“Frankly, a lot of the feedback we’re getting is that this zoning will make it more straightforward for developers and community groups and residents to understand.”
A focus on trails and green space
In addition to the development of riverfront offices and housing, there’s continued interest in building and maintaining a cohesive trail network along the rivers, says Lavin Kossis.
“There’s more interest in the trails not only as a recreational network but also to help with mobility throughout the area,” she says. “When you consider that the Strip District has three-and-a-half streets that move north and south, the trails are an alternate route for folks who aren’t in cars. If you live in Lawrenceville, for example, and work Downtown and the buses are crowded, and you don’t feel comfortable riding your bike on Butler Street, you can pop on the trail.”
The zoning overhaul began a couple years ago, and city planners have talked with hundreds of people, says Lavin Kossis. Not all the changes are popular with developers who have balked at restrictions to the size of buildings and setback requirements. The opportunity for public input will continue when council weighs in.
“There’s going to be a mass mailing, another zone change notice posting throughout the city, and a public hearing,” she says. She’s not sure how the nine-member council stands on the issue. “We need to go out and speak with council and educate them on what we’ve been working on. I email them every time there’s a mass mailing, and I would assume their constituents are talking to them.”
When the zoning code is finished, Lavin Kossis hopes to turn her attention to the riverfront trails, working with the city’s partners such as Riverlife.
“We want to work on park designation for some of the trails,” she says.