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Density and Parking Revisted in Draft University District Plan

Brent Warren Brent Warren Density and Parking Revisted in Draft University District Plan
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Since kicking off the University District planning process in September, the city’s Planning Division has been compiling input and drafting a land use plan to bring back to the neighborhood for further review. About sixty people attended a meeting on February 11th in which those recommendations were presented. The proposals include new guidelines for density and changes in the amount of parking developers are required to provide for new residential projects.

“It is no surprise that the primary input that we heard during the first phase was folks’ concern about residential neighborhoods being or becoming too dense, and the desire for increased homeownership,” said Vince Papsidero, Planning Division Administrator. “Parking is also a key issue, which is of course closely associated with density,” he added. “And naturally, we’re receiving mixed messages on this issue. Either not enough parking is being provided or the parking standards are too strict.”

The city’s response to the mixed messages was to draft a plan that sets different density recommendations and parking requirements for different parts of the neighborhood. The highest-density development will be encouraged along High Street from Lane Avenue to King Avenue, and along Lane from High to the river. Developers adding multifamily housing to this area would have to provide roughly one parking spot for every three beds (or .375 spaces per bed), a decrease from the current requirement of 1.5 spaces per unit.

“We can only assume that if there is a place where two out of three residents could live without a car in Columbus, that High Street in the University District is that place” said Mark Dravillas, Neighborhood Planning Manager. “We are including these recommendations because we feel they would support the long-standing recommendation to focus density near the OSU campus and reduce development pressure in the residential neighborhoods,” he added.

Also included in the draft plan are design guidelines meant to ensure that new construction is compatible with the character of the district, particularly in the lower-density residential neighborhoods farther from campus.

The city is encouraging people to weigh in on the recommendations by taking an online survey, which will be active through the end of February.

For ongoing discussion on the University District Plan, CLICK HERE to visit our Messageboard.

For more information , including the survey and presentation materials from the meeting, visit www.development.columbus.gov.

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