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Central Ohio building and zoning stay afloat amid shutdown

Central Ohio communities are mobilizing to keep up with building and zoning applications during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order – making use of online video hearings and even virtual inspections of some construction projects. Ohio legislators did their part in March with approval of House Bill 197, which allows a temporary easing (until December 1) of [...]

Local government videoconferences keep region connected

These are unprecedented times in the effort to bring Central Ohio municipalities, townships, and counties together as a region. MORPC’s role during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order goes well beyond virtually convening local governments and the building industry to determine ways to go forward. MORPC has partnered with the Franklin County Township Association and Central Ohio [...]

May 1st, 2020|Events, Public Health, Voices of insight2050|

Lancaster discovers it’s a trendsetter in affordable housing

Mike Pettit, economic development director for the City of Lancaster, had never heard of “missing middle” housing or Opticos, the California-based design firm that coined the term. But he knew what his city needed in some of its working-class neighborhoods. Opticos would probably approve. For a number of reasons, Pettit and Mayor David Scheffler settled [...]

Insight2050 Academy on affordable housing design to be rescheduled

The Spring 2020 insight2050 Academy on affordable housing is the latest postponement amid efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The Academy was scheduled for the mornings of April 3, 10, and 17, with planning and architectural professionals exploring and demonstrating the role of design in affordable housing. MORPC remains committed to moving forward with this [...]

Five projects getting under way in Technical Assistance Program

Work has begun on five planning projects selected by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) for technical assistance. The cities of Hilliard, Westerville, and Columbus, as well as Jefferson Township and Franklin County will benefit from MORPC’s insight2050 Technical Assistance Program (TA Program). MORPC staff members will assist these communities in the planning of active [...]

Registration opens March 2 for spring academy on affordable housing

The Spring 2020 insight2050 Academy will focus on the role of design in affordable housing. The sessions, which MORPC is co-hosting with Ohio State’s Knowlton School Alumni Society, will be April 3, 10, and 17. They are aimed at design practitioners in architecture, planning, and related fields. The April 10 session will include hands-on project [...]

New development models may help reduce pedestrian deaths

A rising number of cars are hitting pedestrians in Central Ohio, and the number of pedestrian fatalities in 431 such crashes last year rose to 23. A recent article in The Columbus Dispatch examined the situation and compared Columbus-area numbers with those of other Ohio cities. Columbus TV station WSYX spoke with MORPC and others [...]

Housing and affordability at top of many regional agendas

Housing and affordability are hot topics at MORPC and throughout the region. In December, MORPC hosted a mini-insight2050 Academy on the complexities of affordable housing, and held the first session of a winter speaker series on housing-related issues. The mini-academy was held as a primer on regional affordable-housing issues for a broad range of planners, [...]

Looking to the future by building on the past

By Brian Williams Central Ohio has been blessed with some developers and policymakers who were ahead of their times – and whose foresight came from their hindsight.Jack Lucks of Continental Real Estate Companies foresaw 25 years ago the appeal of living in an urban apartment above shops and restaurants in modern buildings that reflect the character [...]

Building a strong region out of Strong Towns

Strong Towns started in 2009 as a modest website with big ideas. After an initial small investment in time and money, the site attracted the notice of like-minded urban advocates and planning professionals who wanted to help out. So founder Charles L. “Chuck” Marohn built an addition, you might say, onto his growing site to [...]