On December 13, the Cincinnati Planning Commission approved a portion of Westwood to adopt the city’s new form-based code, which replaces the traditional zoning code and allows for future development to be mixed-use, with retail, commercial, office and residential spaces occupying the same development. A public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 10 for City Council's decision. If approved, Westwood will be the fourth Cincinnati neighborhood to adopt form-based code (Madisonville, College Hill and Walnut Hills have already officially adopted the code, respectively).
The new code focuses on the form of the building, not its use. Form-based code also makes sure that whatever structures are built or remodeled in an area fit with what is already there and meet the wishes of the community.
The Westwood Coalition
is focused exclusively on the neighborhoods' historic business district, which is on Main Street. The Coalition wants to apply the form-based code to the area as just one part of its plans for revitalizing the area.
If approved by City Council, form-based code would apply to an area including and around Harrison Avenue from King Avenue to the Cheviot line. Multi-use application is focused primarily on the Harrison Avenue business district, addressing the “Main & Main” area at Harrison, Epworth and Montana, with the application of single-family in much of the current zoned area along the business district.
By doing so, the Coalition will be able to preserve the residential aspect of the neighborhood around the business district.
The Coalition expects Westwood’s business district to benefit from a focused, deliberate planning process that has demonstrated residents’ interest in a vibrant, community-based business community that is surrounded by a historic, walkable, pedestrian-friendly area. They expect that property owners and businesses will want to be a part of the changes and positive growth, and will continue to participate in events like the Westwood Art Show, Deck the Hall and the Home tour.
The Coalition is also focusing on short-term goals for the neighborhood, including working with the community to develop specific proposals for the revitalization of the business district, and having community dialogue that is focused on economic factors and retail development.
Follow the changes in Westwood through the Twitter handle #WestwoodNext.
Read more about the city's new form-based zoning code and the first neighborhood to adopt it.
By Caitlin Koenig
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