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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Westwood’s Transmittal to City Officials

The Coalition’s recommendations to the community, noted below, were endorsed over the past few weeks by the four Westwood organizations named above. At the October 22, 2013 meeting of the Westwood Coalition, all members of the Coalition, with the exception of one absent member, voiced the endorsement of their organization or business. … We look forward to the next phases of creating the conditions for a thriving business district and neighborhood hub.

This is an excerpt from the Westwood Coalition’s transmittal of community endorsements to Cincinnati City Council and the Planning Department yesterday.  Keep in mind that all of the Westwood Coalition’s recommendations called for continued deliberation and dialogue about the means by which we’ll revitalize this historic business district in which so many Westwood residents, and others in greater Cincinnati, see great potential.