I was happy to see that the Planning Commission had as many reservations about the golf course development as the Delaware residents did. The developers presented a very detailed proposal and talked about their hopes and dreams of turning this land into a “mixed-use” community to fit peoples’ new needs and desires concerning development. I was quite surprised, though, to hear they had put little consideration and research into working with Perkins and reducing light emissions. I guess they did not forsee it to be as big as an issue to Delaware residents as it was. I agree with statements already made in that there will be a lot of issues with this property that will definitely delay or prevent this kind of development. I also agree that alternatives ,such as Delaware buying the property or moving Perkins itself to a more ideal location, might be more feasible, better ideas. And since I do not know enough, I feel, to provide any intelligent commenting on Delaware development, I am instead going to discuss this idea of a “mixed-use” development. Now I didn’t catch all the details of how exactly this mixed-use area would work, but it immediately reminded me of this idea of “Smart Growth”. The developer seemed to be talking about a community that included more walking access to people’s basic needs and threw around the word ‘economical’ as well. How an isolated area like this could function as an effective mixed-use community confused me. But I did do a little research on Smart Growth to share with you all.
According to Wikipedia: Smart growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in the center of a city to avoid urban sprawl; and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a range of housing choices.
Smart growth values long-range, regional considerations of sustainability over a short-term focus. Its goals are to achieve a unique sense of community and place; expand the range of transportation, employment, and housing choices; equitably distribute the costs and benefits of development; preserve and enhance natural and cultural resources; and promote public health.
Smart growth is an alternative to urban sprawl, traffic congestion, disconnected neighborhoods, and urban decay. Its principles challenge old assumptions in urban planning, such as the value of detached houses and automobile use.
Elements of Smart Growth include: Creating walkable neighborhoods, encouraging community and stakeholder collaboration, fostering distinctive and attractive communities with a strong sense of place, mixed land use, preserving open spaces and critical environmental areas, providing a variety of transportation choices, among others.
It’s a very interesting direction that I hope development can start to move in, but it gets a lot more complicated when applying these principles to existing areas. Clearly the developers we’re not considering a lot of these principles nor we’re they aiming todo so, but these are principles that I think the Planning Committee should start to consider as it examines future development projects in Delaware.
Here is a map of current Smart Growth projects going on around the county.
And here are some articles about Smart Growth projects going on or in the works in Ohio.
They discuss issues such as…
The problem of empty homes in inner-city Columbus and how “as gas prices rise and the green movement strengthens, walkable urban neighborhoods could become increasingly more attractive than the aged suburbs, with those that require long drives to jobs, services and entertainment likely to turn into the next slums”.
Also how Cleveland is discussed ideas such as expanding urban gardens and farms, growing and producing local food, generating renewable energy, and advance green technologies in their efforts to revive the city at the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit.
And how Cincinnati is working to turn an abandoned can factory into a mixed-use home, store, and office area.
All interesting stuff!