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Council to consider update of code

Published: Tue, February 1, 2011 @ 12:02 a.m.

By David Skolnick



City council will consider legislation Wednesday to hire a consultant for up to $250,000 to create a new zoning code for Youngstown.

The money to do the work comes from a $200,000 Ohio Housing Finance Agency grant and $50,000 from the city’s federal Community Development Block Grant.

The company hired would “take the existing code and give us a totally new one,” said Bill D’Avignon, the city’s community development agency director.

The city’s current zoning code was written about 40 years ago, he said.

Council’s legislation to be considered Wednesday would allow the board of control to hire a company for the work.

The city received proposals from 10 firms. City officials liked four of the companies and are currently negotiating with Clarion Associates, D’Avignon said. Clarion is a land-use and real-estate consulting firm, with seven offices nationwide, including one in Cincinnati.

The city wants to hire a firm in the next few weeks, D’Avignon said.

It would take about 12 to 18 months for the new code to be written because the company hired would have several meetings to receive input from the public on the plan, he said.

The zoning code would complement the city’s Youngstown 2010 land redevelopment plan adopted six years ago, he said.

“We need [a zoning code] that is liberal in the reuse of land,” D’Avignon said. “We want one that gives flexibility for mixed-use and agriculture in abandoned or emptied-out areas of the city. Everything is going to be revamped.”

Also Wednesday, council will consider giving the board of control the power to waive 65 percent of building, sewer, water and zoning permit fees for the construction of V&M Star’s $650 million expansion project near its current Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard location.

The savings won’t be known by the city until the company seeks the permits, but the city finance director said the amount should be in the range of $400,000.


1lee(544 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

$250'000??? do it yourselves, I thought the city was broke. As you are doing your job you can reduce the size of the code and get Govt. out of the way

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2lizhill2(7 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Is there anything wrong with the old code? Other than the fact that it hasn't been enforced since it was written?

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3glbtactivist(300 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

What a waste of taxpayer money. They are lost from reality in their own bureaucracy. Spend the money on real community development. Contact your city councilman.

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4PhilKidd(187 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Every city in America has zoning code. It is a fundamental and necessary item that allows for certain types of funding to come to parts of the city for future development or prevents others from occurring where it shouldn't.

The city's zoning code has not been updated in over 41 years. Our population and our land use was nearly twice what it was then. The old / current code is designed to accommodate growth and is completely inconsistent with today's Youngstown. This creates an increasing and consistent reactionary and unnecessary situation for the Planning Commission which has to review and approval every single zoning related issue. The code should have been done when Youngstown 2010 was launched, however, the funding is here now and is primarily funded through the OHFA which earmarks funds of this nature each and every year for such necessary projects. Any person involved with urban matters will tell you this is long, long overdue in a city like Youngstown.

In fact, our zoning code proposal will be the first of its kind in the United States - one that focuses on how to innovatively / thoughtfully / productively zone for a "shrinking city" concept - and will likely be examined by other communities throughout the northeast / midwest if not the entire country given what the this economy has done to a number of communities large and small in every corner of the US.

Contact your city councilperson.

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5palbubba(746 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"shrinking city", only in population and private business, certainly not in the size and scope of government and its agencies. Spend a quarter of a million dollars on a code that will be as effective as a loud noise ordinance or a ban on pit bull dogs. Give me a break, this is just the useless spending of money provided by a grant from a bankrupt state and a bankrupt city.

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