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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus


League adopts new position on land use, regional planning

Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2012

At its meeting last night, the board of trustees adopted a new position on land use and regional planning based on consensus reached by members Apr. 18.

The new position, which replaces an older position on planning, follows:

1. Neighborhood Planning

Both older and newer neighborhoods should be vital, diverse, and have a sense of community.The following characteristics should be sought:a) A range of housing opportunities with a variety of good quality ownership and rental housing choices, densities, and affordabilities suitable for a diversity of income and life styles.b) Life-long communities that meet the needs of all age groups.c) A mixture of housing opportunities based on adoption and implementation of planning and zoning standards that reflect the shifting land use patterns in the central city and the changing lifestyles throughout the region.d) Government incentives that encourage in both older and newer areas private sector development that reflects these land use planning and zoning standards mentioned in 1.c) above.e) Sustainable and walkable neighborhoods with sidewalks, commercial establishments, public services, community services, parks and recreational facilities.f) A wide choice of affordable, accessible and convenient transportation modes. g) Accessibility for individuals with disabilities. h) Preservation of historic sites, structures, and neighborhoods.

2. Regional Planning and Cooperation

(Note: It is important to keep in mind that Ohio is a Home Rule state, meaning that it is written in the Constitution that each local jurisdiction has the final say as to what happens within its borders. It is important, then, for each government entity to be able to show its citizens how they will ultimately benefit from cooperating with their neighboring governments.)Regionalism should be promoted in order to encourage a high quality of life for all Central Ohio residents. Some ways to do that are by:a) Encouraging environmental sustainability, containment of urban sprawl, balanced growth, clean water, and agricultural land preservation. b) Using incentives to encourage development conducive to a balanced use of land and environmental standards.c) Encouraging cooperation among government entities.d) Designating areas, natural or man-made, for specific purposes such as wildlife and recreatione) Distributing locally undesirable land uses equitably.f) Encouraging units of government and business to work with public transit to improve access to jobs and to develop residential and commercial areas adjacent to transit systems.

3. Public and Stakeholder Participation

A wide range of public and stakeholder participation is key to developing successful neighborhood, urban and regional plans and reviewing development proposals.

Regional Planning and Land Use Bibliography