To the Editor:
The City of Bowling Green, Ohio – Draft Zoning Code June 1, 2022 states:
150.31 PURPOSE OF DISTRICTS: A district is a distinct area of the city with a unique identity and purpose, whether existing or desired.
District regulations aim to respect the district’s unique identity and purpose through context-specific land use restrictions, building placement and scale regulations, and design standards.
150.32 The Pedestrian-Residential District promotes walkable neighborhoods with residential uses and some associated businesses. Residents in this district should be able to walk quickly, safely, and peaceably to nearby businesses.”
Doesn’t this describe the current existing conditions in Bowling Green? Do not placidly accept the proposed Pedestrian-Residential Zoning District around downtown.
What Bowling Green currently has is a unique friendly walkable downtown. Though some residential housing has been lost to parking lots behind Main Street, there exists a diverse neighborhood of housing stock around downtown.
Look at the large metropolitan areas to our north to see the future of BG if you don’t treasure what currently exists here.
You have been told that the current zoning code created in 1975 with amendments as needed over the years “is based on outdated ideas of our community needs and values.”
Supposedly it now needs to be replaced allowing “retail permission in the residential neighborhoods surrounding downtown,” with the resultant loss of the residential character. Zoning codes which have withstood legal challenges exist to protect residential areas and community quality of life.
Balderdash. If it is not broken don’t fix it. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.
Those who are pushing The Pedestrian-Residential District appear to be shills for future developers wanting to circumvent existing protections of residential properties within walking district of downtown and who will profit by commercial development, leaving those who own property left within a diminished community.
The residential area around downtown should be exclusively promoted for those who who are interested in viable residential neighborhoods. A more healthy inverse ratio for a healthy Bowling Green, where unlike the current 65% of residential units being rental properties versus only 35% owner occupied.
Creating more commercial intrusions will not promote future residential investment.
This community needs residential property owners who live and invest around downtown, not transitory individuals who do not value, protect and live in the existing residential area.