View All Posts

Dec 20

Planning Division 2021 Year in Review

Posted on December 20, 2021 at 1:21 PM by Alex Despain

The City of Dayton Planning Division, one of six divisions within the Department of Planning, Neighborhoods & Development, had a productive 2021.

The Planning Division provides staff support the City’s Board of Zoning Appeals, Plan Board, and Landmark Commission.

To the Board of Zoning Appeals, staff brought forward 45 land uses cases, comprised of Zoning Variances, Conditional Uses, and Appeals – or some combination thereof.

To the City Plan Board, staff brought forward 29 replats/subdivisions, four public way vacations, four Honorary Designations, four Work Sessions, three Zoning Map Amendments, and two General Development Plans.

Regarding historic preservation activities, staff approved 380 Certificates of Appropriateness (required for most changes to the exterior of historic homes) and presented another 50 Major Modifications to the Landmark Commission.

Some of the more noteworthy land use cases—which including significant public engagement—were the Planned Development at Deeds Point for the Greater Dayton School, the UD/Premier medical building at Stonemill Road and Brown Street, and Homefull’s marketplace on Gettysburg Avenue. At Landmark Commission, reviews and approvals of significant adaptive reuses included the Lift assembly hall at 141 Ringgold Street, and the Livery Building at 322 S, Patterson Boulevard.

Southern Arial View of The Greater Dayton School

The Greater Dayton School was approved as a Planned Development zoning overlay in 2021

Facility at Brown Street and Stonemill Road with Church Building

This facility at Brown Street and Stonemilll Road includes the preservation of an existing church building

Staff also continued its role in advancing forward-looking area plans. 

Both the Northeast and Southeast Neighborhood Vision plans were brought forward to City Commission in 2021, which go along with the West and Northwest Neighborhood Vision Plans which were approved by City Commission in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Southeast Dayton Neighborhood Vision Poster Art

The Southeast Dayton Neighborhoods Vision was adopted by City Commission in December 2021

All four of these plans will be fundamental elements to the City’s comprehensive plan, which is to be completed in 2022.

While these plans were advancing towards adoption, staff continued its work on the implementation of previously approved plans, such as Carillon/Edgemont, North Main Street, and the Dayton Riverfront Master Plan, all of which were adopted by City Commission in 2019.

Several special projects were completed or advanced in 2021.

The Planning Division, in partnership with HistoryWorks LLC, is advancing National Register nominations in the Dayton View Triangle and College Hill planning areas, which are expected to be approved by the State of Ohio Historic Preservation Office and U.S. Secretary of the Interior in 2022.

The Planning Division facilitated a new skate park – the City’s first skate park – in the McCook Field neighborhood, located at Claridge Park. The implementation of the skate park is of a DIY nature, led by the Involvement Advocacy Group (The Collaboratory) and the local skateboarding community, most notably Dave Schweitzer. In support of these efforts, Planning led the drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the expectations and operations and presented it as a Conditional Use to the Board of Zoning Appeals, where it was approved. Staff also facilitated engagement with the neighborhood for this project.

In the DeWeese neighborhood, the direction for a relocated dog park has been established. The Division brought the dog park—to be located in Triangle Park—forward as a Conditional Use to the Board of Zoning Appeals, which followed extensive community engagement work.

The Division also completed updates to the City’s Zoning Code. These updates – 29 of them in total – keep the City’s regulations current with emerging trends and aligned with best practices of the Planning field. For example, the changes were made to reduce excessive automobile parking requirements, encourage the provision of bicycle parking, legalize accessory dwelling units, add greater flexibility to allow working where one lives, enhance urban design standards, and modify permitted uses in certain areas to reflect the community’s desired vision.

The American Recovery Program Act (ARPA) has brought forth tremendous opportunities to improve neighborhoods and business districts. To this end, the Planning Division completed applications for programs that would provide much-needed funding, allowing the City and its partners to make necessary investments in those areas most impacted by COVID and other challenges occurring in the years and decades prior. It is expected that these programs will significantly impact the Division’s work program over the next few years.

The City’s Pop-Up Patio program continued through 2021. This effort—a joint effort of the Departments of Planning, Neighborhoods & Development and Public Works – allowed small businesses to utilize right-of-way or excess parking area to safely expand into outdoor areas.

Pop-Up Patio Outside Business

The City’s Pop-Up Patio program continued through 2021

The Division led major changes in the Carillon Neighborhood’s Welcome Park. A bicycle playground – a $36,000 investment – was installed at the park, in collaboration with the City’s Department of Public Works. Planning continued on the next phases of the park, which will include a pump tracks, jump lines, and flow trails, for a total investment of approximately $2 million. For more information on this project, click here. The Carillon Neighborhood (as well as the Huffman Neighborhood) also were home to new Link bicycle stations, as the program expanded into these areas with City financial support.

Bicycle Path with Cyclist at Welcome Park

The bicycle playground at Welcome Park was completed in 2021

An important project for the future of the Northwest geography is the completion of a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) that was completed by this Division and sent to the State of Ohio for their

approval. A CRA is an important development tool for making projects financially feasible. This CRA encompasses the McPherson, Dayton View, Riverdale, Grafton Hill, and Five Oaks planning areas.

Throughout the year, staff has maintained leadership or participatory roles with the following: the new Steve Whalen memorial mural, the prospective Oregon District memorial, the Community Neighborhood Development Advisory Board, the Source Water Fund Board, the Bike Miami Valley board and several inter-agency geographic development teams.

The Planning Division prides itself on customer service. Numerous commendations were received regarding the responsiveness of staff to projects with and inquiries from the public.

Looking ahead to 2022, Planning Division staff will be busy with the development of a new comprehensive plan for the City. It is also expected that there will be a great deal of work with the implementation of ARPA projects. A new neighborhood plan for the Westwood neighborhood has been funded by the Montgomery County Landbank (with a match provided by KeyBank) that will be an important work item. We will complete an Active Transportation for the City in 2022, and plan for the 2023 Miami Valley Bicycle Summit. Another item will be the consideration of how to address short-term rentals throughout the city.