City of Urbana releases draft of the North Main Street Corridor Plan


The City of Urbana has released a draft of the North Main Street Corridor Plan and is requesting community feedback through May 5, 2024.

The goal of this planning process is to guide future development and redevelopment opportunities along North Main Street from Gwynne Street/Washington Avenue to Grimes Circle.

Back in July 2023, the city’s consultant for this plan, Burton Planning Services, started this community planning process. Since this process got underway, a Steering Committee representing the local community has helped to guide the planning process by participating in a series of three meetings.

Other community engagement has included stakeholder interviews, a community survey, a visioning charette and a community open house coupled with another community survey.

The draft plan is available online on the following city webpage:

On this webpage, there is also an online survey link for comments regarding this draft plan. The draft plan includes recommendations for future land use, zoning code updates/revisions and potential infrastructure improvements to support investment and reinvestment within this corridor.

The draft plan’s vision statement is that “North Main Street will be a beautiful, vibrant, and walkable community with a mix of businesses and housing that invite visitors and residents to the area.”

Doug Crabill, the city of Urbana’s community development manager, answered questions posed by the Urbana Daily Citizen. Below are the questions and Crabill’s answers:

The potential funding sources seem to be split between private sector pursuit of funds and public sector requests. Is there a catalyst of funds the local government hopes to obtain to jump-start the long-term goal?

a) Public investment would be mainly focused on infrastructure improvements. For example, throughout the study process, sidewalk gaps or the lack of sidewalks were frequently identified by the community as an issue or concern with the existing corridor. Furthermore, the community indicated that they wanted to see this corridor be more walkable. One potential infrastructure improvement project would involve the city making application for federal funding through the Ohio Department of Transportation for a project that would address sidewalk gaps and/or install sidewalks in areas where no sidewalks currently exist. Also, water main replacement projects are anticipated as additional infrastructure improvement projects within portions of the planning area.

b) Private investment/reinvestment within the corridor would be the main catalyst for bringing forth transformation within the planning area. However, upon adoption of this plan by Planning Commission and Urbana City Council, this plan would help to guide the planning process as reinvestment/investment occurs within the corridor.

c) Once the plan is adopted, the City of Urbana may initiate updates to the City of Urbana Zoning Map to align existing zoning with the Recommended Future Land Use Map within the planning document as appropriate.

What is the timeline on full actuality of this transformation?

The timeline envisioned for this planning document is approximately 10 to 15 years with the action steps within the plan being implemented over time and as private investment/reinvestment occurs.

We’ve been advised by some residents a main goal for residential development is affordable housing within a walkable neighborhood of various commercial offerings. What would you foresee as the typical square footage and composition of such housing?

Regarding housing, the plan outlines the following action step: “Support a diversity of housing options in the plan area in order to expand opportunities and affordability for all. Additional housing will serve existing residents by providing additional housing options, assist existing businesses in recruiting new employees and retaining existing employees, and help to alleviate a shortage of housing supply in the City of Urbana.” In general, the existing shortage of available housing supply within the city is similar to the shortage of housing being felt regionally, throughout Ohio, and nationally.

Upon completion of the community feedback period, a final version of the North Main Street Corridor Plan is anticipated to be adopted by the City of Urbana Planning Commission and Urbana City Council.

Info from City of Urbana

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