to move from vision to planning to reality. The Triangle, and other improvements along Harrison Avenue between Kling and the Cheviot line, will take more planning, public-private partnership, funding, and time, but we are well on our way.
The Triangle at the Intersection of Harrison, Epworth, and Urwiler Avenues
Following a presentation by city planner, Alex Peppers, and Q&A between Neighborhoods Committee members and Mr. Peppers, sixteen speakers spoke to the matter of the application of the Cincinnati form-based code to the area surrounding Westwood’s historic business district. Twelve people spoke for the proposal and four against. The December unanimous recommendation of the Planning Commission and today’s vote of support from the Neighborhoods Committee is a testament to the extensive research and community engagement around this issue and revitalization, generally. Voting for the recommendation: Mr. Mann and Ms. Simpson. Voting against: Mr. Flynn. Mr. Flynn did remark that his concerns were not with the proposal for Westwood; rather, shortcomings he identified in the form-based code in terms of accessibility language. Mr. Mann urged him to propose, or work with the city solicitor to recommend, improved language regarding accessibility. To be clear, any building would have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The recommendation goes next to City Council at its meeting on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. There will be a half hour period for citizen input on this and any other matter immediately preceding the council meeting.
The Coalition thanks supporters who took the time to voice support for the recommendation by email, letter, and in person.