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Connected Communities-May 17 Planning Commission Meeting

Many of our neighboring Community Councils have expressed concerns related to the Connected Communities zoning ordinances introduced in early April. Mt. Lookout Community Council has provided a great deal of information on their website Mt Lookout Community Council - Home, and the West End Community Council has voted unanimously to formally oppose Connected Communities as proposed. Below are opportunities to express feedback outlined by Sheila Rosenthal, President of East Price Hill Improvement Association:

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"Dear Community Council President and Engaged Community Members:

 

You may have heard of the new zoning ordinance called Connected Communities. The zoning ordinance is quite large: it is 150 pages long, creates 78 new zoning codes, rezones large portions of the city, and makes significant changes to existing zoning codes. It is the most significant zoning ordinance in decades.

 

REQUEST: We are asking that the ordinance in its current form not be approved at this time, and that the city actively engage in seeking community feedback and input to ensure the best possible outcomes. We are asking your support for those communities that have concerns, and for those communities that have not had an opportunity to consider the ordinance.

 

URGENT ACTION:  There are a number of community impact opportunities coming up urgently.

By May 8th AND ONGOING: Share and Sign the Petition

Please share the PETITION LINK with residents and ask them to sign and share. (Hyperlink in text).

By May 9 by 5pm:  Email feedback to the Planning Department ahead of the Planning Commission meeting.

Please share the attached email template with your community and ask residents to email City Council and the Planning Department by 5pm on May 9th. This will ensure their feedback is included in the packet for the Planning Commission

By May 15th, by 9am:  Zoom  Attendees of the May 17th Planning Commission Meeting

If attending the May 17th Planning Commission meeting via Zoom, you must register at least 48 hours in advance at https://tinyurl.com/CC-CPC-May17   

May 17, 9am:  Planning Commission Meeting at City Hall

Open to the public. Citizens may comment in person. 

CONCERNS: The ordinance, which was only publicly released on April 11, 2024, is on a very fast track for approval. It will go to the Planning Commission on May 17, 2024, and is expected to be brought to City Council for approval on June 5 or June 12, 2024. That is an extremely short two-month approval window during the busiest time of the year for community councils. 

 

A number of communities have concerns about how the ordinance will affect their residents and neighborhoods. Changes are being made to existing codes around things which will affect the quality of life of every community. (e.g. the location, size, and hours of operation of outdoor restaurants, bars, and refreshment areas) There are significant concerns about unintended consequences, existing inadequacies of resources and infrastructure, displacement of residents, increasing concentrations of poverty, the perceived drive to create more and more rental housing, and the lack of an overall plan for healthy communities and affordable housing which history has proven do not happen organically. 

 

Community engagement around the ordinance has been very top-down and has been absent in many neighborhoods. The unprecedented and unnecessary rush towards approval without adequate time or opportunity for residents and communities to consider and provide feedback raises questions and concerns about the appropriateness, equity, and ethics of the process.

 

Thank you for your time and support. Through communication and collaboration, we can help our city be the best place to live, work, and play! Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns."

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Sheila Rosenthal

EPHIA

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