Regional Housing Strategy adapts to changing social factors

The COVID-19 stay-at-home order this spring slowed the pace of the Regional Housing Strategy (RHS), but it did not shut it down. In fact, the pandemic has added an important dimension to the initiative in a world and region that will never be quite the same. RHS stakeholders have been working toward a shared vision [...]

Protecting farmland is important to the region’s growth

Central Ohio was on track to lose up to 500 square miles of farm and forest land by 2050 to meet projected population growth if development had continued in the same patterns as those in the late 1900s and early 2000s. But over the last six years, projected land consumption has declined even as estimates [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]