Community Character and Design
Yellow Springs is a community that prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and the high quality of life of its residents. Land use policies can significantly affect the sense of place and physical character of a community. Key land use policies that impact community character and design include:
Growth management and conservation practices
Infrastructure investments and design standards
Zoning and development regulations
Open space and recreational opportunities
Yellow Springs has very proactive policies designed to maintain and improve community character and urban design. The recommendations below are designed to build on that commitment to a quality community.
Growth Management and Conservation
Yellow Springs and Miami Township have consistently been regional leaders in growth management and environmental conservation. The collective commitment of Yellow Springs and Miami Township to environmental stewardship, planned growth and sustainable investments is a rare partnership found between a municipality and its adjacent township. The Urban Service Boundary concept is even more rare in the state of Ohio.
Both communities should continue their support of the USB and the farmland conservation efforts outside of the USB. This is particularly true of land west of the village which is facing development pressures from Fairborn and within Bath Township.
Both jurisdictions should:
Continue to recognize and adhere to the Urban Service Boundary growth limits. Nearly 360 acres remains undeveloped between the Village corporation limits and the Urban Service Boundary. This is ample land to accommodate the growth needs of the Village for the next few decades.
Continue to support the TLT conservation efforts outside of the Urban Service Boundary. In the near term, development pressures that could reduce prime farmland will be largely concentrated on the western portions of Miami Township, in closer proximity to the City of Fairborn. However, as larger lot subdivisions are constructed and public infrastructure continues to be extended eastward, those pressures may move closer to Yellow Springs. The Village should continue to support farmland preservation and conservation efforts, particularly in the north west quadrants of Miami Township.
Yellow Springs has a National Register Historic District that covers a large swath of downtown. This district not only reflects the historic importance of the downtown area, but also opens up the potential for property owners to obtain historic tax credits for the rehabilitation of their property. Additionally, a number of buildings on the Antioch College campus are also listed. While these buildings are listed on the National Register, being listed provides no protection from demolition or significant alteration.
Yellow Springs should consider establishing a local Historic District Overlay to better protect those historic resources. Historic district overlay zoning regulations can vary in intensity, from simply requiring a public conversation before a building is demolished all the way to regulating exterior modifications and alterations. The level of regulatory oversight can be tailored to the needs and appetite of the community.