The Coalition invites you to a community meeting on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Westwood Town Hall Hold the date! We will provide a quick update on developments like the Westwood Square feasibility study and the Mayor’s support for revitalization. Then we’ll launch right into a look at the current state of the historic business district and the conditions necessary for vitality and development. With presenters Elizabeth Bartley (School of Planning, University of Cincinnati) and Kathleen Norris (managing principal, Urban Fast Forward), we’ll look at the historic business district’s current and potential community and economic activity, the importance of place, the promise of public-private partnerships, and moving from here to there.
1. Which building height would be taller?
a. 55 feet
b. 85 feet
Did you guess 85 feet? That’s right! 85 feet is the maximum height of a building in Westwood’s business district under CURRENT zoning code. The application of the Form-Based Code to this same area results in a maximum height of only 50-55 feet, thus reducing the maximum size of a building in our business district, while also imposing Westwood’s preferences for form, thus retaining Westwood’s special character, and allowing a mixture of uses.
Ready for another question?
2. Which ratio best describes the homeowner-occupied vs. rental unit ratio described as desirable by the 2010 Westwood Strategic Plan*?
Did you guess a. 60/40? You’re right! And that’s what the Westwood application of the Cincinnati Form-Based Code will achieve in the historic business district, assuming the maximum possible build out of the designated areas. The application of the code designates 60% of the area as T3 which is single family housing. The concentration of mixed use along Harrison Avenue is friendly to residents who want to shop and eat and seek services in the area, to developers looking for clarity about a neighborhood’s interests, and to the historic, lovely nature of the surrounding housing stock.
*The Strategic Plan identifies the 60/40 split in Goal #1, Housing and Neighborhood Development. It calls for the revitalization of the business district in Goal #4.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with other suggestions or use the Comment field.