Draft Subdivision Rules and Regulations
Are Now Available for Your Review
As many of you are aware, the Mt. Lookout Community Council (MLCC) has been working with the City this past year to address the increasing number of demolition and lot splits taking place in Mt. Lookout and Hyde Park. As part of this effort, the MLCC has been participating on the Subdivision and Zoning Working Group appointed by City Council to explore options to address these concerns. Tasks have included revising the City's Subdivision Rules and Regulations and exploring the possible formation of Neighborhood Conservation Districts. Below is an update on the status of these efforts.
Subdivision Rules and Regulations
Over the past eight months, the Working Group has been working to revise the City's Subdivision Rules and Regulations and a
draft of this document
is now available for your review (note that the term "subdivision" refers to practice of splitting a single lot into two or more parcels). Some key points that MLCC representatives have been pushing for include:
- Adding language that encourages developers or others planning to split a lot to make preliminary development plans available for public review and input prior to filing a subdivision application.
- Incorporating more stringent criteria pertaining to the creation of rear (or panhandle) lots.
- Increasing public notice of and input opportunities for proposed property subdivisions:
- Require that signage be posted on all lots for which subdivision applications have been filed. Posted prior to the City approving the applications, this signage would indicate that a lot split is being considered at that location and would outline where to find more information and how to submit comments.
- Increase the amount of notice immediate neighbors are given (via mail) when City Planning Commission is considering a subdivision application. Currently, when more than five lots are being sought, the City is required to mail notice to all property owners within 100 feet of the boundaries of a subject property at least 10 calendar days prior to the date that Planning Commission is to review a subdivision application (these reviews typically take place during Planning Commission's regularly-scheduled bi-weekly meetings). The MLCC is advocating that notification requirements be increased to 200 feet and 30 days, and that notification requirements apply to all subdivision applications.
- Reducing the number of lot splits that classify as a Minor Subdivision from five lots or less to three lots or less in residential areas.
We encourage you to review the current DRAFT Cincinnati Subdivision Rules and Regulations Document (Revised 11-13-18) and to submit any comments you may have to the MLCC president and/or Jared Ellis, City Planner. Members from community councils from across the City are meeting this Wednesday evening (Nov. 28) from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at Two Centennial Plaza, 805 Central Avenue, 7th floor, Griesel Room A and B, to review and discuss the content of this draft document.
In addition, the Subdivision and Zoning Working Group has a scheduled meeting Thursday morning (Nov. 29) at 8:00 a.m., also at Two Centennial Plaza, Griesel Room A and B, to further discuss the draft regulations as well as comments received. The public is welcome to attend this meeting.
Should you wish to review them, the City has also prepared a list of big picture changes between the existing regulations (last updated in 2009) and the revised regulations, both of which are posted on their website.
It is City Planning's goal to present the draft Rules and Regulations to the City Planning Commission (which has authority over these regulations) for review and approval by the end of this year.
Demolition and New Builds
In August, the Working Group completed draft legislation that would allow a new Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) chapter to be added to the City's zoning code, and a draft NCD Plan was prepared for Mt. Lookout based on input received from the community. Mt. Lookout's NCD focused exclusively on managing the size, scale and placement of new houses on lots.
Both the City Planning Commission and the City Council's Economic Growth and Development Committee approved the proposed legislation that would allow communities to create an NCD, and they approved Mt. Lookout's proposed NCD Plan. The final step before these could be implemented was to get approval from the full City Council. However, before a vote could be taken, the proposed NCD legislation and NCD plan was pulled from Council's agenda by the Mayor's office and no vote was taken. At this point, City Planning is no longer exploring the creation of NCDs.
Upon further discussion with the Mayor and city representatives, it's our understanding that there was concern that implementing multiple NCDs across the City's 52 neighborhoods could be difficult for the City to manage among its existing staff, and that Mt. Lookout's NCD plan was too restrictive to development. Although we understand the basis of these concerns, the MLCC Board still thinks there is merit in NCDs and would like to explore refining the concept with the City in the new year. In the meantime, however, we have been focusing our efforts on completing a draft of the City's new subdivision regulations.
The tax abatement issue remains a topic of great interest among our community. The MLCC remains committed to exploring this topic further and discussing tax abatement ramifications on our community with the City. Stay tuned; we hope to have more information to share on this topic after the holidays.
Thank you for your continued interest in lot split and zoning issues in Mt. Lookout. Please be sure to send any questions or comments you have to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MLCC Board