Friday, October 26, 2012

Four neighborhoods, four days: Form-based code workshop moves to community level

Cincinnati's Plan Build Live form-based code initiative will proceed to the neighborhood level with a four-day workshop beginning Monday at 6 P.M. on the fourth floor of Two Centennial Plaza, located at 805 Central Avenue.

The workshop will be of particular interest to the neighborhoods of College Hill, Madisonville, Walnut Hills and Westwood, all of which have volunteered to have the code tailored to their business districts and adjacent residential areas.

The City has been working on a form-based code since 2008, looking to replace the City's traditional, land use-based zoning with an easy to understand, visually-based code that examines the relationships between building form, surrounding buildings, and the street.

These codes speed up the development process by making the permitting and approval process easier for developers. And, since the application of form-based codes is voluntary, leaders, residents, and stakeholders from other neighborhoods are encouraged to attend to learn how the form-based code can help revitalize their own communities.

The schedule for the workshop is:

  • OCTOBER 29: Opening presentation followed by a neighborhood-level visioning process, 6 P.M.
  • OCTOBER 30: Open studio for College Hill and Westwood design, 9 A.M.-noon and 1 P.M.-6 P.M.; College Hill and Westwood pin-up discussion, 6 P.M. At noon, Ed Starkie of Urban Advisors will lead a brown bag lunch discussion on how form-based codes can improve a neighborhood's economy.
  • OCTOBER 31: Open studio for Madisonville and Walnut Hills design, 9 A.M.-noon and 1 P.M.-6 P.M.; Madisonville and Walnut Hills pin-up discussion, 6 P.M. At noon, Kathleen Norris of Brandt Retail Group will give a brown bag lunch presentation on strategies for recruiting businesses to urban neighborhood districts.
  • NOVEMBER 1: Closing presentation, 6 P.M.
A draft document was completed in late September and has not yet been approved by City Council. Prior to the workshop, Plan Build Live will be discussed at a special meeting of City Council's Livable Communities Committee on October 29 at 10 A.M. in City Hall Council Chambers.

The initiative is being funded by a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded in 2010.

Previous reading on BC:
Form-based codes team presents charrette summary, 10 guiding principles (8/2/12)
Plan Build Live survey asks for advice on neighborhood, development issues (6/12/12)
Five-day form-based code charrette begins Saturday (4/26/12)
Overhaul of Cincinnati development code ramps up today (3/6/12)
Bellevue first local municipality to adopt form-based codes (3/21/11)