Planning NEXT is currently helping the City of Upper Arlington (UA) with the River Ridge/Kingsdale West Study. The study area includes the River Ridge neighborhood, an intact post-WW2 (1950s) community with relatively modest, single family houses, and Kingsdale West, which includes a variety of multifamily housing. The study is being conducted to respond to conditions and trends that could adversely impact the character of the community in the decades to come.
As the region’s population grows, it is anticipated that River Ridge and Kingsdale West could see considerable development pressure. Current zoning allows for conditions that might not be desirable in the long term. At the same time, disinvestment and maintenance issues for certain properties creates a situation in which the overall quality of place is diminished in some locations. Finally, infrastructure and public realm improvements have been identified that could improve livability in the neighborhood.
Participation in the planning process has greatly exceeded expectations, with attendance of over 140 people at each of the public meetings. In addition, two online surveys have been conducted, which generated a total of 986 responses. Strong and numerous opinions were provided on a variety of important issues. Some of the Plan’s most supported recommendations included: restricting the scale of houses allowed to be built on double lots, creating a Safe Routes to School Plan for the local Elementary School, constructing sidewalks along select roads, and developing an age-friendly strategy.
The study will be completed in February 2018, and will help determine what kinds of actions the City should adopt to shape future development. Implementation could take many forms, including zoning ordinance changes, new planning policies and new initiatives such as Complete Streets or aging-in-place strategies.