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Proposed plan would lift parking requirements for new OTR, Downtown developments

Posted at 1:05 PM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 23:46:44-04

CINCINNATI -- The city is exploring the option to remove all parking regulations for new developments in Over-the-Rhine and some surrounding neighborhoods.

In a postcard delivered Tuesday, the city notified neighborhood residents to three public meetings, during which city staff, planning officials and eventually City Council members will consider applying an urban parking overlay district over Downtown, Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton and adjacent portions of Mount Auburn and the West End.

Cincinnati's zoning code currently requires that developers provide a certain number of parking spaces -- among other requirements -- based on the type of project coming to which neighborhood. This proposal would eliminate those requirements for the neighborhoods in question.

"The Department of City Planning is committed to studying the complex parking issues in these neighborhoods while taking into careful consideration the concerns of the affected stakeholder communities," the postcard reads.

The City Planning Department distributed these postcards to Downtown, Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton and adjacent portions of Mount Auburn and West End on July 10, 2018. (Provided)

A public hearing to gather residents' feedback is scheduled for July 24. The City Planning Commission will vote on the proposed overlay district the following Friday, and City Council's Economic Growth and Zoning Committee will consider the proposal at its first summer session meeting on July 31.

Over-the-Rhine is no stranger to heated debate and strong opinions about parking, as the neighborhood grows denser and denser, with on-street parking at a premium and garages and lots filling up early in the day.

The recently-passed city budget included parking meter fee increases as well as new metered spaces for Over-the-Rhine and other neighborhoods. The city administration hopes the fare adjustments will result in more than $2 million in additional parking revenue. 

Also likely for consideration: a residential parking plan for OTR, which acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney said in a budget memo to City Council last month is in development but "has not been finalized."

As WCPO has previously reported, residents in these neighborhoods also worry about the parking impact in store with the incoming FC Cincinnati soccer stadium

Pat LaFleur reports on transportation and mobility for WCPO. Connect with him on Twitter (@pat_laFleur) and on Facebook.