While this announcement was an economic development win for Ohio, it left many Jersey Township residents asking how it affects their community. Jersey is located on the Urban-Rural fringe of the Columbus metropolitan area, and as such had been experiencing significant development pressures before the announcement. However, with the announcement, about half of the land in Jersey was suddenly spoken for. Residents wondered if their community would disappear, and asked how the developments would impact their way of life in a primarily rural, agricultural community.
Crossroads worked with the Township to do the following:
- Develop an overlay zoning district as the first step towards preventing annexation and partnering with neighboring communities.
o Crossroads facilitated numerous meetings with area residents to provide education and gain feedback on the Overlay.
o The Overlay was put to a referendum, but ultimately upheld by the residents at the ballot.
- Crossroads is now completing the comprehensive plan after a pause and a restart of the process to incorporate the Intel impact.
- Assisting the Township with staffing appropriately to handle future growth.
Harlem Township in Delaware County, OH is just 4 miles from the Intel Semiconductor site at its closest point. The Township had just completed their comprehensive plan, which was suddenly out-of-date with the announcement. They reached out to Crossroads to help them develop a Quick Strategy Guide to update their plan.
Crossroads provided several services to Harlem, including:
- Development of a communications plan to assist them in communicating with residents.
- Creation of an Immediate Needs guide to help the Township address pressing issues that could not wait for the entire Strategy guide to be completed
- Multiple meetings with residents to provide education and gain feedback from them.
- Completion of the Quick Strategy Guide to amend and guide the Township through significant growth pressures. Major themes are:
o Defining targeted areas with high likelihood of developing and providing a framework for development within the Township. This allows the Township to control the development within its borders and prevent annexation.
o Recommendations on design standards and conservation zoning styles that would allow development while preserving the rural character and viewsheds in the community.
o Establishment of areas for large-lot housing and preservation of farmland.
o Establishment of a rural village center to provide residents a place to congregate and allow for local vendors to sell wares.
o Recommendations on infrastructure improvements, new roads and services.
The City of Circleville, OH hired Crossroads to complete a comprehensive rewrite of their zoning code. In addition, Crossroads aided the City in the management and review of applications for variances and rezonings while the work was in progress. Crossroads completed the code, which significantly reduced the number of variances being requested. The code included:
- Clear, concise administrative and procedural sections to clarify the process for staff and residents.
- Update design regulations
- Visuals and charts to help inform the reader
- Updated historic district regulations and processes
- Created a new “Transitional District” that accommodates older neighborhoods consisting of a mix of residential and commercial uses
Upon adoption, the number of variance requests went from several a month to none in the first few months, a success for the city and residents!
The City of Lancaster, OH hired Crossroads to complete a comprehensive rewrite of their zoning code. Crossroads is working with Lancaster to create an innovative, state of the art code that addresses missing middle housing, provides economic development opportunities in key locations while preserving its historic downtown.
Crossroads is also working with Lancaster to complete an Area Plan for one of their gateway neighborhoods. This plan, once completed, will provide for a stronger neighborhood, enhanced land uses and improved aesthetics for a more welcoming entry into the City.
The City of Lancaster Ohio needed to greatly update our Zoning Code. What a huge task this would be, so we decided to bring in Holly Mattei and her team from Crossroads Community Planning, LLC. We made the right decision. We embraced her proven process as she provided such outstanding leadership with our staff, as we engaged with those who live and work in our city. Her leadership was filled with ideas for improvement yet we always felt like she embraced our decisions and plans, to best suit our city. I unequivocally recommend Holly Mattei and Crossroads Community Planning, LLC.
Hamilton County, OH hired Crossroads to complete a Model Zoning Code for the variety of smaller communities in this urban County. This model code needed to be both easy to use and flexible to accommodate the varying needs of different types of communities. These included both newer more suburban communities, older inner-city suburbs, smaller historic towns and Townships.
Crossroads developed a base code with standardized, easy-to-use administrative and enforcement sections. Crossroads then developed a menu of districts with uses from which communities could choose. Finally, Crossroads developed an a-la-carte menu of different regulations for communities to adopt as needed. These included regulations for issues such as food trucks, short-term rentals, accessory dwelling units and green energy systems.