Streetsboro, Ohio Form-Based Standards

  • mckenna

Located at the crossroads of several major transportation routes, Streetsboro, Ohio developed in a piecemeal fashion with a mix of regional and neighborhood commercial centers that lacked a cohesive development pattern. In addition, City leaders sought to develop a downtown center that created a sense of place and unique identity for the community.

Utilizing the City’s recently adopted Comprehensive Plan as a guide, McKenna planners worked with City staff and a steering committee to develop a Zoning Ordinance Update that implemented the Plan, corrected discrepancies and conflicting text, and provided City staff the means to efficiently and thoroughly administer clear and concise regulations. The ordinance also included a number of new standards and techniques to encourage sustainable green energy generation and pedestrian safety, comprehensive landscaping requirements and revised sign regulations to ensure content neutrality.

The City had long been plagued by non-uniform enforcement actions and arbitrary decision-making regarding development. As a result of long-standing resident distrust, the City’s Charter required that all zoning actions that effect density are subject to referendum vote. The Zoning Ordinance Update included detailed standards for the Planning Commission and Board of Appeals to consider for all development applications, thereby serving to increase defensibility and reduce the likelihood of legal challenges to zoning decisions.

McKenna Planners incorporated form-based code principals to create a traditional neighborhood development option overlay district. The district regulations included innovative design, form-based building, street, and parking standards intended to accommodate future development of a unique downtown center.

The refined Zoning Ordinance Update utilized a form-based approach to ensure flexible development that serves the needs of the City, protects significant natural features and fosters creation of a distinct downtown.