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NANA Opposes Connected Communities in Its Current Form

By now, many have likely seen NANA’s Facebook page on the City of Cincinnati’s initiative, Connected Communities. It has been the topic of discussion in the neighborhood among NANA’s executive board members and committee chairs for the past few months. If you have not heard or read about Connected Communities, please read this summary completely as there is a call to action at the end of the write-up.

The City’s last Density Proposal was flatly rejected by the neighborhoods two years ago. Since that time NANA’s board and committee chairs have been to focus groups, attended virtual meetings and in-person events to learn about the City’s zoning and density agenda, which City Council indicates they will pass as early as June 2024. The City has ignored neighborhood concerns, suggestions and request for information. In fact, they have increased the density proposal to affect single-family homes and along Reading Road, instead of double the density they are now proposing unlimited density.

The city’s Connected Communities initiative is not about connecting communities. It is about densifying your neighborhood with 2, 3, and 4-family dwellings and large multi-family housing projects, without density restrictions along Reading Road. It will also permit converting beautiful single-family homes to multi-family dwellings.

Following are the specifics:

What Areas are Affected? The areas highlighted yellow to the right are the single-family areas being targeted. Note that the red and blue highlights are along Reading Rd. The yellow highlighted areas
extend 1⁄2 mile into your neighborhood on both sides of Reading Rd. (Graphic is from the city’s website)

What Can Be Built in Your Neighborhood? The 2, 3 and 4 multi-family dwellings inside the dotted line box will be allowed in your single-family neighborhood. Note, single-family homes fall outside of the box. (Graphic is from the city’s website)

How Will a Developer Fit a Multi-Family Dwelling on a SF Property?

Included in the zoning changes is the change in setback laws and parking requirements. The setback is the distance at which your home is from the property line. Under Connected Communities, a developer can find the shortest setback in the neighborhood and build a multi-family dwelling very close to the sidewalk, the street, and your home. In addition, on-ground parking and garages will be eliminated so that a developer can maximize the size of the building.

Are there other negatives that will come with Connected Communities?

  • A new multi-family dwelling can be built one floor taller than that of the existing home to be torn down.
  • Invites institutional and out-of-town landlords to use other people’s money to destroy the architecture of your neighborhood while lining their pockets.
  • Considerably increase the number of trash bins, trash and the rodents that come with them along your streets.
  • Will add further stress to your inadequate infrastructure, traffic, sewer/storm water, power, communication, police and emergency etc.
  • Eliminates current on-ground parking and garage requirements, thereby increasing the number of cars parked on your streets.
  • Allows the city to further ignore federal HUD policies on over densifying neighborhoods that already have high concentrations of publicly-funded income restricted housing.
  • The city has not provided any economic impact data. In addition to destroying the architectural character of your neighborhood, the city could undermine your wealth through lower property values.
  • The city has not provided an environmental impact analysis. What environmental impact will Connected Communities have on your neighborhood? Removal of 100- year-old trees? An increase in the Urban Heat Island effect? Hill slides?
  • The Connected Communities initiative does not reflect the level of density the city wants to achieve, therefore, overshot is likely.

What does NANA think?

Based on the current plans for Connected Communities NANA’s Executive Board has unanimously voted against Connected Communities in its current form.

What can you do?

  • Come to NANA’s general meeting on April 9th to express your opinion.
  • Send an e-mail to City Council to tell them what you think about Connected Communities at ClerkOfCouncil@cincinnati-oh.gov. Make sure to copy NANA at nana@northavondalecincinnati.com.
  • Talk with neighbors and ask what they think about Connected Communities.
  • Let NANA know by e-mail what the neighborhood is thinking at nana@northavondalecincinnati.com.
  • To visit the city’s Connected Communities website, click here. You can review and comment under “Explore” tab at the top of the page.

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