HI-5, Blog #5

1. Goals and Objectives:

The University District Plan’s main objective is to improve the form and function of the community. According to the plan, this is done by addressing future land use, urban design, and capital improvements. The goal is to guide the neighborhood’s future development and investments. Land use is a very important aspect for neighborhood plans. Currently, there are twelve neighborhoods agglomerated in the University District. The two main uses of land within this district are residential and institutional. Residential uses range to up to 48.6% of the district, while institutional ranges up to 38.5%. Other land uses, such as parks and recreation or commercial, are low in percent compared to residential and institutional land uses. This is mainly due to Ohio State’s growing student population and academic buildings. To plan for future land uses, one must address issues currently at hand. The University District Plan addresses development patterns, including the impacts of student housing and parking. The plan suggests utilizing floor area ratios for development. The plan outlines how development should occur at a higher rate around Institutional and Mixed-Use areas, then decrease development intensity going into more residential areas. In Table 3.1, the plan outlines floor area ratios, building height, landscape areas, and parking for low to high residential areas, neighborhood mixed uses, and regional mixed uses. We can examine these patterns today. For example, the increase of apartment buildings and chain businesses on High Street. Do you agree with the current land uses of the University District? What do you think can be improved?

2. The goals presented in the ‘land use’ section of this recommendations booklet go from improving not only the lives of students in the University District but the overall structural well-being of the district’s nature. The district’s nature is known to be a lively part of the Columbus due to a rather younger population, at large, taking to the streets. Whether that be for commuting to class, social occasions, or just for a stroll around the campus, the amount of traffic the district faces is rather intense. To lessen this, the plan distinctly adheres to the idea of balancing the auto traffic, allowing for more parking and safer roads, and a structural rehaul of the infrastructure for safer bike lanes and parking garages. As a student and a commuter, I believe this specific goal will greatly benefit not only myself but those who live in the area as well. The parking for ‘non-residential’ use is vital when considering the nature of Ohio State. People do not only just live around campus, but come from all corners of Columbus, or further. It is imperative that these goals are reached to allow for safer transportation methods and proper parking situations.

3. The consistency of the planning shown within this packet has definitely been apparent on the field. The land use plan details how residential, from low to high, should divide up their land use. Parking specifically, as pointed at from the 2nd question, is important. The medium to higher intensity residential plots allows for double to a triple stacking of parking on the plot. This is clearly seen in the lots behind housing units of Lane Ave. The lots here are considered to be called ‘overflow’ lots, as shown in the picture below. The housing units do not entirely take up space in the rear end of their plots. For better use, they were turned into parking lots for not only the residents of the housing units but for commuters as well.

4. As far as I think about the plan of land use in the university, they have done a great job incorporating the use of mixed-use buildings. The layout and the distribution just make the high street a great place for people to walk around and live. The residential area combined with the comprehension of 3 types of density gives a reliable concept for planners to balance the residents and the land use in Columbus. However, the city still has the issue to work on. As the plan says, the lack of probability and the accessibility to the public transportation makes many people annoying. Planners should work on the transportation and in order to combine the whole community together. The economic and the citizens would be both glad to have it and raise the sense of happiness in Columbus.

5. In the Natural Resources section of the Land Use category, it states that ‘the stream buffer shown on the Land Use Plan is intended to recognize the property owner’s right to develop the property in a manner consistent with the existing regulatory framework and recommended land use, but ensures that an appropriate stream buffer is provided’. Understanding what is stated, I feel that allowing for current land owner’s, who on most occasions may be college students, to develop the property should be taken carefully. This is a natural resource, a waterway to be exact. And as fragile as they are, there should be more caution for these waterways. I believe the planners should tighten up the idea of who can develop and who cannot develop the areas around waters. There should be stricter rules implemented to ensure the safety of such natural resources and the preservation of nature all around. This is where I feel that the planners lacked in their entirety with regards to their recommendations.

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