Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hyde Park approves downzoning, setbacks plan

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Council last week unanimously approved the Neighborhood Protection Plan in an effort to preserve its neighborhood's look and character.

Introduced by Cincinnati City Councilmember Leslie Ghiz last spring, the plan prescribes a requirement for front-yard setbacks on all new construction to match those of existing structures on the street, and the downzoning of large residential lots to keep developers from subdividing the parcels to build multiple houses.

"Closing these loopholes -- especially in light of the downturn in the housing market -- is critical to the long-term health and quality of life in these neighborhoods," Ghiz says.

Under the pilot plan for the Hyde Park and Mount Lookout communities, SF-6 (minimum 6,000 square feet) residential lots could be downzoned to SF-10 (minimum 10,000 square feet), and SF-10 lots could be downzoned to SF-20.

There are a total of 4,869 SF-6 and SF-10 parcels -- or approximately 1,174 acres -- in the two neighborhoods.

Eyebrows were raised when John Hueber Homes built two houses at in Hyde Park, with the front house sitting much closer to the street than the surrounding structures.

And in Mount Lookout, Gilbert Davis, a resident of , was one of a group of neighbors who brought the issue to Ghiz's attention shortly after Metropolitan Design & Development announced plans to build on a split single-family lot.

"A developer razed a single-family home on our street and is building two homes virtually lot-line to lot-line," he says. "The effect on the character of our neighborhood is devastating. If the zoning changes and front-yard setback rules had been in place, none of this would have happened and the development would have been more consistent with the neighborhood."

Staff from the Department of City Planning is currently working on maps for Mount Lookout, and a public staff conference with homeowners whose zoning may be changed is likely to be scheduled for the end of May.

The proposed changes for both Mount Lookout and Hyde Park are scheduled tentatively for a City Planning Commission hearing in June and a hearing before council's Economic Development Committee in September.

Previous reading on BC:
Hyde Park downzoning to be considered Thursday (3/23/09)
Downzoning in the hands of Hyde Park, Mount Lookout residents (1/15/09)


Joanne Lincoln Maly-Lincoln Maly Marketing said...

As a long-time resident in the city, I am excited that the local citizens 'stood up' and said 'stop' before a treasured community of vintage homes became just another spot on the map where developers come in, break up lots, tear down homes, and ultimately lose the 'feel', the 'personality', the 'appeal', and the 'history' of an important part of our Cincinnati. Hopefully, everyone will also stay vigilant with the development plans for the area immediately adjacent to Hyde Park Square.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how Ghiz jumps all over it when its Hyde Park, but developers can rape the West Side and put up crappy apartment buildings everywhere and no one on Council says a word.