Talking Form-Based Code with Vice-Mayor Qualls

Our Executive Director, Kevin Wright, joined Vice-Mayor Roxanne Qualls yesterday on WVXU‘s Cincinnati Edition to discuss the City’s new Form-Based code implementation and how the new code impacts our neighborhoods! Walnut Hills is one of four pilot neighborhoods in Cincinnati that volunteered to adopt this new type of zoning, and we’re very excited about the opportunities it will provide

According to Vice-Mayor Qualls, the Form-Based code “specifies proportion and relationship to the street and to other buildings. People are choosing more and more to live in our neighborhoods because they want an urban experience and we know the value of the architecture and the original urban form of our communities. Form-based codes respect that and it actually allows for new development that is also respectful of that original urban form.”

Qualls adds that the new code “makes things very clear to developers what they can do in a specific neighborhood. You should be able to get all your approvals in a very short amount of time.”

In the case of Walnut Hills, Kevin Wright states that it “allowed the community to create a vision for their business district and how they want it designed. We took that vision and are attaching a zoning code to it.”

According to Wright, the new code system “creates a win-win-win for community, the City and the developer”. “When we visited Nashville”, he continues, “some developers even admitted being skeptical at the beginning, but once they started developing under the code and saw that the form based code was much easier to use than conventional zoning…developers loved it.”

Click below to listen to the full interview:

 

 

 

WHRF Competing for Fuel the Fire grant

And we need your help!

We have been invited to compete for a grant for our Five Points Biergarten event in the recently cleaned up Five Points Alley network! The grant is from Fuel Cincinnati. Fuel is a program of Give Back Cincinnati that is dedicated to helping young professionals improve the city. Fuel provides dollars ($250–$2,000) to projects for community organizations, coalitions of organizations, individuals, and non-profit groups with unique ideas that are in the relatively initial stages. Our presentation will highlight the community engagement associated with these events as well as long-term possibilities for the space.

On June 27th we are asking you to attend an event called Fuel the Fire! The event is a contest where grant finalists give a presentation about their project and afterwards the attendees vote for the winner. The money generated from the tickets sold for the event go to the winner! We will be competing with four other applicants. More information can be found on the event website or event Facebook page.

How can YOU help?

Come to the event! Invite friends and colleagues! The more supporters we have the better chance we have of winning! The event is on June 27th at 6:30 pm at the Christian Moerlein Tap Room. Tickets are $20 in advance or $30 at the door. Tickets can be purchased here.

Please join us for this exciting opportunity and let us know if you have any questions!

We’re growing again!

Meet our newest full-time staff member and summer interns

Thea Munchel starts this month as our Real Estate Development Officer, bringing over five years of experience working on real estate development projects for community development corporations. Most recently, Thea has worked on the development and financing for two historic renovations in Over-the-Rhine, Elm Street Senior Housing and Beasley Place. Elm Street Senior Housing is on track to begin construction in June 2013 and once completed will be the first senior housing opportunity in Over-the-Rhine. Additionally, Thea managed the construction budget and schedule for the City Home development in Over-the-Rhine, working with local real estate agents and buyers to pre-sell and customize several homes during the construction period. The project was highlighted in local and national journals.

 

Kate Esarey started working for WHRF in May. She is currently a Master of Community Planning student at the University of Cincinnati. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 2008 with a BA in International Studies and Human Rights. Her community development experience includes two years in the Peace Corps in Moldova, Eastern Europe directing a nation-wide women’s empowerment initiative and serving as a community development advisor in her host village. For the past year, Kate has been working in the non-profit sector in the Greater Cincinnati area and loving every minute of it.

Jaren Abedania is a second-year graduate student in Community Planning at the University of Cincinnati, with a Bachelors degree in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  Prior to arriving in the Queen City, Jaren has worked in a fine arts studio, an environmental non-profit, and a popular food truck in his hometown, San Francisco. His impending thesis will explore the means by which food is distributed and accessed in urban environments with the intent to propose a new “foodway” for the city.  Walnut Hills will serve as a venue for said project and he appreciates the opportunity to work with the community.

We Have a New Office

As of May 1st, we are officially moved into a great newly renovated storefront space on May Street near E. McMillan St! Our new official address is 2505 May Street, so stop by and say hi sometime. We’re still putting finishing touches on the decor, but you might recognize those murals from the 2012 Cincinnati Street Food Fest! We are enjoying the flood of light through giant front windows, newly finished floors and a lot more desk space for our expanding staff. Look for an announcement about an open house soon, but for now here are some pictures.