The Village of Yellow Springs has a long history of progressive planning policies meant to improve the quality of life within the Village. It's clear residents have much pride in the Village and want to ensure a high quality of life is available to all Yellow Springs residents.
Based on the public engagement process and the past visioning efforts, the following Planning priorities emerged:
Continue to protect the surrounding agricultural and rural nature of the area.
Provide a diversity of living options within the Village
Improve economic diversity and access to jobs
Protect key environmentally sensitive areas within the Village and surrounding areas
Embrace sustainability values when evaluating projects and policies
Maintain the character of Yellow Springs as a small, sustainable Village
Encourage a diverse transportation infrastructure that supports mobility for all ages
Continue to provide high-quality public services to its residents, businesses, visitors and other stakeholders.
Additionally, while developing this Plan, residents were asked to verify that the nine principles for land stewardship identified in 2010 were still relevant to the Village. Overwhelmingly, respondents agreed that the principles outlined below are still relevant, with some modifications, and should be reflected in the future land use Plan.
1. Redevelopment and infill locations are favored over the development of greenfield locations.
To the extent growth - such as population increase and business growth - takes place in the future, it is preferable to accommodate this investment in locations that are underutilized and/or already have needed infrastructure. This will take place in a deliberate and careful manner, while considering other community needs like quantity and proximity to green space and parks. Development in greenfield areas will be the exception, not the rule, and will be a result of a very careful and strategic decision-making process.
2. Natural features and resources (streams, woodlands, farms, etc.) are preserved and, if not, then conserved.
The community currently has extensive land in its natural state that is permanently protected from development. Natural resources are critical to the identity of the community and should be preserved. Land use for farming represents both important economic, aesthetic, and environmental benefits to the community. In cases where preservation is not possible (e.g. no control over land ownership or higher community purpose), conservation is the preferred alternative. Where direct conservation efforts are not feasible, the Village will provide support for conservation or seek out assistance for conservation options.
3. Future development—including redevelopment— will happen in a manner that strengthens the physical character (scale, building forms, site placement, etc.) of the Village.
To the extent future development takes place in Yellow Springs, it will respect the scale, form, and site placement that reinforces village character (as opposed to city, suburban or rural character). This applies to infill, redevelopment, or greenfield development. This does not imply that only development “strengthens physical character.” The natural environment is a strong element of physical character. It means that when development takes place it needs to “behave” in a manner that respects the essential physical character of the Village, including historical context.
4. Development outside the Village respects the rural character of the township.
To the extent growth takes place outside of Yellow Springs, but within Miami Township, it will respect the scale, form and site placement that reinforces rural character (as opposed to city, suburban, or village character). This means that if and when development takes place, it needs to “behave” in a manner that respects the essential physical character of the township, including generally undeveloped open spaces, agricultural focus and the “beauty and serenity” of the countryside.
5. Quality design is emphasized for all uses to create an attractive, distinctive public and private realm.
The aesthetic qualities of private and public developments strengthen the uniqueness and appeal of the community. This includes areas under control of government entities (e.g. streetscapes, community facilities, etc.) and private development. Areas are planned and designed in a way that preserves their overall usability, affordability and sustainability. Similarly, these areas should also be attractive in a way that contributes to a common identity in the community, while allowing for creative differences, innovation, freedom and diversity of design.
6. Places are created with an integrated mix of uses, contributing to the community’s identity and vitality.
To the extent that future development and redevelopment occurs, the places are created with multiple uses—residential, commercial, and institutional, among others—in close proximity to each other, perhaps on the same parcel and/or in the same structure. Close attention is given to the compatibility of those uses, as well as the efficiency of the used space. Uses are arranged to maximize pedestrian activity and to support community viability.
7. Diverse housing choices are found throughout the community, including in relatively higher density development within the Village of Yellow Springs.
New residential development is diverse in type (single-family and multi-family, detached and attached, etc.) as well as diverse in cost, with special emphasis on affordability. Existing housing stock in Yellow Springs is primarily single-family detached dwellings. Enhanced diversity will include relatively higher densities, consistent with physical design attributes in line with village character (as opposed to city, suburban, or rural character). The housing choices are physically organized to strengthen neighborhood qualities like diverse, multi-generational residents living in close proximity to one another.
8. Parks, open spaces, and recreational areas are incorporated as part of future development.
Parks and recreational opportunities protect sensitive natural resources, including wildlife habitat. Although the community enjoys considerable parks, open space, and recreational areas, a more equitable geographic distribution of such resources is sought.
9. Places are connected and accessible throughout the community by transportation methods other than automobiles.
Destinations within the Village and throughout the township are safely and attractively connected for pedestrians and bicyclists. The general development pattern within the Village is conducive to this intent and should be reinforced with future development and redevelopment. Overall, a network of non-automobile choices connects the community for all levels of ability.
The Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Future Land Use Map takes into consideration the priorities and desires expressed during the 2010 visioning process, as well as community engagement efforts in updating this Plan.