Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Cleveland Heights moves to green up it's zoning code

From Green City, Blue Lake

Cleveland Heights is an inner ring suburb just east of Cleveland very close to University Circle.

With its new mixed-use zoning designation and new maximums for parking lots, Cleveland Heights looks to set the stage for more infill development—an act to strengthen its traditional, pedestrian friendly districts. New developments can preserve green space instead of parking; by not requiring a minimum number of parking spots tied to retail square footage formula, the city can alter land-use patterns and break the mold on the worst aspects of big development—the one size fits all solution of paving over lots of open space for a too-large parking lot to fit only the busiest day of shopping in the year.

The city is to be commended for encouraging more biking, especially for those short trips which can be avoided by “requiring conveniently placed, well-designed bike parking for new uses and long-term. Covered bike parking with locker and shower facilities will be required for offices, university buildings and hospitals exceeding 25,000 square feet.”

Bike parking has been consistently cited as the biggest impediment to increased trips made by bike, so the security of knowing there will always be a place to lock up is a good first start (the city would make an even stronger case by developing a bike parking design guideline so that its clear which bike racks are of high quality, and to spell out placement, lighting, security and shelter options).

Sounds off hand to be really great but it's not a done deal.

"The Planning Commission will hold public hearings on the proposed sustainability zoning at 7 p.m. on March 14 and April 11 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 40 Severance Circle. City Council will host a public hearing at 7 p.m. March 26 at the Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd. The Planning Commission will forward a recommendation to City Council, which is expected to approve the amendments at a regular meeting April 16."

Here are the actual proposed updates

This post is not actively supporting these proposals. If it were up to me, almost all zoning would not exist. (one can still have basic safety-fire regulation) However, if one is to mandate zoning it would be much more logical to allow logical mixed use density and cap the amount of allowed parking, rather than force parking minimums like most zoning codes do. The general thinking here seems right.

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