NOTE: This document is formatted for the Web from a file provided by the Village Manager - of the revision which was approved by Village Council on March 17, 2003. The official document is available from the Clerk of the Council. This is Web page is legally considered a "DRAFT" copy.
VILLAGE OF YELLOW SPRINGS, OHIO
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN, 2002
1.1. General Purpose and Definitions
One very important role of a Comprehensive Plan or as will be referred to as "Plan," is as a statement of policy. In this capacity, this Plan outlines the community's desires regarding issues such as atmosphere or community character, quality of life and growth rate. These desires should translate into statements of goals, which may be followed by some discussion or statements concerning implementation options. A plan’s general purpose is to guide and direct land use and the local government's development decisions. The comprehensive land use approach is one that recognizes the community's responsibility to reach consensus about how physical and social resources are valued, managed and used. The Plan in some way influences nearly all essential community services. Formulation of a community's zoning ordinance is one important example where general goals and directions outlined in the Plan provide the basis for legislative action.
The Standard State Zoning Enabling Act of the 1920's created the federal mandate that zoning be created in accordance with a comprehensive plan. This legislation required the presence of certain standards in local planning and zoning. As communities became more involved in land use planning, they began to see the need for flexibility in the zoning ordinance (e.g., floating zones, planned unit development provisions, etc.). The limits on the use of this flexibility require reliance on the comprehensive plan to help determine potential locations and/or situations where those options should be considered.
In addition, because a comprehensive plan is recognized as a legal document that supports and guides a political jurisdiction's zoning ordinance, it can be crucial in defending a community against private interests seeking to overturn a zoning ordinance in court. As policy statements, the community’s intentions outlined in the plan should be as clear and concise as possible to help reduce the potential of being interpreted as arbitrary and capricious with regard to zoning controls, subdivision regulations, capital budgeting, etc. Variations in tools such as the zoning ordinance are necessary to meet varying and changing conditions, but clear guidance is required, through the Plan, about when they are appropriate. Improvements and/or new extensions of infrastructure should be in accordance with overall growth expectations established in the Plan. Annual spending and resource allocations should be supported by the goals outlined in the Plan. New community additions, such as a community center, parks, governmental facilities, etc. should also be directed by the Plan. These are just a few of the many examples where the Plan is essential in determining appropriate action and in defending the zoning ordinances based on it.
The commonly accepted legal tools for plan implementation are twofold: zoning and subdivision regulations. These legal tools are drafted and published as separate documents. In addition to zoning and subdivision regulations, other tools such as an annexation policy, mutual land use agreements between political subdivisions, and the code enforcement protocol can be very influential in achieving the Plan's goals.
The zoning ordinance is an essential tool of the Plan as it relates to private land development. The fundamental precept behind zoning is that it must recognize the need for and establish a regulatory balance between private property rights and interests and the interest and well being of the community. Land use activities are controlled through this ordinance based on affecting a regulatory balance when the individual and communal interests do not converge. The Plan is a statement of the community’s goals as a whole while the tools for implementation, such as the zoning ordinance, state the specific controls all must adhere to in order to achieve the "public good". The zoning ordinance should be viewed as a key tool for implementing the vision statement of the Plan and not simply seen as a way to avoid problems.
Zoning is the manifestation of a municipality's police powers as they relate to the use of land. The concept of zoning is a relatively simple one, yet specific zoning techniques can be complex. The controls allowed by zoning must: 1) be in accordance with a comprehensive plan, 2) have substantial relation to the general public welfare, and 3) be neither arbitrary nor capricious. Zoning may regulate land use without regard to economic depreciation or appreciation, but it may not have the effect of appropriating all meaningful land value without due compensation. If zoning powers become too oppressive in the opinion of landholders, the courts can be called upon to decide the issues of "relation to public welfare", "appropriation without compensation", and "arbitrariness".
The land use tool that addresses the development of unplatted land is the subdivision regulation. Typically, subdivision regulations are based upon: 1) the need to protect the public interest in the creation and coordination of public improvements, and 2) the need to specify areas of developmental responsibility by the various participants. Subdivision regulations specify street widths, utility networks, the layout of lots, procedures for approvals and inspections, etc.
It is important to understand the distinction between zoning and subdivision regulations. If Yellow Springs gained city status (population of 5,000 or more), extra-territorial control over subdivision developments within a three-mile radius around the corporate boundary could be an additional regulatory responsibility. This would allow the Village to exercise more control over the quality of surrounding subdivisions, but not the size of the actual subdivision development. This added authority originated from the general feeling that, in time, it is quite likely that any subdivision located three-miles or less from a municipality will either be incorporated or, at a minimum, need the public services provided by the municipality and therefore, that municipality should have some say about how it is built and served. Zoning powers, on the other hand, remain restricted to the area within the corporation limit regardless of any change in the Village's status.
The broad-based purpose of this Plan is: 1) to describe options that will help secure a positive quality of life for residents; 2) to allow active participation and influence in changes that are inevitable; 3) to state explicitly the commonly held goals for the Village's future; and 4) to establish means of implementing those goals.
Through this Plan, the Village government shall recognize and enhance the Village's self-reliant nature by asserting that it has or can acquire the knowledge, skills, resources and vision to identify changing conditions; locate appropriate technical assistance when needed and initiate actions in a manner that conserves the existing Village environment and distributes benefits equitably.
The policies and positions outlined in this Plan shall be reviewed by the Village Council and the Planning Commission on a regular basis and as significant changes within the Village’s development pattern occur.
1.2. Historical Overview
Soon after Ohio became a state in 1803, Lewis Davis built the first log cabin in the Yellow Springs area. He went on to establish a trading post and general store serving those who were visiting the nearby medicinal springs. In 1827, Elisha Mills purchased the land, added more buildings, and established a flourishing health resort. This was continued by the Neff family in 1842, who ultimately created a popular and sophisticated spa, later (1869), a magnificent but ill-fated hotel. During that time as many as 5,000 people were known to visit the springs on a given summer weekend. Judge William Mills, Elisha Mills' son, is recognized as the " founder" of the Village of Yellow Springs, which initially consisted of some 700 lots and 37 streets. The Mills plan for the Village has not been significantly altered in over 100 years. The planning of three 15-20 acre parks and other open spaces, such as gardens incorporated into this plan, shows that the value of open space was present from the Village's inception. By the mid 1850's, a flourmill, two general stores, and a hotel were located at the intersection of Dayton and Corry Streets. Unfortunately a series of disastrous fires wiped out some of these buildings just before the turn of the century. These events caused a gradual relocation of the business district to its present location along Xenia Avenue.
The arrival of the Little Miami Railroad (1846) and the founding of Antioch, under the leadership of Horace Mann (1853) –both results of Mill’s entrepreneurial skill – began a period of rapid growth in the Village. Antioch, the first college to give an equal education to both men and women, originally consisted of a main building and two dormitories (North and South Halls.) The presidency of Arthur Morgan (1920’s) would be a turning point in its development and influence.
The arrival and settlement of the Conway Colony during the Civil War era added significantly to the Village history; later, Yellow Springs would become one of the first towns to desegregate it schools. In 1929, the 900 acre parcel known as Glen Helen was donated to the college by Hugh Taylor Birch, friend of Arthur Morgan. This helped create a philosophy of appreciation for the natural environment and a strong advocacy for protecting surrounding open lands that has remained an important part of the Village. In 1920 Yellow Springs was a quiet, conservative community with a population that for 50 years had fluctuated between 1,200 and 1,400 persons, consisting mostly of retired farmers. During that time, Antioch College had declined to a few dozen students and was on the verge of bankruptcy. The Village had no public water supply or sewer system and only two streets had superficial pavement. Since 1920, the community has transformed itself from a sleepy town into to a flourishing village. This was the result of a conscious effort by the residents to rebuild Antioch College, mostly under the guidance of Arthur E. Morgan.
1.3. Past Plan Overview
Throughout its history, especially since the 1920's, many Village planning efforts have been formulated. Three principal themes have recurred throughout most of these plans: 1) a continuing awareness of the need for long-range planning; 2) a continuing emphasis on the desirability of maintaining open space; and 3) a desire to keep the community relatively small and relatively self-sufficient.
The Village's first official comprehensive land use plan was adopted in 1967. One goal introduced in the document, with an associated program, was the preservation of the Village as a semi-rural community near an urbanized metropolitan area. Although generally desirable, this statement may have been in response to a regional report of a Village population projection of twenty-percent increase before 1980. Following the dissemination of this information, the Village Council refused all overtures to annex nearby rural land, enacted new restrictive zoning and subdivision code regulations and made development more costly through measures such as requiring park/open space dedications as components of any approved subdivisions. The 1967 Village Comprehensive Plan also identified a greenbelt area just west of the Village to provide a visual and geographic separation between the community and surrounding developments.
The actual 1980 census figures indicated the Village had lost population. Even though new homes were being built, the average family size was dropping and Antioch College had experienced a decline in student population. The local school administration expressed concern over this trend and Village Council responded by taking steps to encourage some growth.
A 1973 survey of nearly 400 Village residents, in preparation for a Plan update that was completed in 1977, indicated that some growth would be acceptable and that controlled growth was preferred. Based on the survey results, the 1977 Plan re-affirmed the pursuance of the greenbelt preservation approach but also included a directive to pursue some limited commercial expansion.
Ten years later the Village Council appointed a "Planned Growth Task Force" charged with identifying existing obstacles to residential development in the community and outlining ways to address them. In November of 1987, the Task Force identified appropriate potential locations for residential and commercial development and also introduced the concept of green space corridors linking existing parklands.
Using a system of neighborhood forums, another polling of the community was performed in 1990 in connection with the Urban-Rural Interface Project funded through a US Forestry Service grant. The general consensus expressed in these forums, by a very large margin, identified valued assets of the Village including: 1) the willingness of individuals to tolerate and encourage diversity which creates the multi-faceted make-up of the community; 2) the independent school system; 3) the present size and character of the Village; 4) the commercial/social/cultural "hub" that exists downtown; 5) the surrounding open/green/agricultural spaces; and 6) efforts by the Village and Township governments to work cooperatively on land use and other related issues. Questions about how to support and protect these assets were also raised in the forums. Identification of valued assets was followed by a list of related concerns. These included: 1) how to identify and protect existing diversity; 2) how to determine and maintain an "ideal" size for the Village; 3) how to continue adequate financing for an independent school system; and 4) how to assist and encourage continuation and expansion of local businesses without threatening other community assets.
2. CURRENT CONDITIONS
2.1. 2000 Census Data
All the following statistics are taken from the Yellow Springs Cost of Living Report (YSCLR), November 2002, which was prepared by the Yellow Springs Men’s Group. This report has been included as an appendix to The Comprehensive Plan.
4. Population Change Comparison
Additional Population Information:
> Population Percentage Change - Page 12 of YSCLR
> Gender of Population Change - Page 18 of YSCLR
> Table 6. Gender - Page 59 of YSCLR
5. Income Change Comparison
Additional Income Data:
> Poverty Change Comparison - Page 15 of YSCLR
> Table 2, Income - Page 55 YSCLR
> Table 3, Poverty - Page 56 YSCLR
c. Median Age Change Comparison
Additional Age Data:
> Table 5, Age - Page 58 of YSCLR
4. Racial Diversity of Change Comparison
Additional Racial Diversity Data:
> Table 7. Racial Diversity - Page 60 of YSCLR
5. Housing Value Change Comparison
Additional Housing Data:
> Persons Per Household - Page 20 of YSCLR
> Change in Households - Page 23 of YSCLR
> Table 8. Household Size - Page 61 of YSCLR
> Table 9. Housing Value - Page 62 of YSCLR
> Table 10. Housing Costs Comparison - Page 63 of YSCLR
2.2. Physical Features
Yellow Springs is situated on a plateau bounded on the east and west by deep valleys which join on the south at the confluence of the Little Miami River and the Jacoby Creek near Goes Station. The area was overrun by at least one of the four continental glaciers which moved southward from Canada during the Pleistocene Epoch. The typical geological setting for this area consists of flat-lying consolidated sedimentary rocks predominated by limestones and shales of Silurian and Ordovician age. The geologic section for this area includes alternating layers of marine shales, limestones and dolomites. These lie in the crest and flanks of a regional structure named the Cincinnati Arch. From this crest, the sedimentary rocks slope away to the east, north, and west. Yellow Springs is situated in an area that prior to glaciation encompassed the headwaters of a large tributary of the ancient Teays River now referred to as the Hamilton River. This tributary flowed to the southwest from land that is now Greene County through current Montgomery and Butler counties. The Yellow Springs area was drained prior to glaciation by the middle branch of the Hamilton River which cut back into the upland in the direction of Yellow Springs and Clifton. Generally, the present Little Miami River coincides with the ancestral middle and southern branches of the Hamilton River. The Illinoian and Wisconsin Glaciation that followed resulted in deposits of glacial material from 1-90 feet thick throughout the area. The material consists of glacial till and outwash.
Topography in the area ranges from 830 feet to 1,060 feet above mean sea level. Predominant soils are Brookston, Celina, Fox and Miami, all with moderate to high capacity for holding water, good productivity and resistance to erosion. The predominant Miamian soils are often chosen for homesites since they are typically well-drained, but they also have low permeability. The Brookston soils present in the area are generally not well suited for building houses because of the typical poor drainage and relatively high water table. When artificially drained, they can be productive for agricultural uses. The Fox soils present are well drained and have a moderate to high permeability. Celina soils consist of level or gently sloping, moderately well drained soils that are formed in loam glacial till. The flood plain of the Little Miami River is contained within a relatively narrow gorge in the immediate vicinity of the Village.
The Village is located within 6 miles of I-675 and 8 miles from I-70. US. Route 68 is a major thoroughfare running through the community. So far, the impact of the regional interstate system on the growth and development of the Village has been relatively minor overall, but influences from I-675 are being felt by the Village as more Bath Township land is developed. Much of the growth in nearby communities has been dictated by the interstate influence. Presently, the I-675 & Dayton-Yellow Springs Road interchange is developing at a rate that creates some secondary effects on the Village. This interchange area has developed into a significant employment and residential center, with several office developments and a substantial warehouse distribution center. Future development plans in that area include additional commercial and residential uses. As this interchange area becomes recognized as an employment hub, people will begin to look for homesites nearby. The Village, being approximately 6 miles to the east, may be perceived as a viable option for housing newcomers to that area. The physical features section should be reviewed for accuracy.
2.3. Land Use Distribution
According to the records of the Greene County Auditor for 2002, 608 acres within the Village are coded for residential development. Additionally, 36 acres are coded for industrial activities and 59 acres are coded for retail uses. About 52 acres are identified coded for agricultural activities.
The dominant residential use is single-family residences in the Village's 1.7 square mile area. Nearly 70% of the Village is occupied with various types of residences. The next highest use of land falls in the category of quasi-public, which includes Antioch College, churches and the local government facilities. Parks and open areas are the next largest land use. Although the physical space occupied by commercial uses is quite limited, the density and vitality of that space makes it significant. The central business district is the most versatile location in the Village with regard to multi-use development. Although retail uses dominate the downtown, residential, service, and public/nonprofit uses are also significant components there. Xenia Avenue downtown is one of the 63 "great American public places" cited by a panel of designers, authors and developers in a new book, The Pocket Guide to Great American Public Places, which was published in 1995.
Within the general category of residential development, single-family concentrations occur in the south and north portions of the Village. Many homes in the central portion of the community house one family but this area is also the one most interspersed with duplexes and multi-family developments.
The area surrounding the Village is sparsely developed, mostly occupied by single-family residences and farms. Although significant residential development has occurred to the west of the Village, it has occurred in Bath Township, approximately 3 miles from the corporation line. South of Yellow Springs, in Xenia Township near the City of Xenia, residential development is also occurring rapidly.
About 1000 acres of predominately farm land that adjoins almost all of the northern boundary of the Village will not be developed. In 1999 the Village contributed to the purchase of an easement on this land that will perpetuate its use as a farm.
The Village Government is the supplier of water, sewer and electricity. Local control of utilities and the authority to decide on extensions allow the Village to actively affect growth issues.
Present public water production at the Village’s wellfields just south of the Village is about one-half the total capacity of the plant. Weather related demands seem to have more effect than any changes in use or population. The plant is designed to treat 1 million gallons of water per day, but current extraction is limited to about three quarters of that amount on an ongoing basis.
The Village has developed a wellhead protection program in line with OEPA regulations. The three components of this program address the location of the water we pump, the threats to this water, and ways to mitigate the threats.
The Village’s wastewater treatment plant, located on Grinnell Road just outside the Village, is designed to treat up to 1.2 million gallons of water per day. Currently, an average of about 600,000 gallons of wastewater is treated daily. The discrepancy between water produced and water treated comes from ground water infiltration into the sanitary sewer system. By today’s standards the plant can realistically treat 900,000 gallons per day. Treatment capacity can also be limited by the availability of sludge disposal.
The problem of infiltration of ground water and inflow of surface water into the sanitary sewer system is presently a major concern. Aged infrastructure causes additional water to reach the treatment facility through cracks and breaks in sewer pipes. Additional water comes through illegal connections to the system. Ongoing data collection regarding infrastructure deficiencies in conjunction with a financial cost-benefit determination will guide future action.
Improve water service to the south side of the Village by eliminating dead ends in the water supply lines and increasing the size of existing water lines as required. The objective is to increase water pressure for customers and improve fire fighting capabilities.
The implementation of a long range plan to increase the quality and capacity of the electrical distribution system continues. Significant long-term economical and technical benefits could be realized as the result of adding substation and purchasing power at a higher voltage at greatly reduced cost, then stepping the voltage down for distribution of customers in the Village. However this step requires a significant initial investment. Village finances and demand for additional electricity will probably determine the timing of this step.
In recent years the Village has been forced to take a more comprehensive view of its storm water drainage system. Increased building density combined with a limited and aging collection system have contributed to flooding and may limit future development. A storm water management plan needs to be designed prior to any extensive development in the Village. The Northwest portion of the Village is a prime example of this type of planning.
Improvements to the existing Village infrastructure in the last few years have consisted mostly of repair and replacement with little extension of servies to new lands. However some improvements have been major, including improvements to the electric distribution system, replacement of the Dayton Street sanitary sewer, and rebuilding of Dayton Street from Stafford Street to the Bryan Center.
The Village recognizes the importance of including a state-of-the-art telecommunications system as part of the necessary infrastructure. Efforts in incorporate elements such as fiber optics, high speed data transmission systems and other technologies will be pursued by the Village as the technology continues to develop.
Mapping of referenced utilities is available in the Village Manager’s Office.
Yellow Spring’s pedestrian network is relatively complete in the central business area. However, elsewhere in Town the system is non-direct, discontinuous, and in some areas non-existent. The key implication of not having an interconnected system of sidewalks and bikeways is that residents have limited choice in transportation modes and the increased dependency on automobile use perpetuates. A major issue for the Comprehensive Plan is to identify an integrated system of transportation solutions, including a network of pedestrian facilities and bicycle routes. These improvements need to be provided in coordination with the street system and the locations of existing and future transit routes as an integral part of the complete transportation system.
The Village obviously is expected to experience some of the same kinds of changes anticipated by other communities, demographic changes relating to 1) an overall growth in the elderly population; 2) an increase in single-parent families and dual-income families; 3) increases in wages earned; and 4) increases in the general cost of living. are some of the realities predicted. These changes will require services that focus on the needs of the growing numbers of elderly and children as well as other special-needs populations. Other important elements that are not as predictable and yet have great influence on the local economy include the health of the local job market and the availability of state and federal support services.
Regional trends that will most likely have some effect on the Village and should be incorporated into local planning efforts include: 1) a general trend toward larger housing units on smaller lots; 2) an increase in home-based businesses; 3) a changing definition of family; 4) an increase in house-sharing and other variations on household make-up; and 5) a general decrease in household size.
Prior to 1996, the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) has projected a population of 5,492 for Miami Township in the year 2015. Presently, about 77% of the Township population resides in the Village. Assuming the same distribution, the Village’s population projection is 4,229 in 2015. This represents an increase of 6% from the 1990 population, which is a slightly higher growth rate than in the past.
Regional population projections show growth that ranges from nearly 16% for Greene County, 17% for Miami County and 6% for Montgomery County. According to MVRPC, growth rates by the year 2015 in Greene County will range from a high of 20% in Bellbrook/Sugarcreek Township to a low of 3% in Ross Township.
4. PLAN OBJECTIVES
It is important to recognize that consistent values about the surrounding physical environment and the desirable small town nature have endured for several generations. These have been incorporated into many community activities including all planning/land use documents. In recognizing this consistency we must also face the reality created from actions based on those values. In past efforts, conflicts between specific desires have been identified but rarely addressed adequately. To move beyond that, the following issues and their interdependence are recognized, and some options for resolution are discussed.
(1) Open Space/Preserved Land, Its Effect on Real Estate Values, Local Economy, etc.
When open lands are legally restricted from being developed, land is perceived as more scarce. These restricted lands are not included in any inventory of land available for possible development. It is also common for lands adjacent to such restricted land to increase in value since they are next to perpetual open space. An additional negative effect is the reduced property tax revenue from restricted land, since it has virtually no development value.
The community has consistently identified the importance of "guaranteed" open space-- land which is legally restricted with regard to development-- and has even used the tools available through Village Government and private organizations to act on that desire. In general, these actions have been perceived as positive and retain continued local support. There is some recognition that a possible negative result of this action is an increase in property values (due to increased market values) and high competition for surrounding land. Several other communities have faced the same situation as they worked to guarantee open spaces. Identifying and monitoring the success of their efforts, and tailoring successful approaches for Yellow Springs, should be pursued.
(2) Economic Vitality That Does Not Conflict With Managed Growth Efforts
It is essential for a self-reliant community to have the knowledge, skills, resources and vision to identify changing economic conditions, locate needed technical assistance and initiate action in such a way that protects the Village character and distributes local economic benefits equitably.
The global, national and local economic pictures are constantly changing and the Village must continue to define and maintain its role within the confines of those pictures. An unbalanced reliance upon one element of the economy, tourism for instance, is risky and should be avoided. Public and private support for new ventures spanning many areas of the marketplace must be maintained and enhanced wherever and whenever possible.
The community believes in planned growth and must continue to look seriously at how business and industry contribute to ongoing economic health. The Village should take proactive measures to ensure this economic health, such as establishing a cooperative economic development agreement.
(3) An Acceptable Level of Public Services, An Independent School System, Associated Costs
The community has long exercised local control of public services such as utilities, police protection and a locally operated, independent, village school system. Historically there have been overt demonstrations of this commitment, including the use of local resources and revenue. Local control has enabled the Village to choose to provide higher quality services that are more expensive than less extensive services elsewhere. One result is the revenue base needs to be maintained and expanded to maintain the affordability of the services. This obviously creates a higher cost of living -- higher utility rates, for example -- which threatens the existence of an economically diverse population.
The issue is complex. Information about the actual costs associated with individual services should be continually reviewed, if only to give people a chance to affirm continued willingness to pay for such services. In the past Village Council established a Utility Rates Task Force to review utility costs and the impacts on various segments of the Village population. An ongoing review of the costs and benefits for various public services should be performed and the resulting information made available to the public. In the past, the community has been willing to pay for the independence provided by local control of public services. This position should be monitored continually and addressed when and if necessary.
(4) Diversity of Lifestyle
As in the past, Villagers recognize the value of being a part of a diverse community. The wide array of resources that result from such diversity is a treasured asset. Constructive efforts must be pursued to ensure that a wide variety of lifestyles are part of the community. These efforts will involve both public and private entities. On-going attempts to address this issue might include analysis of the changing demographics of the Village population, followed by identifying "target" populations for specific efforts.
(5) Staying Small
Although the community has clearly expressed the desire to stay the same size numerous times in the past, this may not be possible or even desirable. The Village might be perceived as a living organism that needs movement, growth and change in order to survive. It is more appropriate to modify the desire to "stay the same" in to actions that identify valued assets, services, programs, and amenities of the community and express a willingness to incorporate changes and growth that preserve and enhance those assets.
This approach can be effected by first identifying those elements of the Village -- physical, social, political, etc.-- that are considered valuable, using a variety of criteria, and then enacting ways to protect and enhance those elements. A variety of methods can be employed, ranging from self-imposed restrictions to specific Village legislation. A survey conducted by the Humanity House class of the Yellow Springs High School attempted to identify those places within the Village that are perceived as valuable. The survey results are included in the Appendix of this Plan.
(6) Supporting a Healthy Downtown
It is clear that one major role of the downtown is to serve the commercial needs of the community. It is also important to recognize and preserve its role of providing a pleasing place for social interaction. Presently, the downtown is a vibrant mixture of commercial, social and cultural activities. This environment is treasured by the community and methods of supporting and encouraging that role should be pursued.
It is also crucial to recognize and preserve the downtown’s character as an "anchor" in the community with regard to its depiction of the Village’s heritage and history, and to ensure the ongoing stability and permanence of those components that make up that character while recognizing and protecting the rights of business and property owners downtown. Unique, locally-owned and operated businesses contribute to the identity of the downtown and should be recognized for that and encouraged. National franchises and businesses need to be made aware of this and encouraged to design their Yellow Springs locations in ways that allow them to blend into the existing fabric of the downtown and avoid changes that drastically alter the total ambiance.
Many Village residents feel that the topic of tourism is a critical one. Yellow Springs has been a place for visitors since its beginnings, when tourists came to sample the water from the mineral spring. Obviously, more recent additions such as the bike path have influenced the numbers of people who visit the Village, their ages and interests, and the types of activities they are likely to engage in while here. Recognizing that it is difficult to identify direct relationships between "tourism" and specific by-products or effects of tourism, this Plan focuses on issues that may or may not be products of tourism, such as limited parking, the need for additional public facilities, and economic development. There is no evidence of Village consensus on whether or not tourism itself should be encouraged or discouraged, though there seems to be widespread acceptance of the fact that if the Village is charming and interesting, people will want to visit. For that matter, regional and national attention to these attributes of Yellow Springs in the press and other media seems to elicit no small degree of pride. There seems to be a general perception that there are problems needing attention related to increased numbers of cars and people for temporary periods of time mainly in the downtown area, and these problems especially the development of alternative parking areas other than downtown should be identified and dealt with, regardless of who or what may be responsible for their existence. The Village sponsored endeavor to enhance the Cemetery Street Parking area is an example.
Much of the essence of the existing Village depends on limited change in the surrounding Township. Not only should the Village monitor potential changes within its urban service boundary, defined as the suggested Village Planning Area, on the Planning Area Boundaries Map, found in the Growth Management Planing Study, July 1992, but it should also seek to cooperate with Miami Township to address development and find ways to meet the needs of both Village and Township residents without the type of growth commonly recognized as sprawl.
While feelings about the adequacy of housing in the Village and Miami Township vary, a common concern does seem to be the Village's ability to respond to gradual changes in housing needs. Previous census figures indicate that there is gradual change that can produce needs for different types of housing – i.e., size, price range, rental vs. owner occupied– but the current census figures suggest a shrinking population, not a rapidly expanding population as previously projected. There is limited available housing, therefore planned moderate growth in housing is needed and should be encouraged.
From 1980 to 1995 the physical size of the Village and the population have remained essentially static, while the area covered by housing has increased. From 1995 to 2000 the physical size of the village has grown, the population has decreased, and housing growth has slowed. There are fewer vacant lots, more impermeable surface on lots, and greater need for on-site residential parking due to the increase in autos owned by households. The demand for housing seems to have remained constant regardless of the rate of development, though it is not clear as to whether or not the demands for different types of housing have remained the same.
The Village should first analyze the existing mix of housing, changing demands for housing, and how those demands are being met. Trends that would create rapid change should be anticipated, and measures should be taken to ensure that housing policies and laws do not exacerbate those trends.
Presently one trend that seems to be more than gradual is the rise in housing costs, due at least partly to increased costs for public services (including an independent school system) and the high market value of property in the Village. It should be recognized that among other things, the desirability of living in Yellow Springs and the lack of housing development causes competition for housing.
Village Government bears considerable responsibility for ensuring safe housing. The community has indicated support for Government involvement also in ensuring that Village provides a wide variety of opportunities to obtain housing.
Goal: Provide an adequate choice of housing options to serve a socially and economically diverse population. To help meet this goal,
Goal: Ensure that housing suitable for a variety of incomes is available on a continual basis.
One factor that distinguishes Yellow Springs from other communities of 4,000 is the diversity of its commercial activities. Orientation of these activities ranges from retail to professional to research. Size of these businesses range from individuals to hundreds of employees. This diversity provides a wide variety of job opportunities and growth potential. It also helps ensure that the rise and fall of any particular component of commerce does not have an undue impact on the health of the local economy. Another important byproduct of this diversity is the contribution to the community of the variety and expertise of the individuals connected to these ventures.
Based on past and present concerns expressed by community members, one goal for future commercial activity in the Village should focus on the development and utilization of an economic strategy that conserves resources, increases local productivity. This would include emphasizing human development (skills, knowledge, talents), expanding local control of resources (water, land, etc.), increasing internal investment capacity (providing capital to underwrite projects).
By custom designing zoning provisions, Yellow Springs can have more than one retail district in the Village, each with its special character and purpose. The downtown, with its concentration of various uses in a relatively small area, is aimed at serving pedestrian traffic. It is recommended that auto dependent businesses such as drive-through and large land users such as automobile showrooms be compelled through zoning to locate other than downtown. Such zoning would not create significant hardship on existing businesses but would still accommodate their needs for space. Allowing such businesses elsewhere in the Village would not adversely affect the central business district. This assumes that the Village is willing to offer an alternative location to any downtown businesses experiencing difficulties because of limited space. One potential location for larger space users is the existing business district along US 68 at the southern edge of the Village. Another is the northwest corner of the Dayton-Yellow Springs and East Enon Roads intersection, although special attention to the site design would be important.
In order to avoid retail development in strip centers throughout the Village, retail activity should be clustered, and not simply allowed to develop wherever space and prime street frontage allow. Such clustering should be limited to increasing around the two primary retail areas already existing -- the central business district and the area south of Brookside Drive along the east side of Xenia Avenue.
The existing commercially zoned area fronting on Route 68 south of Brookside Drive is a composite of various commercial and industrial activities, but also includes sizable undeveloped acreage along Southgate Avenue zoned mostly Planned Unit Development. General use of this area should be by commercial enterprises that require relatively large areas not available in the central business district or that do not fit with the pedestrian scale of downtown.
Goal: Identify and support the diversity and health of successful commercial activities.
Goal: Develop and implement an economic strategy that supports local sustainability.
Goal: Maintain the role of the two existing business districts. respect the individual roles they play in the Village’s economy.
Goal: Recognize that local resources are the foundation for guiding economic health and growth. Land capacities and community goals should guide economic development.
Goal: Recognize that economic growth relies upon continued diversity and equity and that increasing the number and variety of income sources can allow residents to balance economic growth with the local environmental capacity.
In his book "Industries for Small Communities", Arthur E. Morgan highlighted a diverse group of industries founded in Yellow Springs during the early part of the 1900’s. A few have thrived in place to this date, some have moved to other communities and thrive there, while others have closed due to economic conditions or the death or retirement of an owner. Obsolescence of products or services may have claimed others. Mr. Morgan described home-grown businesses and industries that were an integral part of the community fiber and spirit. The industrial spirit of that era thrives yet today.
More recently, Village Council has responded to citizens concerns over perceived loss of businesses and the lack of opportunity for businesses to grow in Yellow Springs by commissioning Task Forces to study the problem. One Task Force activated in 1989 recommended that the Village be more involved with financial considerations necessary for business retention through the use of Economic Development Funds and that Village Council make better use of any State economic resources designed to support local business retention policies. Village Council authorized the disbursement of funds to several small businesses for economic development and was able to influence one of our major industries to consolidate their production capability here.
A follow-on study was conducted in 1993 by a Business Retention Task Force. This body concluded that Village Council had not been sufficiently responsive to the recommendations from the 1989 study. One of the many valuable recommendations was that Village Council create a Business Retention Policy within six (6) months. Village Council did so by passing a resolution that identifies staff persons who are responsible for meeting with local businesses and collecting data pertinent to local business needs. This policy recognizes the importance of all business entities -- industrial, retail, service, private consultation, artistic, etc.-- as contributing to the economy, diversity, and independence of the Village, and to opportunities for its inhabitants. (See Appendix for adopted Business Retention Policy)
It is important to recognize Health Care as an industry. The Village is fortunate to be home to some of the area's finest healthcare facilities and practitioners, including medical doctors, dentists, chiropractic providers and an excellent long-term care nursing center, who’s facilities also include assisted living and independent living units.
Goal: Provide the economic climate and support for existing industries to continue successfully and for new industries to develop and thrive.
The Village should continue to aggressively address the need for new industry and commerce as well as support existing commercial and industrial activity. In particular, accommodation for small, growing businesses needs to be made. While there is obvious potential for new commercial/industrial development on the northwest side of town, consideration of enhancing existing commercial/industrial sites as well as remaining open to new zones is also appropriate. Establishment of a Economic Development Agreement with Miami Township was achieved in 2002.
Goal: Recognize local business and industrial activity as an integral part of the community.
Goal: Recognize and promote the current high quality of health care facilities that exist in the Village and support appropriate growth of such facilities.
In 2002, there are seven educational institutions in Yellow Springs. It is difficult to predict the future populations of these institutions, but all are critical to the well being of Yellow Springs. Antioch has virtually always been a part of Yellow Springs and has had significant positive impacts on the development of Yellow Springs. Today it is one of the communities largest employers. While the public school population has generally declined over the last twenty-five years, the quality of the educational system and support from the community has increased. Day care demands continue to increase. The Antioch School remains a stable alternative to public primary education. Any planning efforts should be considered in light of their potential impacts on these institutions to attract and retain students.
(1) Antioch University (ANTIOCH COLLEGE, ANTIOCH UNIVERSITY-MCGREGOR, AND UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES)
location: eastern side of Village
area: approximately 60 acres
surroundings: mainly residence "A", "B", and Glen Helen
number of students and faculty: 1293
number of full time equivalent employees: 366
(2) The Antioch School
location: eastern side of Village
area: approximately 6 acres
surroundings: residence "A" and Glen Helen
number of students and faculty: 75
number of full time equivalent employees: 7.5
(3) Mills Lawn Elementary School
location: adjacent to central business district
area: approximately 10 acres
surroundings: residence "B" and business
number of students: 326
(4) Yellow Springs McKinney School
location: building adjacent to High School
area: shared with High School
surroundings: residence "A" and agricultural
number of students: 125
(5) Yellow Springs High School
location: western edge of Village
area: approximately 30 acres
surroundings: residence "A" and agricultural with some light industrial nearby
number of students: 288 – Including 20 students attending Greene County Career Center
Note: $4.5 million renovations and expansion to all three buildings were started during summer of 2002.
(3,4,5) Yellow Springs Exempted Village School District
number of equivalent full time employees: 86.2
(6) Yellow Springs Children’s Center
location: eastern side of Village
area: approximately one acre
surroundings: residence "B" and Glen Helen, close to central business district
number of students:
number of full time equivalent employees: 12
(7) Morgan-The Greene County Educational Service Center
Location: Western side of Village
Area: Approximately 3 acres
Surroundings: Residence "A" and agricultural
Number of students: 75
Number of full time equivalent employees: 74
Locations of all the educational institutions have the advantages of significant open area and nearby greenspace, which is of great benefit to the schools and efficiently permit varied nearby activities. The principal traffic intersections near these locations are relatively "clear". Thus, although traffic can be heavy during some parts of the day, the safety record of the locations has been very good. In any future development, it is recommended that pressure to develop heavily at intersections in proximity to educational centers should be resisted in favor of the need to preserve this safety record. Side setbacks at principal intersections should conform to "front" setbacks.
The Children’s Center location does not have the advantage of a large setback from Corry Street. In fact, the setback is rather small, making drop-off and pick-up of students less than ideal. The playground and access are also small and would appear to receive precipitation runoff from adjacent higher ground to the west.
Locations (1), (2) (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7) above all have remarkably high automobile use associated with their activities and perceived as a need by students and faculty. With the exception of the High School, automobile parking near the schools during normal operations is at a premium.
All of the locations have modest infrastructure in spite of the relatively heavy utilization of the properties. Many of the structures and even principal buildings appear to need improved maintenance.
The Mills Lawn School plays important and generally appreciated roles in downtown recreational and civic events. In any future planning, the value of these roles should be taken into account.
Goal: Assure complementary surrounding land use activities and provide the necessary safe environment, specifically as it relates to traffic, to support the independent Village School District and the quality of its programs.
Goal: Recognize and incorporate the positive influence on the community from the presence of Antioch College, Antioch University and the McGregor School.
Goal: Encourage the ongoing maintenance and enhancement of existing Village public lands, properties and facilities as opportunities for educational and cultural use.
Goal: Recognize and support Mills Lawn as a downtown fixture and center for weekend civic events in cooperation with the Yellow Springs Board of Education.
4.5. Parks and Public Institutions
Accompanied by a listing of existing and proposed activities, the following facilities and activities comprise the Village’s park services:
(1) Bryan Center
a) Indoor game room which includes table tennis, foosball, pool table, etc.
b) Gymnasium which includes basketball, volleyball, dancing, etc.
c) Outdoor courts for basketball and tennis
d) Pottery shop
e) Children’s (pre-school) play area
f) Skate Park
(2) Gaunt Park
a) Softball and baseball
c) Swimming pool
d)Children’s play area
e) Proposed concession area with restrooms and shelter
f) Proposed improved bleachers for field activities
(3) Ellis Park
a) Picnic area
b) Stocked pond for fishing
c) Lloyd Kennedy arboretum
d) Proposed improved restroom facilities
e) Proposed tree planting on perimeter
(4) Neighborhood Parks.
Some of these parks regularly come under criticism for the way they are used or abused. Each neighborhood park should be evaluated to determine if they are being used as originally perceived. All options for restructuring the use of each park should be explored and changes made where deemed necessary.
(5) Hilda Rahn Park – Village Chamber of Commerce
Goal: Collect information regarding the recreational needs of the community and evaluate present parks system to determine if facilities are addressing those identified needs.
Goal: Recognize and promote the Bryan Community Center as a communal amenity that is to be used and supported by local residents as a cultural center.
Goal: Continue to improve active recreational facilities, especially Gaunt Park, as deemed appropriate by the community.
4.6 Road Infrastructure and Thoroughfare Plan
The local street network, roads in and out of the Village, bike paths and pedestrian walkways create a system to serve the movement of goods, services and people through and within the community. This system supports various transport modes and trip destinations that serve a variety of purposes. Specifically, this network must include safe sidewalks or pathways for pedestrians and other non-motorized traffic. Accessibility by all must be assured through the use of ramps and adequate pathway widths.
A Thoroughfare Plan should provide specific transportation elements to accommodate these modes and trip destinations and be able to be integrated into a larger transportation system. Goals and implementation practices must be based on these premises.
I-70 and I-675 are less than ten miles from the Village. I-70 crosses US 68 north of Yellow Springs. The newer I-675and Dayton Yellow Springs Road interchange to the west of the Village has developed rapidly in the last few years with commercial and residential as well as retail development. Again, retail opportunities have been provided, but also commercial opportunities and the threat of continued eastward sprawl must be considered.
US Route 68
Concerns regarding the use and associated impacts of US 68, which carries traffic through the center of the Village, were expressed in the 1967 Village Plan. A proposal to develop a bypass west of the Village was included in that Plan. Subsequent Plan updates abandoned that concept, although concerns regarding Route 68 traffic continue to be expressed in other documents and public meetings. There is some advantage to having the US highway come through the downtown, in that it supports the movement of people and goods serving the more concentrated activities that occur there. The risk is that the volume of vehicles may reach a magnitude where other types of transportation, other modes of transportation, and adjacent activities are threatened. There would also be significant trade-off involving the sacrifice of rural land or other valued land if Route 68 were rerouted. A practical approach to addressing traffic on us 68 is to work with other entities on a regional basis and evaluate overall impacts and consequences. The load limits on Dayton Street has reduced some of the heavier traffic through that section of town and U.S. 68.
Specific issues associated with the presence of US 68 through the Village regarding vehicle speed and the ability to function cooperatively with bicycles and pedestrians should be continually monitored and options to maintain a healthy balance for all to exist should be periodically reviewed.
Local Street Network
The majority of streets serve local traffic within the Village. Most existing streets and associated infrastructure are on a 50 foot right-of-way; some are only on 40 feet. Many streets have a pavement width of 20 feet or less and no walkways on one side of the street. The present design standards for new streets provide an option for an estate street which includes a 24-foot wide pavement on a 50-foot right-of-way. This design allows for an aboveground swale system in lieu of the standard underground stormsewer infrastructure. The original approval of this design was initiated not only for the appropriateness of the design but also as a way of lowering development costs. Several streets in the Village with this design, such as Orton Road are quite functional and have presented no serious problems. The estate street design, along with other alternatives, should be an option in future developments. Modifications to this basic design may include requirements for a sidewalk when anticipated traffic volume warrants separation of motorized traffic from pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles for safety.
An effective street network must recognize the different functions of various streets. A street hierarchy system separates routes that carry traffic to different destinations and serve different types of travel. A system that maintains the appropriate balance between movement and access is desirable. One obvious distinction in the hierarchy recognizes streets serving through traffic and those serving access to specific property. Specific access and movement criteria are the foundation for an ordered classification system with associated design standards. The street hierarchy is outlined below.
(1) Residential Access Street
The general purpose of this street is to carry traffic having destination or origin on the street itself and to provide frontage for service and access to private lots. These streets should be designed to carry the least amount of traffic at the lowest speed. The geometric design should be such that safety is promoted and one that contributes to an overall desirable residential neighborhood design. Typically, these streets are short loops, cul-de-sacs, or courts. Residential subdivisions should be designed so that all or most housing units front on this type of street. They should be designed so that no section conveys an average daily traffic volume greater than 250 vehicles.
Design standards for residential access streets should include moving lane widths of 10 feet and an additional 8 feet where a parking lane is provided. Curbing is considered optional and somewhat dependent on the overall design of the residential area. If a parking lane is provided, curbing should, in most cases, be included in the design. Sidewalks and tree lawns should also be viewed as necessary when they add an important component to the overall design but should not be required in all cases. A 40-foot right-of-way should be sufficient for this design.
(2) Residential Subcollector
The purpose of this street is to carry the traffic of adjoining residential access streets to destinations within the immediate neighborhood. The traffic would be limited to that from intersecting residential access streets along with the traffic generated on the street itself. This street does not interconnect adjoining neighborhoods and should not carry regional through traffic. Some properties can front on these streets when a development design does not allow them to front on the access street. Subcollectors should be designed so that no section conveys an average daily traffic volume greater than 500 vehicles.
Design standards for a residential subcollector should include two 10-foot wide moving vehicle lanes and an additional 8-foot lane if parking provisions are included in the design. Typically, these streets should have curbing. The minimum design for a typical residential subcollector would include two 10-foot moving lanes, a 4-foot utility strip and 8 feet for tree lawns on each side of the street. This design would use a 40-foot right-of-way. The maximum design for these streets would include two 10-foot moving lanes, two 8-foot parking lanes, 4 feet for utility needs, two 4-foot sidewalks on each side of the street and two 4-foot tree lawns on each side of the street. This design would require a 60-foot right-of-way. The variation in design elements for any particular case would depend on the expected intensity of the street use, not only by vehicles but pedestrians and bicycles, and how it would complement surrounding areas.
(3) Residential Collector
The purpose of this street is to conduct and distribute traffic between lower-order streets and higher-order ones. These streets should carry the largest volume of residential traffic at higher speeds. To allow free traffic flow, on-street parking and direct access to homes should be prohibited. Residential collectors expected to carry considerable volume should be designed so that they are not used as short cuts between neighborhoods. Not all developments will require residential collectors but, as a general rule, developments over 150 dwellings will typically contain collectors designed to convey average daily traffic volume no greater than 3,000 vehicles.
Design standards for a residential collector should include two 12-foot wide moving lanes with no parking lanes provided. The minimal design should include a 24-foot width of pavement, a 4-foot utility strip and two 4-foot tree lawns. This design can be accommodated on a 40-foot right-of-way. The maximum design for collectors would include a 24-foot width of pavement, two 4-foot shoulders, two 4-foot sidewalks and two 4-foot tree lawns. This design can be built on a 50-foot right-of-way.
The purpose of these streets is to convey traffic between municipalities and other activity centers and to provide connections with major roadways. Arterials should be designed to carry an average daily traffic volume of more than 3,000 vehicles.
The maximum design for an arterial would include four 12-foot moving lanes, two 8-foot parking lanes, two 5-foot tree lawns, two 4-foot sidewalks and a 10-foot strip for utilities. An 80-foot right-of-way would accommodate this design.
(5) Special Purpose Streets
(a) Alley: This is a service road providing secondary access to lots. It is considered the same functional level as a residential access street with different standards. The amount of activity on alleys should be minimized and their layout should discourage use as shortcuts. These should be designed to discourage through traffic and no parking should be permitted.
(b) Cul-de-Sac: This is a street with single access for ingress and egress, having a turn-around. These streets are valued in residential developments as they promote neighborhood identity and allow safer, quieter living conditions. Cul-de-sacs can have different design standards, depending on the uses they serve. Those serving residences can be narrower than those serving businesses.
(c) Stub Street: This is a portion of a street which has been approved in its entirety but is not yet in existence, permitted as part of a phased development. Design standards would be the same as its expected completion street, with additional temporary design elements, e.g., temporary turn-around as deemed necessary.
The Land Use Map included in this Plan indicates the classification of existing streets and also indicates where new street connections are desirable.
Goal: Proposals for new streets should be compatible with these classifications, and the arrangement of new streets should conform to the thoroughfare plan and the accompanying map.
Goal: The Village will continue to emphasize safety and efficiency in the operation of all public utilities and the street infrastructure.
Goal: The transportation network shall be the product of ongoing efforts to balance effectively the movement of goods and services and to provide local access to residents.
Goal: Maintain appropriate street design standards that promote the safety and convenience of both motorized and non-motorized traffic, create a cohesive network complementary to adjacent land uses and activities, and provide varying transportation options, including bicycles, when possible.
Goal: Minimize street construction costs through variation in design and engineering in an effort to limit cost and lower housing prices.
Goal: Minimize the amount of impervious surface throughout the Village as it relates to street construction to alleviate runoff and maintain the natural environment whenever possible.
Goal: Village government shall continue to provide a safe means of passage for all motorized traffic as it moves throughout the Village.
4.7. General Environment
Some basic principles have emerged and strengthened during the past several decades that define Yellow Springs' current and future image of itself. They all have some impact on the environment, and on the way citizens of the Village expect to relate to the environment. In general, Villagers agree that:
(1) Being environmentally responsible-- working to improve and preserve the natural ecosystem's health-- is deemed higher priority than individual or collective economic gain.
(2) The community values diversity and seeks to preserve the freedom and rights of individuals insofar as possible, so long as the freedom and rights of others and the long-term health of the Village environment, ambiance, and quality of life are not compromised.
(3) The current ambiance of Yellow Springs-- "small" and "rural"-- should be preserved. A healthy central business district, the "hub" of the Village, is an integral part of the valued ambiance, as is green space both within and around the Village.
(4) While recognizing that Yellow Springs has attributes worth preserving, stagnation is not a desirable goal and a healthy economy is also important. The community sees itself as connected to and influenced by surrounding communities and the world, and proactive in developing and using new ideas and appropriate technology for land use strategies and protecting the environment.
(5) Conservation, be it applied to the natural environment as a whole or resources such as air, water and energy, is more than a concept in Yellow Springs. Village government should lead and support programs and practices that conserve energy and reduce, if not avoid, contaminating our air and water.
In terms of the community's goals vis-à-vis the environment in general, these basic principles underlie the following goals intended to protect or improve our landscape, air and water.
Surroundings and Internal Open Space
Recognizing that moderate controlled growth of residential, commercial and light industrial development is both desirable and needed around and within the Village, preservation of natural forest, meadow land, and agricultural open space beyond the urban service boundary is a desirable goal. Yellow Springs pledges support for the continued preservation of Glen Helen and additional greenbelt that extends completely around the Village, connecting with the Country Common to the south and east. The current plan calls for about 2600 acres on the western and northern Village boundaries, the entirety of which is designated the Jacoby Greenbelt. The Village Council should perform periodic review of the Jacoby Greenbelt boundaries.
Village open space should be more accessible and interconnected via bike/walking paths to encourage healthier and safer living for everyone.
General strategies that may be used toward this goal include acquiring and keeping land and/or development rights, acquiring land for resale once conservation easements are applied, and active cooperation with the Tecumseh Land Trust, other conservation groups, agricultural organizations, and neighboring planning commissions. Specific strategies will include but not be limited to mapping of the greenbelt areas, keeping records and tracking ownership and land use activity, establishing acquisition priorities, identifying development threats, and determining a financial plan that includes appropriate compensation (financial or otherwise) for greenbelt land owners other than the Village.
The current use of certain areas around or within Yellow Springs besides Glen Helen adds to the quality of life in Yellow Springs whether or not they are owned by the Village. These areas should be defined and specific plans should be developed concerning the Village's influence on their future. These areas include Gaunt and Ellis Parks, the Whitehall Farms, the Yellow Springs school campuses, the Golf Course of Antioch College, and agricultural areas directly adjacent to or in the Village.
Open space and recreational areas within and between residential and commercial neighborhoods are also important to the environment in general and are addressed in other sections of this Plan.
Goal: Actively pursue the preservation of natural environments as much as possible within and adjacent to the Village, including continued support for the status of Glen Helen and acquisition of additional greenbelt around the Village.
Natural Resources: Air, Water, and Energy
Recognizing that the Village of Yellow Springs has limited control over the quality of its air, environmental goals for protecting it should include an air-monitoring program that will establish baseline components and track fluctuations. Encouraging the use of bicycles, enforcing laws against idling vehicles and open burning, and using low-emission fuels for Village energy expenditures are small but significant steps. Taking an active stand on practices, proposals, and developments upwind and downwind is justified within the larger goal of protecting the quality of life in Yellow Springs.
The Village is completely dependent on groundwater, and groundwater, like air, does not respect political boundaries. Recognizing this and the connection between surface water and groundwater, as well as the impact of storm water and agricultural runoff, lawn treatments, landfills, septic tanks, and non-containment of industrial and household wastes, should direct land use planning, legislation, enforcement, and the use of Village-owned land.
Goal: Continue to monitor air and water quality in and around the Village.
Goal: Village Government should practice, encourage, and actively support appropriate technology and recycling programs that seek to limit the production and use of noxious compounds.
4.8. Special Planning Areas
Four Special Planning Areas are identified on the Land Use Map as important components of the Village Plan because of their size, physical location, and potential for mixed-use development. These are (1) the central business district, (2) the Dayton-Yellow Springs and East Enon Roads area, (3) the King Street and Fairfield Pike area, and (4) the US Route 68 and Hyde Road area.
A performance-based approach should be considered in the review of any specific development proposals within these areas. The premise of this approach is that any type of land use is possible, as long as the impact of growth and development does not threaten natural, social and economic qualities that are deemed worthy of protection,
.but the premise should not be so restrictive as to stagnate the Village, precluding those things we wish to preserve. These natural, social and economic qualities should be explicitly defined beforehand. Compatibility with existing adjacent uses and infrastructure/service demand must also be addressed in using this approach.
(1) The Central Business District
This area has physical, social and economic importance, and the Village will seek to maintain a human scale. "Entrances" that demarcate the area and currently work well at doing that should be identified and preserved. They are the northern entrance to the Village with Whitehall Farm and the cemetery on the west and the agricultural area and Glen Helen on the east side of Route 68; the Barr property on Xenia Avenue at Limestone Street; the funeral home property; and Mills Lawn School. The western entrance to the Village along Dayton Street, and the southern entrance on Route 68 from Xenia currently work as well, but these areas are more vulnerable to negative changes in use. Development proposals and/or zoning changes must be carefully weighed with these considerations in mind.
There has been, and continues to be, clear and continued support for measures that would enhance the downtown area as a community focal point. This means that the present variety of land uses, all complementary to the community with respect to services, retail, social and cultural offerings, and aesthetics, should be supported and protected.
One serious issue of the downtown area is the limit on available space. In 1977 the business district contained some 18 acres, including streets and alleys. By comparison, land use data for other communities in the region indicates rule-of-thumb acreage of commercial land being about 1 acre per 100 residents, which would mean that about 39 acres to serve the present Village population should be provided. Planning for this area should include desired development patterns and preferences regarding the direction of expansion. New or modified development in the CBD should reflect its legacy of relatively small lots, high density, a pedestrian orientation, and mixed uses-- for example, shops on the ground floor and offices, studios, light production or residences on the second floor. Buildings that have managed to endure as "historic treasures" should be specifically identified and protected.
Other important physical elements of the central business district that have been identified as critical to its success and that should be kept and protected include mixed uses of buildings and spaces that include personal services such as banks, a movie theater, the post office, other service establishments, and a variety of retail operations including restaurants. Other valued elements include pedestrian and bicycle amenities such as benches and bike racks, as well as village-oriented building heights and overall scales. To these ends, the height, bulk and overall presence of any new or renovated buildings, as well as lot size and setback, should be controlled to relate to the established scale and harmony of the area and its pedestrian orientation.
Vehicle parking on both sides of the streets should be maintained, and nearby off-street parking should be designated that does not dominate the view. Options for term limits on existing parking should be continually considered. The opening of the bike path and the continued success of local businesses have increased the demand for parking on weekends and holidays, but average daily demand is being met. There is no current plan for providing more parking spaces to accommodate peak demands,
.Possibilities include utilizing the area west of Cemetery Street and adjusting parking time limits in other areas is being developed. The option of modifying on-street parking time limits may be considered whenever deemed appropriate. Additional curb cuts along Xenia Avenue between Limestone and Corry Streets should be prohibited and no off-street parking areas should be allowed to front on Xenia Avenue.
There has been community support for measures that would enhance and protect the downtown area as the community's "hub", both in the public opinion survey of 1973 and the 1990 neighborhood forums. It is clear that citizens would discourage new commercial centers elsewhere in or near the Village that might be harmful to the retail base of the CBD. However, small, alternate commercial areas that do not rival the focal-point character of downtown are seen as realistic and accommodating the overall quality of Village life.
Goal: Recognize the importance of the central business district as critical to the character of Yellow Springs. Protect its economic health and ensure its continuation as a community focal point.
(2) Dayton-Yellow Springs and East Enon Roads
The existing school campuses and the light industry already existing at this entrance to the Village must be incorporated into future land use decisions, and special attention should be given to limiting intrusion upon adjacent residential uses. Any new development should avoid accesses that significantly increase traffic at the intersection, be of compatible scale (which would include limiting the height and bulk of new buildings), and avoid building and parking areas that create a "sea of asphalt". Curb cuts along the Dayton-Yellow Springs Road should be minimized.
The northwest corner of this intersection has been previously, and may continue to be, considered for some type of commerce/research office park. Any development design for this property should specifically address: (1) access that does not create potential hazards at the intersection; (2) scale compatible with surrounding land use; (3) aesthetic placement of buildings and parking areas; and (4) trees, landscaping and screening as part of the overall design.
Land just west of the school campus will quite likely be developed. Any development proposal should be closely reviewed with regard to effective use of land—such as, clustering of residences and limiting curb cuts along the Dayton-Yellow Springs Road. Overall visual impact with regard to its being an entrance to the Village should also be considered.
Goal: Continue to evaluate development proposals with regard to their impact on traffic, number of curb cuts, and extent of impermeable surface.
Goal: Limit development in the environmentally sensitive Jacoby Creek Valley. Incorporate these concerns in any development that occurs on the northwest corner of Dayton-Yellow Springs and East Enon Roads.
(3) King Street and Fairfield Pike
Development in this area is expected to be residential, with specific density and design dependent on the availability of utilities in providing different housing options. The area adjacent to King Street might be appropriate for the continuation of surrounding residential development. The variation in surrounding densities, with Park Meadows being relatively high and Kingsfield relatively low, allows consideration of a development pattern which could continue this same variety in actual density with the overall development having some cohesion in design and amenities. Prior to development in this area, a comprehensive storm water management plan for the drainage area serviced by the creek which runs under King Street needs to be prepared.
(4) US Route 68 and Hyde Road
This area presently supports industrial, commercial and residential land uses. Any new development must be compatible with this mixed-use reality. Expected traffic patterns relating to development, and protection of ground water, including the down stream lakes and streams, must be a critical consideration.
Two undeveloped properties just east of US 68 appear most appropriate for residential development, with various options for density and design. Consolidation of the two properties should be encouraged, but if this is not feasible, access to US 68 for both parcels should be from the smaller one, which already fronts on the highway. Drainage patterns of the tracts support this view.
Recent annexations have added over 60 acres to the northwest side of the Village. Definite plans for use of this land have not yet emerged. The reconstruction of the sanitary sewer under Dayton Street will facilitate extending sewer to this land. Discussions should continue between Village and Township officials to find mutually satisfactory development options and agreements around the Village boundary that may not necessitate annexation, but could require utility extension.
A policy outlining the Village Council’s position regarding annexation was adopted in 1992, a copy of which is included in the appendix of this document.
APPENDICES & MAPS
A Village Annexation Policy
B Growth Management Planning Study (Portion) July 1992
C Village Planning Impact Boundary Policy
D 1990 Village Forum Summary
E Village Business Retention Policy
F Village-owned Land Development Guidelines
G Humanity House 1995 Resident Survey
H Yellow Springs Cost of Living Report – November 2002
E Land-Use/ Thoroughfare Plan Map
F Jacoby Greenbelt Map
G 1995 Open Space Map