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South District Plan 10-5-21 South District Plan D E P A R T M E N T O F N E I G H B O R H O O D A N D D E V E L O P M E N T S E R V I C E S I O W A C I T Y ADOPTED OCTOBER 20, 2015 AMENDED OCTOBER 5, 2021 ii iii South District Plan City of Iowa City, Iowa City Council Kingsley Botchway Rick Dobyns Terry Dickens Matthew Hayek Susan Mims Michelle Payne Jim Throgmorton Planning and Zoning Commission Carolyn Dyer Charles Eastham Ann Freerks Michael Hensch Phoebe Martin Max Parsons Jodie Theobald City Manager Tom Markus Department of Neighborhood and Development Services Doug Boothroy, Director John Yapp, Development Services Coordinator Robert Miklo, Senior Planner Karen Howard, Associate Planner Sarah Walz, Associate Planner Emily Ambrosy, Mapping Kay Irelan, Mapping Bailee McClellan, Intern Ashley Zitzner, Intern Kirk Lehmann, Intern iv Page intentionally left blank. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 1 Housing 13 Neighborhood Quality 23 Parks, Trails, and Open Space 29 Streets, Trails, and Sidewalks 37 Commercial Areas 47 Form-Based Land Use 54 South District Future Land Use Maps 58 vi Page intentionally left blank. I n t ro d u c t i o n The Comprehensive Plan is intended to promote patterns of land use, urban design, infrastructure, and services that encourage and contribute to the livability and sustainability of Iowa City and its neighborhoods. As elements of the Comprehensive Plan, district plans relate specifically to the histo- ry and existing conditions at a more local, neighborhood level. The goals and objectives in the dis- trict plan addresses issues of housing and quality of life; transportation; commercial development; and parks, trails, and open space particular to specific areas of the community. These plans are advi- sory documents that are intended to direct and manage change over time. They serve as a guide for decision-making, deliberation, and investment for both the public and private sector. Originally adopted in 1997, the South District Plan was Iowa City’s first completed district plan. Fol- lowing the Iowa City Community School District announcement that a new elementary school, Archi- bald Alexander, would open in South Iowa City in 2015, City Council directed planning staff to up- date the existfng district plan. The updated plan would consider new neighborhoods surrounding the school that would develop in light of the sustainability goals of the IC2030 Comprehensive Plan and the prioritfes of the City’s Strategic Plan (November, 2013). The plan was amended again in 2021 to further facilitate development that follows form-based principles. The new elementary school and the road extension and infrastructure that serve it represent a sub- stantfal investment made by the taxpayers of our community. It is therefore in the public interest to plan proactfvely for the long-term health and stability of new and existfng neighborhoods to ensure the full benefit of that investment. The update to the South District Plan therefore focuses on cre- atfng walkable neighborhoods served by a network of interconnected streets that enhance opportu- nitfes not only for alternatfve transportatfon but for neighborhood cohesion and social interactfon. The plan calls for the integratfon of a variety of housing optfons to accommodate a range of house- hold types and to support the extension of transit and support for small neighborhood commercial nodes. It seeks to strengthen and enhance existfng neighborhoods and improve access to parks, commercial areas, and employment centers. Finally, the plan recognizes the opening of the new school as an opportunity to re-envision South Iowa City—to foster a positfve identfty and sense of community based on its environmental and recreatfonal assets and its culturally diverse populatfon. The Iowa City Community School District hosted a groundbreaking for the new Archibald Alexander Elemen- tary School in June, 2014. The new school is scheduled open in fall 2015 and will have a capacity of 500 students. The City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department partnered with the School District, contributing funds to enlarge the school gymnasium so that it can serve the community after school hours. The South District is one of ten planning districts in Iowa City. 2 Public Participation Public input is vital to any comprehensive planning effort. Residents, property owners, area busi- nesses, community organizatfons, public service agencies, and other interested citfzens helped for- mulate the goals and objectfves for this update to the South District Plan through their partfcipatfon in one or more planning actfvitfes. To initfate the process, staff conducted a series of interviews with neighborhood advocates and representatfves of community groups, realtors, and property owners. Additfonal feedback was gathered at a series of neighborhood events—Wetherby’s Party in the Park, Natfonal Night Out, and Grant Wood Elementary School’s back-to-school event. An online survey gathered additfonal informatfon from 70 respondents. From these interviews and events, a set of common themes emerged. A community workshop held at Grant Wood Elementary on October 6, 2014, gathered additfonal informatfon on what makes the South District attractfve and livable as well as what is challenging about living, working, or doing business in South Iowa City. Workshop partfcipants discussed how to build on the assets of the area, including the many environmental and recreatfonal assets and the new south elementary school. Other Sources The South District Plan also draws from outreach and interviews completed by the Broadway Neighborhood Center, including a set of strategies formulated as a result of community workshops and surveys conducted by that agency in (2008). Informatfon also came from the Broadway Neigh- borhood Community Assessment, a 2004 report authored by Julie A. Spears M.S.W., M.A. and Miri- am J. Landsman, Ph.D., M.S.W. (University of Iowa School of Social Work, Natfonal Resource Center for Family Centered Practfce). These reports represent substantfal input from minoritfes and renters, two groups that may have been underrepresented at the community workshop. Input for Form-Based Standards Extensive outreach was also conducted during the formulation of form-based standards in 2019 and 2020. The City engaged approximately 125 people at a mix of individual interviews, focus group meetings, community meetings, and presentations by staff and Opticos, the City’s consult- ant on the project. Participants included representatives from the local development community, local government entities, property owners, architects, affordable housing advocates, and the general public. The public workshop for the South District Plan took place on October 6 at Grant Wood Elementary. The workshop was an opportunity for residents, property owners, developers, and other interested members of the community to meet face-to-face to discuss the future of South Iowa City. It was also a chance for members of the public to engage with City staff to better understand development processes, provision of services, extension or improvements to infrastructure, as well as preservation of open space and zoning. 3 Plan Implementation The South District Plan will be used as a guide for future development or redevelopment within the district and for preserving and improving valuable assets of the area. Achieving the goals and objec- tfves included in this plan will take tfme and the combined effort of the City, area residents, property owners, businesses, community nonprofits, and neighborhood organizatfons. • City staff, the Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment, and the City Council will rely on the plan as a guide when reviewing development and rezoning requests and setting funding prioritfes for public infrastructure, services, or programming. • Neighborhood groups, nonprofits, and other interested organizatfons within the community may use the plan to design programming and events and to advocate for investment (including grants), improvement, and preservatfon. • Property owners, businesses, real estate professionals, and developers should use the plan as framework for their own decision-making and investment as they plan to purchase, sell, or de- velop property. The Iowa City Comprehensive Plan Any effectfve planning effort must be grounded in reality—it must take into account the existfng lo- cal conditfons and any community-wide goals and policies that have already been agreed upon. The Iowa City 2030 Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2013, presents a vision for Iowa City, provides goals and objectfves for realizing that vision, and sets policies for the development and growth of the City. This district plan addresses the unique characteristfcs of a specific area within the city, but it must also meet the goals and policies adopted as a part of the larger Comprehensive Plan. Neighborhoods are at the heart of what makes Iowa City a great place to live. What follows is a set of general principles for maintaining and building healthy neighborhoods. New development and redevelopment should adhere to these principles, as well. Preserve Historic Resources and Reinvest in Established Neighborhoods: Adoptfng strategies to assure the stability and livability of Iowa City's historic and established neighborhoods helps to pre- serve the culture, history, and identfty of Iowa City. Investfng in the neighborhoods that are closest to major employers preserves opportunitfes for people to live close to work, school, and shopping; promotes walking and bicycling; and reduces vehicle miles traveled. In additfon, many established neighborhoods contain affordable housing optfons along walkable, tree-lined streets where City ser- vices and infrastructure are already in place and elementary schools and parks are the focal point of neighborhood actfvity and identfty. MAKE NO SMALL PLANS . . . The goal to repurpose a retired sand dredging pond as a natural amenity was drawn from public input during the original South District Planning effort in 1997. It would take another 15 years to make the vision reality. In 2006, the City purchased 158 acres, including “Sand Lake,” from S & J Materials. An additional 49 acres were later acquired to extend the park to the river- front. A master plan was drafted for the park with community input. The City covered half of the $6.5 million park development with general obligation bonds; the remainder was covered by private dona- tions and grants, including a $1.2 million CAT Grant from Vision IOWA. The park officially opened in 2013 as Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, and features bike and pedestrian trails, water craft rental, fishing, birding, picnicking, and ice skating as well as a popular lodge for receptions and other events. The successful process of transforming this former quarry site into a natural feature is the result of a collaborative effort with the Parks and Rec- reation Department, community advocates, business- es, individual donors, and grant agencies. 4 Compatible Infill Development: Quality infill development plays an important role in neighbor- hood reinvestment and may include rehabilitatfng existfng structures or encouraging new develop- ment of vacant, blighted, or deteriorated property. Development of infill sites should add to the diversity of housing optfons without compromising neighborhood character or over-burdening in- frastructure, including alleys and parking. Compact Development: Compact development makes efficient use of land and reduces costs asso- ciated with the provision and maintenance of public improvements, such as streets, sewers and water lines. This benefits developers and tax payers. Narrower lot frontages combined with smaller lot sizes reduce the overall cost of new housing constructfon, creatfng opportunitfes for more mod- erately priced housing. Diversity of Housing Types: A mix of housing types within a neighborhood provides residentfal op- portunitfes for a variety of people, including singles, couples, families with children, and elderly per- sons. Integratfng diverse housing sizes and types throughout the community increases the oppor- tunity for people to live in the same neighborhood throughout various stages of life. A rich mix of housing within a neighborhood may include single-family homes on small and large lots, townhous- es, duplexes, small apartment buildings, and zero-lot-line housing, as well as apartments in mixed- use buildings located in neighborhood commercial areas. Affordable Housing: By allowing for a mix of housing types, moderately priced housing can be in- corporated into a neighborhood, rather than segregated in one or two areas of the community. Small multf-family buildings may be located on corner lots adjacent to arterial streets; townhouses and duplex units may be mixed with single-family homes within a neighborhood. Apartments locat- ed above commercial businesses provide needed housing while increasing the local customer base for commercial establishments. Neighborhood Schools: Neighborhood schools, partfcularly elementary schools, are integral to healthy, sustainable neighborhoods. Schools serve not only as centers of educatfon but as focal points for community gatherings and neighborhood identfty. In additfon, the school grounds pro- vide opportunitfes for exercise and recreatfon for neighborhood residents throughout the year. Neighborhood elementary schools have a symbiotfc relatfonship with the surrounding neighbor- hood where the school is an essentfal element that contributes to the quality of life. This in turn contributes to the social connectfons, identfty, safety, and well-being of the families whose children attend the school. SCHOOL AS THE CENTER OF A NEIGHBORHOOD Housing density ensures that a significant portion of a school’s student population lives near enough to walk if they choose. It also increases the likelihood that a neighborhood will sustain a population of young fami- lies with children to attend the school over time. Above: there are 428 single-family homes within a quarter mile of Grant Wood Elementary School (the area within the yellow circle). Right: This detail from ICCSD Student Density Map shows that ap- proximately 170 school age children live within a quarter mile of Grant Wood Elementary. This is comparable to other eastside elementary schools. 5 Neighborhood Commercial Areas: Neighborhood commercial areas can provide a focal point and gathering place for a neighborhood. The businesses within a neighborhood commercial center should provide shopping opportunitfes within convenient walking distance for the residents in the immediate area. The design of the neighborhood commercial center should have a pedestrian orien- tatfon with the stores placed close to the street, but with sufficient open space to allow for outdoor cafes and patfos or landscaping. Parking should be located to the rear and sides of stores with addi- tfonal parking on the street. Incorporatfng apartments above shops and preserving public open space are two ways to foster additfonal actfvity and vitality in a neighborhood commercial area. Some aspects of commercial development, such as auto-oriented uses, parking lots, bright lights, and signage, need to be located, screened, or buffered so that they do not detract from nearby resi- dentfal uses. Interconnected Street System: Grid street systems help to reduce congestfon by dispersing traffic, allowing multfple routes to get from point A to point B. In additfon, by providing more direct routes, interconnected streets can reduce the vehicle miles traveled each day within a neighborhood, pro- vide more direct walking and biking routes to neighborhood destfnatfons, and reduce the cost of providing City services. Streets as More than Pavement: Streets and adjacent parkways and sidewalks can be enhanced and planned to encourage pedestrian actfvity. Trees, benches, sidewalks, and attractfve lightfng along the street help create pleasant and safe public spaces for walking to neighborhood destfna- tfons and for socializing with neighbors. Streetscape amenitfes help establish a sense of distfnctfon, identfty, and security for neighborhoods. In residentfal neighborhoods, narrower street pavement widths slow traffic, reduce infrastructure costs, and allow for a more complete tree canopy over the street. Shallow Front Yard Setbacks: Placing homes closer to the street allows more backyard space and room for garages and utflitfes if there is also an alley located behind the home. Shallow setbacks (15- 20 feet is the code standard for residentfal uses) combined with narrower street pavement widths, create a more intfmate pedestrian-scale public space along the street, which encourages walking and social interactfon. Use of Alleys: Providing parking and utflitfes from a rear alley or private lane is partfcularly advanta- geous in neighborhoods with narrower lot frontages. This arrangement reduces driveway paving and interruptfons to the sidewalk network, allows more room for front yard landscaping, and in- creases the availability of on-street parking for visitors. In additfon, when garages are accessed from alleys, vehicular traffic and congestfon on residentfal streets is reduced. EFFICIENT NEIGHBORHOOD LAYOUT URBAN SPRAWL GETTING FROM HERE . . . TO EVERYWHERE An interconnected street system is integral to making a neighborhood walkable and to en- suring that all residents have access to the amenities and services within the neighbor- hood. An interconnected street system also reduces travel times, provides alternative routes, and allows more efficient provision of services. 6 Pedestrian/Bikeway Connections: Important neighborhood destfnatfons, such as parks, schools, bus stops, and neighborhood shopping centers, should be readily accessible by pedestrians and bicy- clists. This requires a contfnuous sidewalk system, strategically located trails, and on-street bicycle facilitfes. Bike routes that intersect with key neighborhood destfnatfons may be aligned along neigh- borhood streets or constructed in stream buffer areas or within major sanitary sewer easements. A pleasant streetscape with trees and appropriate building setbacks and ample driveway separatfon creates an environment that is safe and appealing for pedestrians and cyclists. Parks, Trails and Open Space: Neighborhood parks are small, one- to seven-acre open spaces that provide a focal point for informal gatherings and recreatfon within easy walking distance from most homes in the neighborhood. Neighborhood parks should be centrally located or situated adjacent to a school or a neighborhood commercial area and designed as an integral part of an interconnected system of open space with trails or wide sidewalks to connect with larger community and regional parks. Preservatfon of sensitfve areas, such as wetlands, woodlands, and stream corridors and their buffers, provides an opportunity to shape and enhance a neighborhood, while maintaining scenic and natural resources and wildlife habitat. Wherever possible, natural features, such as waterways and woodlands, should be incorporated as key amenitfes within parks and along trail systems. Buffer Residential Development from Incompatible Uses: To help ensure the long-term livability of neighborhoods, provide sufficient buffers between residentfal uses and actfvitfes, such as the waste water treatment plant, highways, etc. Public Safety: Iowa City works to ensure public safety throughout the community. The establish- ment of Fire Statfon 4, the Police Substatfon at Pepperwood Plaza, and cooperatfve efforts with neighborhood groups, schools, and the University of Iowa demonstrate this commitment. Resources are directed toward educatfon, crime preventfon, and enforcement to enhance the quality of life in Iowa City. CREATING A SENSE OF PLACE As new development occurs, small parks or pocket parks (less than one acre in size) could help preserve the sense of open space that resi- dents consider a defining characteristic of South Iowa City. Small public or private open space may be used to preserve environmental features or provide stormwater features. These spaces may also provide opportunities for social interaction and neighborhood identity. Pedestrian or bike con- nections between residential areas and schools or parks will help enhance walkability in the district. 7 The South Planning District includes all land within the Iowa City growth boundary south of Highway 6 and east of the Iowa River. The growth boundary is drawn to indicate the area of land that can be served by the south sanitary sewer facility without need for lift sta- tions. Thus, the boundary does not extend further south than the south wastewater treatment facility. A large wetland conservation area lo- cated east of the Sycamore Greenway and south of a future extension of McCollister Boulevard cannot be devel- oped and thereby serves as a natural boundary for urban development. The South Planning District contains approximately 3,000 acres or 4.7 square miles, including land not currently with- in City limits. A 2008 Public Works land inventory indicated approximately 1,695 acres of vacant, developable land within the district. If built out at an average of 2.3 dwelling units per acre, the study estimated that another 3,900 households could be established within this portion of the community. Most recently constructed neighborhoods have developed at a density of 3.0 units per acre or greater. Areas shaded in red are within the district boundaries, but out- side current city limits City Limits District Boundary HOW WE DEFINE THE SO UTH PLANNING DISTRICT 8 Historic Context Natfve peoples inhabited Iowa around 9,500 BCE, initfally as hunter-gatherers. Over tfme, their socie- tfes became more sedentary, living in complex settlements and obtaining resources through a mix of hortfculture, seasonal huntfng and gathering, and large , established trade networks. Their archaeo- logical record remains an important but often overlooked component of the area’s heritage. Iowa City’s historic roots may be traced to areas along the river, south of Highway 6. When Europe- ans arrived in America, they traded goods with natfve peoples, but also caused widespread upheaval through settlement, conflict, and disease. By the 1800’s, numerous groups occupied Iowa, including the Baxoje (Ioway) and the Sauk and Meskwaki (Fox) who had been displaced from the east. John Gilbert (the historic figure for whom Gilbert Street is named) was likely the first white man to make a home in this part of the state. In 1826 he set up a trading post near the mouth of Snyder Creek, just south of the planning district boundaries, and began exchange with a Meskwaki Indian Village in the area, thought to have had a populatfon of around 1,000 people. The Sauk and Fox peoples formally ceded the area from 1832 to 1837, allowing white settlement. In 1837, Gilbert laid out the town of Napoleon at or near what is now Napoleon Park. A year later there were 237 white settlers in the area. Napoleon served as the county seat and the locatfon of the first county courthouse and post office, from March 2, 1839, untfl November 14, 1839, when Iowa City was declared the new county seat. A log cabin and one frame house were the only buildings ever erected on the town site. The log cabin that served as the first courthouse stood across from what later would become the McCollister farmstead. The establishment of Iowa City as the territorial capi- tal and county seat in 1839 marked the beginning of the end for the fledgling town of Napoleon. Philip Clark was one of the first individuals persuaded by Gilbert to settle in this area. The McCollister -Showers farmstead located at 2460 South Gilbert Street is situated on land that was park of Clark’s original 1837 claim. In 1863, the property was purchased by James McCollister and over the next few decades grew to be a farm containing about 750 acres. The McCollister-Showers home was con- structed in 1864 and expanded in 1880. The ten-acre farmstead that remains is listed on the Natfon- al Register of Historic Places. McCollister Boulevard and bridge commemorate the role the McCollis- ter family played in early Iowa City history. Another mid-19th century home, located on property just to the north of the McCollister-Showers farmstead, sits atop the hill at Friendly Farm at the south terminus of Waterfront Drive. Based on its Greek Revival architecture and design, it likely predates that constructfon of the McCollister-Showers home. Although little is known definitfvely about its history, maps suggest the property was possibly owned by Cyrus Sanders, who came to Johnson County in 1839, purchasing the claim of A.D. Ste- phens on the edge of Iowa City. Sanders held the positfon of Johnson County Surveyor for nearly fifteen years (1839/40 untfl 1855). These two farmsteads are the most visible links that remain of the early white settlement in South Iowa City. Although few physical signs remain of early human settlement in South Iowa City, archaeological evi- dence indicates that South Iowa City has been the site of human occupation for millennia. A 2,000 year old dwelling and associated features were excavated at Napoleon Park—the earliest prehistoric structure found in the entire Iowa River Valley. The McCollister-Showers farmstead is one of the few remaining historic structures in South Iowa City. 9 Environmental Context Water plays an enduring role in South Iowa City, presentfng both obstacles and opportunitfes. Flood- ing along the Iowa River and the presence of streams, wetlands, drainage ways, and hydric soils in other areas of the district limit where and how development may occur. High groundwater levels, especially in areas east of Sycamore Street, make stormwater management a major focus of devel- opment plans. In some areas east of the Sycamore Greenway trail, a shallow water table may pre- clude the constructfon of basements. Outside of Iowa City limits, South Gilbert Street becomes Sand Road, a testament to the distfnct ge- ology in this part of our community. Much of South Iowa City consists of sandy soils deposited by the Iowa River during the last glacial period. A sand dune that formed during the post glacial period is a prominent geologic feature, now preserved as Sand Prairie Park. An important industry in South Iowa City during the latter part of the twentfeth century, sand dredg- ing left a man-made mark upon the landscape. When dredging actfvitfes were discontfnued in the 1990s, the Parks Department purchased the “sand lake” and later developed the site as Terry Trueblood Recreatfon Area—a regional park. Currently, a smaller dredging pond to the east of Gil- bert Street is being filled with materials excavated for expansion of the University of Iowa Chil- dren’s Hospital. While this might otherwise be an ideal locatfon for residentfal development, the property will require a geotechnical analysis to determine its development potentfal. Snyder Creek forms the district’s eastern limit, meandering south and west toward the river through an extensive system of wetlands known as the Snyder Creek Bottoms. This five-square mile wetland area absorbs and filters stormwater before it reaches the Iowa River, reducing flood- ing and pollutfon and supportfng wildlife habitat, especially migratory and game birds that rely on wetlands and isolated ponds. Though outside city limits, a unified strategy for protectfng and re- storing the functfon of these wetlands would provide an opportunity for an outdoor attractfon that would benefit county and city residents alike. While these sensitfve environmental features limit development, they also provide opportunitfes for public parks and trails as well as private open space, and are defining elements of South Iowa City’s identfty and sense of place. THE SYCAMORE GREENWAY Each time it rains, stormwater passes over roofs, pave- ment, and other land surfaces, picking up pollutants such as oil, salt, lawn chemicals, and eroded soil before flowing untreated through the storm sewer system into creeks and rivers. This is how most cities handle storm- water, but a one square mile watershed in South Iowa City relies on an alternative system. Designed by University of Iowa geoscience professor Lon Drake, the Sycamore Greenway is an example of green infrastructure unlike any other in Iowa. The 52- acre system consists of a chain of 22 intermittent wet- lands that flow into a larger series of crescent-shaped wetland cells, effectively holding and filtering storm water runoff from hundreds of residential properties. The Greenway also provides wildlife habitat. More than 130 bird species, including sandhill cranes, may be ob- served along the Greenway, and hundreds of waterfowl visit the area each year during migration season. A pop- ular 2 ½ mile paved trail winds through the Greenway, connecting surrounding neighborhoods to Kickers Soc- cer Park. 10 Planning Context Land use planning helps guide future development to ensure consistency with the characteristfcs, goals, and objectfves of the community. The City’s goals and objectfves guided the creatfon of the South District Future Land Use Maps which illustrate where homes, jobs, and services may locate. Tools that help implement this vision include City Code and other policies and programs. Conventfonal zoning codes separate land uses into discrete districts with little mixing of uses. Unfor- tunately, historic goals of land use planning has included enforcing racial segregatfon. Though the courts invalidated racial zoning in 1917, new instruments were developed to that end. Single-family zones and large minimum lot sizes promoted exclusionary practfces and class segregatfon. Federal practfces also reinforced racial segregatfon. The Federal Housing Administratfon redlined ra- cially diverse areas which made it harder to obtain mortgages or home improvement loans. Housing benefits from the GI Bill were often unevenly provided to persons of color. Urban renewal projects helped demolish neighborhoods occupied by persons of color. These policies determined who could live where, and in what type of housing. It was not untfl 1968 that housing discriminatfon on the ba- sis of race became illegal. However, segregatfon was already systemically entrenched, which has shaped the availability of opportunitfes for many residents. Strictly separatfng land uses meant conventfonal zoning also has contributed to greenhouse gas emissions. As development occurred, it produced neighborhoods that were difficult to navigate by anything other than a personal car. Highway constructfon further separated parts of the community and reinforced an auto-oriented pattern of development. Traffic congestfon and greenhouse gas emissions increased as a result. Reminders of explicit racial seg- regation in Iowa City are im- portant. “Mapping Segregation in Iowa City” (shown above) illustrates race restrictive cove- nants from 1910 to 1950. The City has also designated local historic landmarks like the Tate Arms house (shown below), which housed African American students when they were not allowed to live on the University of Iowa Campus. As racial re- strictions became illegal, other methods to promote segrega- tion become more common. 11 Moving Forward One of Iowa City’s strategic goals is to “advance social justfce, racial equity and human rights”. While land use decisions can reinforce existfng economic and racial inequitfes, they can also be a tool to actfvely promote equity. Permitting a variety of housing types and price points by right can create opportunitfes for all members of the community to live in different neighborhoods. In additfon, in- volving diverse populatfons in decision-making and evaluatfng equity impacts of new policies are important to addressing the issue. Iowa City also strives to be a leader in climate actfon. As part of the City’s Climate Actfon & Adapta- tfon Plan, the City has set goals to reduce carbon emissions by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. An important component of achieving those goals are improving the City’s building and transportatfon systems. Creatfng neighborhoods that can be easily traversed by foot, bike, and bus in additfon to cars is a necessary step in that directfon. To provide a tool which helps address goals related to equity and sustainability, the City should de- velop form-based zones for greenfield development in the South District. Form-based standards can reflect a context-specific approach to community character and are based on Iowa City's distfnct development patterns in the historic downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods developed prior to World War II. They should also protect natural areas throughout the South District, including waterways. This can be accomplished by establishing zoning districts which focus less on land use distfnctfons and more on the form of the built environment and its interactfons with the public realm. Form-based land use is discussed more on pages 54-56. Form-based codes can help address a number of related issues including racial equity, housing affordability and diversity, protection of the natural environment and habi- tat (such as at Terry Trueblood Recreational Area shown above), and sustainable initiatives such as reducing car dependence. 12 1960 1970 What you can see: Residential development expanded in the 1960s and 1970s to include the Bon Aire Mobile Home Park and single-family detached housing that extended east of Sycamore Street as part of the Hollywood Subdivision and south of Lakeside Drive around Regal Lane. Lakeside Apartments (now called Rose Oaks) was developed as student housing. Commercial centers are visible in the location of Pepperwood Plaza and Sycamore Mall (now Iowa City Marketplace). Outside the district, industrial uses expanded along Highway 6. What you can see: Residential development south of Highway 6 began with the Hilltop Mobile Home Park and the area that is now the Grant Wood Neighborhood. Development of modest tract housing along Hol- lywood Boulevard; Western and Union Roads; and Arizona, California, and Nevada Avenues allowed workers to live near the Proctor and Gamble plant just to the north via Fairmeadows Blvd. THE GROWTH OF SOUTH IOWA CITY Hilltop Mobile Home Park Beginning of Grant Wood Neighborhood. Bon Aire Lakeside Apartments Grant Wood Elementary Sand dredging has not yet begun 13 1990 2014 What you can see: Residential neighborhood develop- ment was more fully built out during the 1980s and early 1990s along both sides of Sycamore Street, as far south as Burns and California Avenues and in the Pepperwood Subdivision. Bon Aire Mobile Home Park expanded. Wetherby and Napoleon Parks were both established along with Grant Wood School. Sand Lake was becoming visible as a sand dredging pond. In this aerial, wetlands are visible in the area west of Snyder Creek. Residential development is taking shape in the Sandhill Estates subdivision off South Gilbert Street. The Pepper- wood Subdivision is nearly fully built out. New subdivi- sions are being constructed south of Lakeside and Wetherby Drives. Multi-family development is completed south of commercial areas along Keokuk Street and Cross Park Avenue. The Saddlebrook neighborhood, which be- gan with manufactured housing around Paddock Circle in far southeast Iowa City, has expanded to include town- homes, multi-family units, and duplexes along Heinz Road. The Sycamore Greenway is established with a trail connecting south to Kickers Soccer Park. Sand Lake, re- tired as a dredging area, is transformed into a regional attraction as Terry Trueblood Recreation Area. Wetherby Park Regal and Amber Lanes Pepperwood Plaza Saddlebook Terry Trueblood Recreation Area Sandhill Estates 14 2021 Since the plan was initially adopted in 2015, development has contin- ued in residential subdivisions such as Brookwood Pointe, General Quarters, and Sandhill Estates. In addition, Archibald Alexander Ele- mentary was completed and now serves the area. The most recent investment is the extension of McCollister Boulevard to Sycamore Street, which improved circulation in the South District. New form- based code standards should be designed to guide the area as addition- al development continues. The standards should also help improve walkability, increase housing diversity and affordability, and provide for a more sustainable neighborhood pattern. McCollister Blvd Extension Alexander Elementary 15 H o u s i n g A variety of housing optfons ranging from manufactured housing, townhomes, apartment complex- es, duplexes, and single-family detached homes provide opportunitfes for people of a variety of in- come levels, ages, and household types in South Iowa City. This has allowed many residents to start their adult lives here as renters, own a first home, and transitfon within their neighborhood as their households grew or changed over tfme. While more than half of the housing within the South District is detached single-family units, there is considerable variety in home sizes, prices, and styles. Housing development that slowed during the economic recession in 2008 has picked up considerably over the past 3 to 4 years. The announce- ment of the new school locatfon on South Sycamore Street will add to the demand in this area. As Grant Wood School is relieved of overcrowded conditfons, the surrounding neighborhood should once again become more attractfve for families with young children. Single-Family Housing The development of single-family residentfal neighborhoods in South Iowa City began in the late 1950s with subdivisions south of the Procter and Gamble property. The Fairmeadows and Hollywood subdivisions featured modest tract housing on small lots, providing an affordable optfon for workers to live close to the Highway 6 industrial area. Between 1960 and 1990, single-family neighborhoods extended west of Sycamore and south to Am- ber and Regal Lanes with housing characteristfc of the period—a mix of split level and ranch homes with attached garages. By the early 1990s, most of the single-family zone north of Lakeside Drive and Burns Avenue was platted and developed, including the Pepperwood Neighborhood. Neighborhood design is typical of the post-war period, with curvilinear or u-shaped streets and long block lengths or, as in Pepperwood Neighborhood and Whispering Meadows neighborhoods, cul-de-sacs. By the mid-1990s, development slowed in South Iowa City due to a need for infrastructure improve- ments. The drafting of the 1997 South District Plan was tfmed to coincide with constructfon of the South River Corridor Interceptor Sewer that would provide the necessary capacity for new neighbor- hoods west of Sycamore Street. Meanwhile constructfon of the Sycamore Greenway, a regional stormwater facility (completed in 2001), made development of neighborhoods east of Sycamore Street feasible by enhancing drainage in an area that was otherwise susceptfble to flooding. Newly platted lots in South Iowa City contfnue to be somewhat smaller than those platted in many Homeownership Based on data from the 2012 Five-Year American Community Survey. 16 other areas of the city. In part this is due to the flat topography, which allows for more development per acre. In some areas of the district, primarily east of the Sycamore Greenway, a high water table limits the constructfon of basements. These factors have made housing in South Iowa City affordable by reducing land and constructfon costs. Many single-family homes in the oldest neighborhoods are small by current standards (less than 1,100 square feet) and lack features considered standard on newer homes, such as attached two-car garages. While these homes provide an affordable optfon for many homebuyers, including young families and singles, maintenance costs for older homes can be higher. The City’s Housing Rehabilita- tfon Program provides no-interest and low-interest loan funds are available for maintenance and rehabilitatfon for homeowners who fall under certain income thresholds. One objectfve of the South District Plan is for the City to work with neighborhood associatfons to make residents more aware of these programs and, in partfcular, to encourage upgrades that will increase energy and water effi- ciency, thereby reducing long-term costs of homeownership. Manufactured Housing South Iowa City’s manufactured housing parks are self-contained neighborhoods, so to speak, with private streets that do not connect to the surrounding public street pattern. There are three manu- factured housing parks in South Iowa City. Hilltop Mobile Home Park, established in 1957, was one of the very first residentfal developments south of Highway 6. Situated on a wooded hillside in the northwest corner of the planning district just south of Southgate Avenue, Hilltop includes 150 lots. Bon Aire Mobile Home Lodge and Paddock Mobile Home Park in Saddlebrook are located in the far east portfon of the planning district, along Highway 6. Bon Aire was established in 1967 and includes more than 350 units. The Paddock, now part of the Saddlebrook neighborhood, was established in the mid-1990s and includes 146 units. Manufactured housing is an important source of affordable housing located close to major employ- ment centers, including the industrial zone just north of the Highway 6. Many residents prefer man- ufactured housing over multf-family or other rental housing. However, financing for manufactured homes is complicated because the land is leased rather than owned. Since the banking crisis of 2008, mortgages for manufactured housing have become quite expensive, driving down the market for these homes. While it is unknown when the manufactured housing sector will recover, it is in the City’s interest to ensure that manufactured housing parks remain safe and welcoming places to live. “If redevelopment of the manufactured housing parks is contemplated in the future, the availability of comparable housing and the impact on the residents should be considered.” Flood Replacement Housing After the flood of 2008, the Single Family New Con- struction Program awarded downpayment assistance to 57 homes (single-family, duplex, and townhomes). One third of the homes approved in the program were built south of Hwy 6 and were limited to owner occu- pants. The homes built under this program more than made up the lost property tax revenues from the flood buy-out program and offered several households an opportunity for homeownership. 17 Multi-family Housing As with manufactured housing, most multf-family development in South Iowa City is clustered close to Highway 6. Apartment complexes on large tracts of land are organized around parking areas and, in general, are not integrated with the local street network or block configuratfon. While this has some advantages in terms of buffering single-family uses from the traffic associated with higher den- sity housing, it also contributes to a feeling of social isolatfon within the neighborhood. Surveys con- ducted by the Broadway Neighborhood Center indicate that some residents of large apartment com- plexes feel less of an associatfon with the surrounding residentfal neighborhood. Because a large proportfon of renters are temporary or new to the area, developing a sense of community, even with immediate neighbors, takes tfme. For many residents in the multf-family developments, schools provide a vital sense of connectfon. Over the years there have been problems associated with some multf-family and rental propertfes in the South District. These issues have largely arisen due to a combinatfon of poor or inconsistent management, insufficient maintenance and investment, and in some case, poor constructfon and site design. Building and site design for multf-family development is partfcularly important for dis- couraging criminal actfvity. Targeted code enforcement and requirements for tenant background screening have helped to improve the situatfon in some of the largest complexes. In 2011, Southgate Development brought all buildings within what was known as the Broadway Street Condominiums under single ownership. Originally constructed in the 1970s, over the years a number of buildings within the development had come under the control of separate owners such that management and maintenance were inconsistent. Within the development large parking areas and other spaces hidden from view of the street or from apartment windows attracted criminal ac- tfvity. Conditfons within these complexes became a concern not only for residents, but the larger neighborhood and adjacent commercial propertfes. Southgate Development invested $5.75 million, with the City of Iowa City contributfng $900,000 in federal (CDBG) funds, to rehabilitate the apartments. As a conditfon of federal funding, at least fifty- six of the units must be rented to people making less than 80 percent of the area's median income. These units also have their rents capped at $802 a month, which is the fair-market value for a two- bedroom apartment in the area. Dwelling units were updated and safety of the site was improved by installing secured entrances, improved lightfng, and perimeter fencing. Management also requires background checks for all residents. In response to neighborhood requests, the City located a police substatfon in nearby Pepperwood Plaza, and engaged in more actfve patrol of the area, including foot patrol. These changes have been successful in providing a safer, more attractfve living environ- ment for residents. Southgate Development has made substantial invest- ments in the multi-family housing within South Iowa tCIty o provide consistent management, maintenance, and long-term investment in properties that were once neglected or poorly managed. 18 The story of Lakeside Apartments—now The Quarters, formerly Rose Oaks —is a cautfonary tale of the community impact when a large-scale multf-family project falls into decline. Originally con- structed in 1966 to attract University of Iowa students with families, the development did not stand the test of tfme. By the mid-1980s, tenant complaints about the management of the apartments had become an issue for the city. Over the subsequent decades, a lack of re-investment and maintenance led to further deterioratfon in the conditfon of the apartments, which then became vulnerable to criminal actfvity. The Iowa City Housing Authority cancelled all contracts (48 in all) and ended Housing Choice Vouch- er use with Dolphin Lake Point Enclave in October 2012 due to health, safety, and management is- sues. While the property suffered from poor maintenance, the need for low-income housing in the metro area is so high that units remained occupied despite their conditfon. The situatfon has result- ed in a concentratfon of poverty that has implicatfons for the community as a whole as well as the school district. In Spring 2015, the property sold to a new management company with plans to upgrade the units, however the scope of rehabilitatfng and/or redevelopment of 400 units remains complex. The City contfnues its stepped-up code enforcement, but it will take tfme, attentfon, and extensive resources to turn the situatfon around. Meanwhile, with a limited supply of low-income housing in the metro area, many residents have limited optfons for finding replacement housing. Objectfves of the plan include enhanced code enforcement and well as increased fines or fees as well as coordinatfon of efforts with the Iowa City Police and Fire Departments to identffy building issues. The plan also supports rehabilitatfon or redevelopment of problem propertfes. Iowa City’s Housing Inspectfon Division is working proactfvely with many landlords to ensure effectfve manage- ment of rental propertfes. Since 2016, these apartments have been successfully upgraded and main- tained as high-quality rental apartments. DESIGNING FOR SAFETY The physical design of a neighborhood or develop- ment has an impact on safety and livability. The balanced application of the following three princi- ples can help to ensure the long-term health and safety of residential areas: Natural Surveillance. Design and maintenance that allow spaces, both inside and outside buildings, to be observed both by residents and people passing through a neighborhood. Examples include lighting of parking areas, entrances, exits, and other com- mon areas; low or see-through fencing and land- scaping; windows overlooking parking areas or entrances. Territoriality. Creating clear demarcation between public, private, and semi-private spaces helps to convey a sense of “ownership” and an awareness that criminal activity will be noticed by someone. Examples include signage, see-through screening or fencing, gateways, and distinctive paving or land- scaping to mark the transition between areas public and private spaces. Access Control. Decreasing access to areas where a person with criminal intent could hide. Examples include highly visible entrances or gateways through which all users of a property must enter, or the appropriate use of signage, door and window locks, or fencing to discourage unwanted access into private spaces or into dark or unmonitored areas. Iowa City’s Multi-family Design Standards include some of these principles, such as requiring visible building entrances oriented toward the street, land- scaped setbacks around parking areas, and prohib- iting sliding glass doors and unenclosed stairways as primary means of access to an dwelling unit. The principles were also applied to the Casey’s site along Highway 6. The Lakeside Apartments, recently re- named The Quarters, formerly Rose Oaks , were originally constructed to attract UI students with young families. The above advertisement appeared the Daily Iowan in August, 1967. 19 HOUSING —GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The following goals and objectives for housing were developed from input gathered during the South District Planning process. Achieving these goals may require additional dedication of resources, including staff. Some actions will be implemented by the City. Others will require the effort of landlords, developers, neighborhood associations, community groups, or other agencies. GOAL 1: Improve and maintain existing housing stock in South Iowa City in order to ensure a healthy balance of long-term residents and owner-occupied housing and to bolster neighborhood stability. • Contfnue to make funds available and increase awareness of existfng programs available through the City and other agencies that assist with the purchase or rehabilitatfon of homes. • Work with the neighborhood associatfons and manufactured housing parks in South Iowa City to raise awareness of housing rehabilitatfon programs. • Identffy funds or incentfve programs make “green” improvements that conserve water and energy, thereby reducing the long-term costs of owning a home. EXAMPLES: Explore cooperative efforts with MidAmerican Energy. Promote benefits of efficiency upgrades, such as door and window improvements, HVAC, insulation, etc. Investigate opportunities to become a Green Iowa AmeriCorps site. • Support and promote programs or workshops for new or first-tfme homeowners to teach basic home repair and maintenance skills. GOAL 2: Encourage professional management and long-term maintenance and investment in all rental properties for the general safety and welfare of tenants and to preserve property values and promote neighborhood stability in South Iowa City. • Encourage the improvement or redevelopment of substandard rental propertfes. • Contfnue to enhance code enforcement to achieve compliance with rental and building regulatfons for propertfes that receive a high number of complaints. • Contfnue to coordinate communicatfon between the ICPD, Neighborhood Services, and non-profits or neighborhood organizatfons to identffy and address safety and health issues in rental propertfes. • Consider opportunitfes to recognize good property management within South Iowa City. GOAL 3: Provide a diversity of housing in the South District, including a range of housing types, densitfes, and price points, to help improve equity and sustainability . • Adopt a form-based code for the South District that encourages a diversity of housing types, densi- tfes, and price points. Iowa City’s Housing Rehabilitation Programs provide fi- nancial assistance to help homeowners maintain and update residential property and ultimately contributes to the value of Iowa City's housing stock. CDBG & HOME Housing Rehabilitation Programs and the Targeted Neighborhood Improvement Program provide financial assistance to low- and moderate-income home- owners to make repairs and improvements to their homes. The programs primarily provide low-interest or no -interest loans and/or conditional occupancy loans, de- pending on the homeowner's ability to make monthly payments on the loans. The General Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (GRIP) is offered as a complement to the federally funded CDBG/HOME programs without the same level of income targeting. GRIP is designed to stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods through the broader application of Hous- ing Rehabilitation and Historic Preservation programs. This program allows the City to offer low-interest loans that are repayable over a 20-year period, with the money awarded to qualified homeowners on a first-come, first- served basis. 20 New Residential Development The South District contains more than 1,500 acres of undeveloped land within the City ’s growth area, which extends as far south as the wastewater treatment facility. Much of the undeveloped land remains in agricultural productfon (corn and soybeans). An important goal of the City’s Comprehensive Plan is to manage urban growth by encouraging compact and connected neighborhoods. Compact development preserves farmland and sensitfve environmental areas for future generatfons and saves taxpayer money by reducing transportatfon and infrastructure costs and allowing efficient provision of snow removal, solid waste and recycling pick-up, transit service, fire and police protectfon, and mail and other delivery services. The goal of compact neighborhood design is to create village-like neighborhoods with housing for a diverse populatfon, a mix of land uses, public space that is the focal point for the neighborhood, integrated civic or small commercial centers, accessible open space, and streets that are pleasant and safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. New South District neighborhoods should be built at a density and designed with a level of connec- tfvity that enables families with children to walk to school and supports the extension of transit service. Trail sectfons should occur with development in order to provide connectfons between neighborhoods, new and old, to the many parks in South Iowa City and to provide convenient com- muter routes for those who wish to bike to school, work, or to the Downtown. While the predominant land use in South Iowa City’s new neighborhoods will remain detached, single-family housing, new neighborhoods should provide opportunitfes for townhomes, duplexes, and accessory apartments, as well as multf-family buildings in order to serve residents throughout their lifetfmes. Integratfng a variety of housing types that are compatfble in scale throughout a neighborhood is ideal. For example, single-family homes on lots interior to a block with duplexes and attached single-family homes on corner lots creates a mix that remains similar in scale while providing a range of unit sizes and price points within a neighborhood. House-scale multf-family buildings may also appropriately fit the scale of the neighborhood. Along busier street frontages, around neighborhood nodes, or where single-loaded streets border public open space, “Middle Housing”* types such as townhouses, small apartment buildings (3-10 units), or cottage or bungalow courts may be built at a scale and mix that is compatfble with the single-family neighborhoods. The additfonal density achieved through this mix can improve feasibil- ity for transit service and enhance market potentfal for commercial uses in the district, including the small-scale neighborhood commercial corners identffied in the plan. Participants in the planning workshop pointed to the develop- ment along Scott Boulevard and Old Towne Village Neighbor- hood in Northeast Iowa City as a good example of a new neigh- borhood with an attractive mix of housing. Townhomes face the arterial street and commercial area, transitioning to duplex and detached single-family homes in the interior of the neigh- borhood. Quality building and site design, and ample open space and landscaping help to make the higher density devel- opment an attractive entrance to the area. 21 *”Missing Middle” is a term coined by Daniel Parolek of Opticos Design, Inc., in 2010 to define a range of multi- unit or clustered housing types compatible in scale with single–family homes that help meet the growing de- mand for walkable urban living. These include duplexes, townhouses, triplexes and fourplexes, courtyard apart- ments, bungalow courts, and small apartment buildings. To learn more about “missing middle” housing, see http://missingmiddlehousing.com. Getting the mix, scale, and parking placement right is essentfal to integratfng a variety of residentfal types into a neighborhood. Buildings should be designed to be similar in scale (width, depth, height) to single-family homes. Unit sizes may need to be smaller, but should be designed with similar atten- tfon to detail and quality constructfon. Parking should be located to the rear with access from alleys, private rear lanes, or similar shared drive solutfons where possible. Concentratfons of one housing type in any one area should be avoided as this may create an obstacle to connectfvity and can upset the balance of long- and short-term residents. Though the Middle Housing concept may be achieved through the planned development process, the City should consider a form-based code to help en- sure that a true mix of housing at a compatfble scale can be achieved. For this reason, the City is working to apply form-based standards for greenfield sites in the area. Higher density Middle Housing types must be thoughtiully designed so that they maintain an attrac- tfve residentfal character along streets and provide safe and invitfng living environments for the resi- dents. Landscaped front yards or courtyards with parking in the rear will provide a boulevard or park -like setting along streets with uninterrupted sidewalks that encourage walking and biking. Multf-family developments of a higher density should be considered along major streets, such as McCollister Avenue, near neighborhood nodes, and along single-loaded streets overlooking open space. Gilbert Street may also be an opportunity for proposals that provide a unique housing optfon in South Iowa City, such as senior housing. Proposals should be of exceptfonal design and construc- tfon quality, meet universal design standards, and high energy efficiency standards, including alter- natfve energy or sitfng for geothermal or passive solar. The community’s substantfal investment in Terry Trueblood Recreatfon Area as a regional park should result in a sensitfve transitfon between the man-made and natural environment with appropriate building and site design. 22 Any larger multf-family buildings should be integrated into the neighborhood by extending the es- tablished street pattern and block size of surrounding residentfal development. Careful attentfon should be given to site design, landscaping, and parking locatfon as well as opportunitfes for usable private open space. This will assure that higher density housing does not diminish connectfvity or detract from the overall quality of the neighborhood. Building and site designs should be evaluated to ensure that they provide optfmal safety while supportfng social contact among residents. (See Designing for Safety guidelines on page 16.) Universal design should be encouraged in most housing types to maximize opportunitfes not only for people with disabilitfes but to allow people to age in place. Opportunitfes for increased density: Property located along the east side of Gilbert Street, south of the railroad, may be appropriate for town- home or other small lot or duplex development. Multf-family units may be considered throughout the area with denser housing located along major travel corridors, such as Gilbert Street, McCollister Boule- vard, and Sycamore Street (future Lehman), or near neighborhood nodes as shown on the future land use maps (p. 61). Sites near the McCollister intersectfon may be attractfve for senior housing with views of surrounding open space (Sand Prairie and Terry Trueblood Recreatfon Area) and access to the trail network and transit routes. Additfonal density may be especially appropriate for projects that add a unique housing element or that enhance housing diversity for the South District or that otherwise con- tribute to the connectfvity and sustainability of the neighborhood, including developments that improve connectfvity within the neighborhood or enhance visibility and street access to public parks and other open space. As noted elsewhere in the plan, property on the east side of Gilbert Street that formerly served as a sand dredging pond has recently been filled with excavated material. Before development can occur on this site, the City will require a geotechnical analysis. If the soil is found to be suitable for development, high- er density development should be considered, transitfoning from multf-family at the arterial street inter- sectfons, to townhomes and/or duplexes, to predominantly detached single-family at the core of the neighborhood. Propertfes located around the intersectfon of McCollister Boulevard and South Sycamore Street may also be appropriate for higher density development. A mix of missing middle housing types such as town- houses, triplexes, fourplexes, and cottage/bungalow courts may be considered along both sides of the arterial streets near this intersectfon. Small apartment buildings, live-work units, and low-scale mixed- use buildings may be integrated with the small main street, mixed-use corner identffied on the plan maps. Density should step down, transitfoning from commercial uses to multf-family to townhome or duplex toward the interior of the neighborhood where detached single-family housing will predominate. The following areas may be candidates for clus- tered density: • West of the Pepperwood Subdivision, wooded slopes make traditfonal develop- ment impractfcal. In this area, the 2 to 8 dwelling units per acre envisioned on the land use map on page 59 could be clus- tered through an overlay planned develop- ment. Such development would rely on an extension of Cherry Street, which will pro- vide improved connectfvity and circulatfon for the single-family neighborhood to the east by allowing residents more direct street access to South Gilbert Street. • Areas south of Lehman Road and east of Pleasant Valley Golf Course fall within 1,000 feet of the Wastewater Plant, an area in which the Iowa Department of Nat- ural Resources recommends careful scrutf- ny of residentfal development. As a result, a buffer adjacent to the wastewater treat- ment plan is appropriate, and residentfal units in this area should take its proximity into consideratfon prior to development. 23 FUTURE NEIGHBORHOOD SCENARIO One scenario of the future development in the South District is shown in the future land use maps on pages 61-62. The purpose of these maps is not to prescribe a precise layout and mix of uses that are required for future development or to preclude development in other areas of the district. Rather, the scenario is meant to demonstrate how, based on topogra- phy and existfng features (easements, major roads, and established trail or street connectfons) the area could develop in accord with Iowa City’s subdivision regulatfons and zoning code, including any new form-based code standards, and the goals for walkability and sense of place included in this district plan. The maps illustrate a potentfal street network and a mix of housing types, locatfons of parks, open space, and trails, as well as commercial or mixed use areas. As development occurs, each subdivision will contribute to the overall quality and sustainability of the entfre district by enhancing walkability and connectfvity. Preserving opportunitfes for small neighborhood commercial or mixed use devel- opment, including at the intersectfon of McCollister Boulevard and Sycamore Street, helps create community anchors for the surrounding neighborhoods. 24 WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL PLACE? Great public spaces are where cele- brations are held, social and eco- nomic exchanges take place, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. They are the “front porches” of our public institu- tions—libraries, parks, houses, neighborhood schools—where we interact with each other and the government. When the spaces work well, they serve as a stage for our public lives. (From the Project for Public Spaces. http:// www.pps.org/reference/ grplacefeat.) 25 Neighborhood Quality When asked what they like best about living in South Iowa City, partfcipants in the planning work- shop and on-line survey most frequently noted convenience, affordability, access to open space and trails, and the diversity of its populatfon and neighborhoods. While work, shopping, and schools (kindergarten through 12th grade) are just a short car trip away for most residents of the district, South Iowa City’s neighborhoods feel like a retreat from the hustle and bustle of life in areas closer to the Downtown and University Campus. Respondents frequently used adjectfves such as quiet, green, and family-friendly to describe their neighborhoods. However, the broader public perceptfon of South Iowa City is something altogether different. Resi- dents point to media reports, real estate agents, and public debates over school district boundaries and affordable housing as frequently perpetuatfng a misperceptfon about what life is like in this part of the community. Through a variety of surveys, interviews, and focus groups, the Broadway Neigh- borhood Center has engaged residents in identffying the partfcular challenges and opportunitfes that exist in South Iowa City, especially for renters and low-income or minority residents. The results of their efforts, along with the planning process undertaken for this district planning update, coalesce around three prioritfes: • Fostering a stronger sense of community—one that embraces renters and other residents who are new to the community. • Expanding organized actfvitfes for the high populatfon of youth and children, including mentor- ing for low-income and minority teens. • Projectfng a positfve image of South Iowa City reflectfve of its many assets, especially its many environmental features. The opening of Archibald Alexander Elementary is widely regarded as a pivotal event for achieving all of these goals. The school and the development antfcipated around it provide a catalyst for trans- forming the image of South Iowa City and strengthening the sense of community for those who live here. Also, reducing the strain on Grant Wood, which the Iowa City Community School District con- siders overcrowded, will help make the existfng neighborhood more attractfve to families with school-age children. The density of single-family development and a well-connected street system that surrounds Grant Wood Elementary make it one of the most walkable neighborhood schools in the entfre school district. WHAT RESIDENTS LIKE ABOUT SOUTH IOWA CITY: “Near enough to get whatever I need, but far enough away to enjoy my life.” “Diverse, affordable, close to schools.” “Natural landscapes, close to downtown, quiet.” “I like the mix of residents—age, ethnicity, income, education, homeowners, renters, singles, couples, families.” “Near several parks and close enough to downtown to commute by bus, bike, or walking.” “Lots of families. Friendly, inclusive attitude.” 26 NEIGHBORHOOD QUALITY —GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The following goals and objectives for neighborhood quality were developed from input gathered during the South District planning process. Achieving these goals will require a cooperative effort. Some actions may be implemented by the City, however many are more appropriately initiated by residents, neighborhood associations, community groups, schools, businesses, or other stakehold- ers in South Iowa City. GOAL 1: Foster a strong and inclusive sense of community in South Iowa City neighborhoods. A. Create or support opportunities for residents and neighbors to get to know each other. • Contfnue support for block partfes, “Party in the Park” events, and other neighborhood gath- erings—movies, music, art, etc. • Support Blue Zones efforts to get people actfve by hostfng regular walking and biking events on the South District trails. Encourage the establishment of festfvals or other special events that celebrate the unique qualitfes of South Iowa City, including its cultural diversity. For ex- ample: commercial areas could encourage social actfvity by hostfng special events—farmers markets, food truck night, live music, dance, roller derby, etc. • Support special events that reintroduce the larger community to South Iowa City. For exam- ple: encourage nonprofits to host run, walk, and bike events on South Iowa City’s trails. B. Reinforce a shared experience of place. • Identffy areas within the district that can be enhanced with public art, community gardens, improved bus stops, lightfng, or other features that encourage social gathering or interactfon. • Reinforce local identfty through the consistent use of identffiable visual elements in street signs, bus stops, kiosks, streetscape improvements, banners, etc. • Establish an inventory of names that reflect the unique history and geography of South Iowa City to be used for future street and place names (e.g. park or trail names) within the district. • Consider using mailbox clusters as space for neighborly interactfon, working with developers to include trail maps, bulletfn boards, seatfng, plantfngs or other features that encourage neighbors to get to know one another. (This may involve PIN grants.) Locate mailbox clusters in areas that are appropriate and welcoming for neighbors to linger (e.g. pocket parks or ad- jacent to private open space or trails). 27 C. Welcome new residents and help orient them to their new community. Such an effort should involve a broad collaboration of neighborhood groups, businesses, realtors, and developers. • Consider updatfng the Newcomer’s Guide on the City’s website, and actfvely promote the site as one-stop-shopping for new residents, including links to neighborhood groups and pro- gramming. • Contfnue to improve outreach to minoritfes and non-English speaking residents to encourage their actfve partfcipatfon in neighborhood events and awareness of City programs and pro- cesses. This may require translatfon services. D. Encourage and support residents, neighborhood organizations, and business and property owners to advocate for the continued improvement of Southside neighborhoods in keeping with the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. • Provide open and proactfve communicatfon between the City and Southside neighbors through the tfmely disseminatfon of informatfon on grant opportunitfes, capital improve- ments, development proposals, and zoning applicatfons. • Contfnue support for Neighborhood Outreach as an essentfal resource for neighborhood in- formatfon and organizatfon efforts. • Contfnue support for community policing and encourage bike and foot patrols to make police officers a friendly and visible part of the neighborhood. E. Create and sustain vibrant social gathering spaces. • Explore the potentfal for a community center as an anchor for neighborhood actfvity/identfty. This will likely require partnerships (and fundraising) between organizatfons that have a need for expanded facilitfes—local non-profits, Bike Library, local foods organizatfons, arts organi- zatfons, etc. • Consider opportunitfes for community use of the resource center and gymnasium space at Grant Wood Elementary and the expanded gym at Archibald Alexander. • Explore opportunitfes for a satellite library or other services or programming. Participants at the South District planning work- shop were invited to suggest a tagline or motto to convey a true sense of what makes living in South Iowa City great. One group came up with the phrase “Start here, stay here” to express the many opportunities that exist in South Iowa City for people of all ages, especially young families. 28 F. Promote community stewardship and investment by engaging residents in improving their neighborhood. • Encourage annual volunteer events to bring neighbors together—park improvement events, street or yard clean-ups, recycling days, neighborhood garage sale or swap events, etc. • Engage neighborhood groups in planning for the improvement of the south portfon of Wetherby Park as development surrounds the park. Design this process as an opportunity to strengthen community connectfon. • Involve youth groups in planning for and undertaking improvements and advocacy efforts in the district. For example: trail/park clean-ups, tree plantfng, public art, special event organiz- ing, community gardens. GOAL 2. Expand opportunities for children and youth in South Iowa City. A. Support the establishment of quality, affordable daycare and preschool in South Iowa City. • Encourage childcare services as development and redevelopment occurs in both commercial and residentfal zones, especially in areas near Grant Wood and Archibald Alexander Elemen- tary Schools. • Consider incentfves to attract daycare to the area identffied for future neighborhood com- mercial and promote availability of daycare as an asset to attract new families to the district. B. Continue support for before- and after-school programming at Grant Wood and Archibald Alexander and elementary and summer programming at Southside parks and schools. C. Support efforts to address the needs of children and youth in South Iowa City. • Identffy and address obstacles to partfcipatfon in existfng programs . • Identffy potentfal funding sources—public and private—to expand programming or support partfcipatfon among area youth. • Pursue partnerships and scholarships with existfng arts, athletfc, and other community pro- grams to ensure that children can partfcipate in extracurricular actfvitfes. • Explore feasibility of a Youth Corps program to engage young people, especially low-income and minority youth, in neighborhood improvement, skill training, etc. For example: a Youth Green Corps could assist with programs focused on improving the district and create oppor- tunitfes for young people to meet, learn from, and complete projects for various City divi- sions as well as neighborhood groups and businesses. Photo: Anne Duggan Photo from Diversity Focus Youth Off-Road Riders is a program focused on competi- tive and recreational cycling sponsored by the Neighbor- hood Centers of Johnson County. Youth Performance Arts Academy is sponsored by The Dream Center. Nonprofit organizations like the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County, The Dream Center , and The Spot are providing unique opportunities for children and youth in South Iowa City, including training, tutoring, mentorship, and recreational programs. 29 GOAL 3. Focus on South Iowa City as a sustainable district by promoting its many advantages: housing affordability and choice, access to work and recreation, cultural diversity, neighborhood connectivity and walkability, alternative transportation, and environmental conservation. A. Acknowledge and promote the environmental, social, and economic benefits of walkability for South Iowa City. • Support the principles of compact, walkable development in all new neighborhoods. • Actfvely plan for bus service expansion, ensuring a density of development that will sup- port extension of bus routes along major arterials. • Extend the Highway 6 trail system and create better pedestrian connectfons to commer- cial and industrial propertfes along both sides of the highway. • Complete the circuit of trails that connect South Iowa City’s parks and neighborhoods as development occurs. • Ensure that future commercial nodes located south of Highway 6 are pedestrian- and bi- cycle-friendly and enhance opportunitfes for extension of public transit. B: Accentuate South Iowa City’s connection to the environment and outdoor recreation. • Incorporate trees and other landscaping features along major rights-of-way as part of in- frastructure improvement projects. • Provide distfnctfve landscaping, including low-maintenance natfve plantfngs at major en- trances to South Iowa City and at intersectfons of arterial streets. • Consider unique signage, public art, and other amenitfes such as bus shelters, seatfng, and wayfinding along major rights-of-way. • Collaborate with developers and realtors in promotfng South Iowa City’s environmental and recreatfonal assets. C. Maximize resource conservation in South Iowa City. • Consider recycling receptacles at public parks and other public facilitfes, especially high - use areas such as Terry Trueblood Recreatfon Area and Kickers Soccer Park. • Offer incentfves or assistance for planning “no-waste” events that make use of recyclable/ compostable materials. • Encourage all City-sponsored events in the district to maximize use of recycling and local purchasing. WHAT’S IN A NAME? “Place names are also symbols to which people attach meaning and from which they draw identity. . . They are one of the most fun- damental ways in which people connect with places.”—Derek Alderman “Place Names. ” The Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Sage Publications (2006) A list of potential street names for South Iowa City: Geologic: Sperry, Garwin, Walford, Zook, Colo, Ely, Ackmore, Houghton, Elvira, Loess, Lake Calvin, Dune, Swale Birds: Dowitcher, Sandpiper, Avocet, Pelican, Plover, Scaup, Grebe, Merganser, Teal, Bittern Other animals: Bullfrog, Peeper, Chorus Frog, Sandshell, Heelsplitter, Papershell, Slider, Box Turtle, Painted Turtle Plants: Puccoon, Penstemmon, Vervain, Trefoil, Switchgrass, Bluestem, Lobelia, Sedge, Anemo- ne, Wild Iris, Arrowwood, Buttonbush Environmentalists: Ding Darling, Leopold, Car- son, Pammel, Hayden, Madson, MacBride, Rhodes, Seiberling Mesquakie names: Wacochachi, Poweshiek, Bear, Fox, Thunder, Wolf Historic: Trading House, Ripple, Trowbridge, Morford, Felkner, Sanders, Howard, McNeil 30 • Promote energy and water conservatfon features of new development. Identffy buildings or sites that could benefit from solar arrays, reflectfve rooftops, and other energy/ conservatfon upgrades such as new windows, lightfng, entryway improvements, plug-in statfons, and improved bike, pedestrian, and bus facilitfes. • Recognize private sector investment in energy conservatfon efforts. D. Initiate a multi-year effort to draw visitors to South Iowa City focusing on area parks, trails, and environmental areas. • Partner with organizatfons to host seasonal park-to-park bike or running events showcas- ing the Iowa River Corridor Trail. • Maximize use of Kickers Soccer Park, including tournaments, club and recreatfonal soccer, ultfmate Frisbee, etc. • As part of Blue Zones efforts, organize walking clubs at Terry Trueblood Recreatfon Area for targeted demographics—senior walk days, mommy meet-ups, etc. • Promote events that focus on South Iowa City’s environmental assets, such as bird watch- ing, fishing, prairie restoratfon, etc. F. Incorporate local foods, art, and culture as part of revitalization efforts. • Extend the City of Literature and other arts programming to South Iowa City. • Support efforts to celebrate South Iowa City’s unique cultural diversity. • Consider affordable or under\utflized sites for potentfal indoor or outdoor facilitfes for arts and cultural programming or local food productfon or distributfon, and encourage partnerships between such programs to enhance funding opportunitfes and shared re- sources. Yellow Velo is a concession stand and bike rental that operates in City Park during the summer as part of the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County’s youth em- ployment program. The program provides employment and job skill training for neighborhood youth to sell sim- ple, healthy food (much of it locally produced). A similar program might be considered for a park in South Iowa City. In the City of Literature, access to reading materials is a priority—one that the Antelope Lending Library takes seriously. The mobile library was founded (and driven) by Cassandra Elton, a graduate student in library science who works at Grant Wood Elementary’s after-school pro- gram. For many families, getting to the library downtown is difficult, so Antelope Library brings the books to them, providing service at area parks in South Iowa City and other neighborhoods. 31 Parks, Trails, and Open Space Open space is, perhaps, the defining feature of the South Planning District, which has nearly 380 acres of public land, including eight parks—more than any other planning district in the city. An addi- tfonal 200 acres of wetlands are preserved in a private conservatfon area just south of the Saddle- brook development in the far eastern portfon of the planning district. South Iowa City is also home to Friendly Farm—Johnson County’s only urban organic farm—and Pleasant Valley Golf Course. Community members, neighborhood groups, nonprofits, and athletic organizations have participat- ed in shaping and improving South Iowa City’s parks and trails—including advocating for preserva- tion of environmentally sensitive areas, fundraising for improvements, designing new features, and sponsoring programming. Many participants in the on-line survey and planning workshop noted that ready access to parks, trails, and unique natural features is what drew them to the area. E x i s t i n g P a r k s Terry Trueblood Recreation Area: Developed on the site of a former sand dredging pond just east of the Iowa River, Terry Trueblood Recreatfon Area (TTRA) is one of Johnson County’s premier nature areas, a birding “hotspot,” and the crown jewel of South Iowa City’s “emerald necklace” of parks. The idea for developing the former sand dredging pond as park was a goal included in the 1997 South District Plan. The 207-acre recreatfon park, which opened in 2013, encompasses a 95-acre lake that includes a beach, fishing jetties, and boat ramps. In additfon to operatfng a concession stand, a private vendor provides canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rental during warm weather and ice skate rental during the winter. The Park Lodge has become a popular venue for weddings, partfes, and other events and meetfngs. The two-mile bike/pedestrian trail that circles the lake links to the Iowa River Trail, providing a safe and pleasant off-road commute to the UI campus and Riverfront Crossings District. With the purchase of riverfront land to the west of the lake, there are plans to add camp sites and related facilitfes in the future. Open space and access to unique natural areas are two defining characteristics of South Iowa City. Above, a sunset view of fishing at the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area. Photo by Cyndi Ambrose 32 Sand Prairie Park: A remnant of a very rare type of prairie, Sand Prairie Park provides and attractfve entrance to the residentfal neighborhoods south of the Crandic Railroad, and affords impressive sunset views over the Iowa River. The property was once home to the Ornate Box Turtle, a protect- ed species in the state of Iowa. In antfcipatfon of development that would reduce the area in which turtles could forage for food, more than 50 turtles were relocated to another site by the Iowa De- partment of Natural Resources. Forty-six acres were preserved, thanks to the cooperatfve effort of neighborhood residents, natural- ists, the Iowa City Parks Department, and Southgate Development. Concerned Citizens for Sand Prai- rie Preservation (CCSPP), a local nonprofit formed to preserve the site, and provided detailed re- search on its ecological significance. Working with Randall Arendt, a nationally renowned conserva- tion landscape architect, Southgate Development designed a residential subdivision that clustered housing in order to preserve the prairie, setting aside 18 acres for permanent open space. The re- maining land was acquired by Iowa Natural Heritage and transferred to City ownership in 2005. Whispering Meadows: Whispering Meadows Wetland Park is a 17-acre park constructed on property donated to the City by a local development company. The land was previously used for row crops, but was poorly drained and contained 3 wetlands. Geoscience professor Lon Drake worked with the City to develop the park concept. The park was established in 1994 and planted to represent three botanical communitfes: wetland, wet meadow, and mesic prairie. Beaver are occasional residents of the park, which contains a pond with a boardwalk and a trail. Due to lack of maintenance, many of the plants were lost and the park has been overwhelmed by reed canary grass—an invasive species. Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure the park can functfon as a wetland and to ensure that it does not become an eyesore for adjacent private property owners. Napoleon Park: Napoleon Park is a 29-acre softball facility and a trailhead for the Iowa River Corridor Trail. The park was established in 1978 as the home to Iowa City Girls Softball, an affiliate of the Parks and Recreatfon Department. This nonprofit organizatfon provides recreatfonal softball oppor- tunitfes for K-12 girls. The park currently provides 8 ball fields as well as restrooms and a concession stand. Kickers Soccer Park: Located on the south edge of the district adjacent to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, Kickers Soccer Park is a 108-acre sports complex with 20 soccer pitches in additfon to 2 base- ball fields. The park was established on land that was acquired for the wastewater plant and uses graywater to irrigate fields. It is home to the Iowa City Kickers recreatfonal league, a nonprofit or- ganizatfon that provides soccer opportunitfes for youth (k-12th grade) in Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, and surrounding communitfes. The park is connected to neighborhoods to the north by the Sycamore Greenway Trail. A view of the pond at Sand Prairie. Kickers Soccer Park draws hundreds of players from throughout eastern Iowa to south Iowa City during the play- ing season. Both recreational and club leagues use the site. 33 Fairmeadows Park: This 5-acre neighborhood park serving the Grant Wood neighborhood, was es- tablished in 1966 on property adjacent to Grant Wood Elementary School. In many ways, the park and school playground functfon together, serving both the school and the neighborhood. The park includes a splash pad, playground, open playing field, picnic shelter, and restrooms. In 2014 the Public Art Program commissioned a mural at the park. Given its locatfon near the school and high- density multf-family housing, the park serves as much-needed play space for many neighborhood children. The lack of supervision at the park has sometfmes created a nuisance for neighbors, but the splash pad has provided a much-needed neighborhood attractfon. Residents would like to see additfonal improvements at the park, including lightfng and soccer nets. Wetherby Park: This 24-acre neighborhood park was established in 1975. In additfon to a splaspad, picnic shelter, bastketball court, playground, playing fields, and Frisbee golf, the park features com- munity garden plots and is the home to Backyard Abundance Edible Forest. The Wetherby Friends Neighborhood Associatfon was instrumental in securing funds for installatfon of the splashpad and renovatfon of the picnic shelter. Wetherby now is one of Iowa City’s most actfvely used parks and has helped to foster the sense of community that residents seek. However, limited street access creates a barrier for park users. Street access is important for visibility—that’s how people know a park is there. It also allows such a large park to be more actfvely supervised, used, and maintained by both the City and neighborhood. While the north end of the park is developed for actfve uses, the south end is isolated and offers few features. Additfonal vehicle parking and pedestrian access along with improvements to the south end of the park should occur with residentfal development. Opportunitfes to expand street visibility should be explored. Sycamore Greenway: Though not technically part of the Iowa City park system, the Sycamore Greenway is an important public open space feature of the district. The corridor functfons as a stormwater detentfon and filtratfon area that reduces flooding and improves water quality for the Iowa River (see page 9). The wetlands are home to a diverse populatfon of woodland, prairie, and riparian species and are a birding hotspot. The 2.2-mile South Sycamore Greenway Trail is an- chored at the north by Grant Wood Elementary and Kickers Soccer Park to the south. Splash pads at Fairmeadows and Wetherby Parks are a sum- mertime attraction to South Iowa City neighborhoods. [photo courtesy the Daily Iowan] Wetherby Park is a major neighborhood attraction, but with street access limited to Taylor Drive, the park lacks visibility and accessibility for both vehicles and pedestrians. Opportu- nities for additional access points, including active street frontage, should be explored to improve overall awareness of the park and to help foster a sense of ownership by the broader neighborhood. WETHERBY PARK 34 A v i s i o n f o r t h e f u t u r e Broader community awareness of the parks and natural areas in the district could help to improve the image of South Iowa City. One suggestion that received popular support in the public workshop was the idea of promoting South Iowa City as a “green” district. This effort could be extended be- yond park boundaries to include wayfinding and aesthetic enhancements (e.g. trees and landscap- ing) along major street corridors (Highway 6, McCollister Boulevard, South Gilbert and Sycamore Street) or at identified “gateways” to South Iowa City. Participants in the planning workshop envi- sion unique signage, bus stops, bicycle parking, trash and recycling receptacles, and public art to help to solidify this green image as part of a South Iowa City brand. While residents are supportive of new neighborhood development, they want developers to take a sensitive approach to subdivision design—one that improves connectivity and preserves natural features and a sense of open space. This includes providing logical connections to trails and visible access to parks; preserving and integrating unique environmental features as central components in new subdivisions (as was done with the Sand Prairie Preserve); and ensuring long-term mainte- nance and health of private open space, a responsibility that ultimately falls to homeowners’ asso- ciations, by educating new homebuyers about the function and value of shared open space. Creating small pocket parks (1 acre or less) allows residential neighborhoods to develop with a healthy density while providing opportunities for the kind of social connection that fosters a sense of community. Providing visible access to public parks and open space, including single-loaded streets or well-designed pedestrian routes, helps to ensure that parks benefit the entire neighbor- hood and can have safety benefits as well. Volunteer projects and educational outreach are seen as useful ways to connect residents to envi- ronmental and other outdoor resources in the district and to encourage a sense of stewardship for communal spaces. Participants in the planning process strongly support efforts by the Parks De- partment, local organizations, and neighborhood associations to engage the public (especially school-age children) with the natural environment, including South Iowa City’s unique geology and natural history. Workshop participants envisioned unique signage to help solidify the image of South Iowa City as a green district and a sort of playground for the community based on its access to parks, open space and trails. The north trailhead for the Sycamore Greenway is en- hanced with two artistic pillars that call attention to and celebrate the trail and the cultural diversity of the Grant Wood Neighborhood. The public art project was jointly sponsored by the Iowa City Public Art Program, Grant Wood Neighborhood Association, and City High School. 35 The Parks and Recreation Department Mas- ter Plan (completed in 2009) includes com- munity interest inventory for park and rec- reation facilities and services. Respondents indicated a desire for walking and biking trails (79%), nature center and trails (68%), small neighborhood parks (68%), large community parks (66%), and wildlife and natural areas (64%). The South District is unique among Iowa City’s 10 planning dis- tricts in that it provides all of these facili- ties. South District Public Parks 1. Napoleon Park (softball) 2. Sand Prairie Park 3. Terry Trueblood Recreation Area 4. Kickers Soccer Park 5. Sycamore Greenway 6. Whispering Meadows Wetland Park 7. Fairmeadows Park 8. Wetherby Park 36 P A R K S , T R A I L S, A N D O P E N S P A C E G O A L S A N D O B J E C T I V E S The following goals and objectives were developed from input gathered during the South District planning process. Some actions will be implemented by the City. Others will require the effort of residents, neighborhood associations, community groups, or other agencies or interested parties. Goal 1: Create broad community awareness of South Iowa City’s extensive park and trail system and its unique environmental areas. • Support a collaboratfve partnership between neighborhood organizatfons, realtors, and other interest groups to build a “brand identfty” for South Iowa City based on its parks and natural features—a “green district.” [See the Neighborhood Quality sectfon of the plan, page 23.] • Encourage neighborhood associatfons, property owners, developers, and realtors to promote South Iowa City’s green elements and to ensure the long-term maintenance of its parks and open spaces. This could be achieved with signage, brochures, educatfonal outreach, web or other on-line efforts, etc. • Enhance major street corridors and public rights-of-way to build a unified identfty for South Iowa City based on its recreatfonal and natural features. For example: trees, natfve landscaping, unique gateway signs, transit stops, or art reflectfve of the area’s green components. • Choose street, subdivision, and other place names that refer to natural features of the district, such a plants, animals, soils, geologic formatfons, local environmentalists, etc. • As development around Wetherby Park occurs, encourage subdivision designs that maximize visibility and access to the park. Goal 2. Preserve environmentally sensitive features and ensure long-term stewardship for the benefit of the neighborhood and the community. • Where possible, incorporate environmental features as integral elements of subdivision de- signs. • Encourage developers to collaborate with homeowner or neighborhood associatfons and real- tors to promote these natural elements as integral features of their development. Management of natural areas, such as the Sand Prairie and Sycamore Greenway, require controlled burning. Because the use of fire can raise concerns among neigh- borhood residents, it is important to engage the public with the many benefits of fire as well as the precautions taken to ensure its safe use. The Edible Forest at Wetherby Park is being established through a collaboration between the Parks Department and Backyard Abundance, a nonprofit community group. 37 Goal 3: Plan, create, and improve parks and other open spaces that foster social interaction and a sense of community within the neighborhoods. • Encourage small pocket parks (1 acre or less) in new neighborhoods as they develop, especially in future neighborhoods east of Sycamore Street. • Include a small open space or a plaza in conjunctfon with neighborhood commercial sites to serve as a community gathering spot. • Encourage usable private open space in associatfon with future multf-family and townhome de- velopments that do not otherwise have direct access to public open space. • Identffy opportunitfes to establish additfonal community gardens and partner with neighbor- hood groups and nonprofits to ensure appropriate maintenance of these spaces. • Engage the neighborhood in planning for improvements at the south end of Wetherby Park as residentfal neighborhoods develop along its border, and ensure additfonal pedestrian and vehi- cle access to the park with appropriate and safe transitfons between residentfal propertfes and public space. • Consider the feasibility of a small off-leash dog area in South Iowa City. • Explore development potentfal of the former sand dredging pond on the east side of Gilbert Street. If soil stability is not appropriate for development, consider potentfal for recreatfonal or community use of the site (e.g. gardens, urban agriculture, outdoor performance space, etc.). Goal 4: Pursue partnerships with neighborhood and community organizations, nonprofits, and schools to promote stewardship and use of existing parks. • Support efforts by local organizatfons to increase appreciatfon of South Iowa City’s natural fea- tures among residents, including children and youth, through educatfonal and volunteer pro- grams. • Inspire neighborhood/community preservatfon and stewardship of natural areas by promotfng its functfon as wildlife habitat, stormwater filtratfon, flood control, etc. Goal 5: Provide appropriate trail links between parks, neighborhoods, and the new school. • Ensure safe access between the new elementary school and surrounding neighborhoods and parks. • Provide a connectfon between Wetherby Park and Sand Prairie Park. A sand dredging pond located along the east side of Gil- bert Street, near Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, is cur- rently being filled. Future development potential will de- pend on stability of the fill. If it is determined that the site is not suitable for residential uses, the property could be adapted for a park, recreation, or another community use. 38 PLANNED MULTI -USE TRAILS & WIDE SIDWALKS As development continues in the South Dis- trict, the accompanying map will help guide property acquisition for trails that connect with the existing network of trails and other bicycle facilities. Wetherby Park will be at the heart of new development in the area and trail connections to Sand Prairie, Trueblood Recreation Area, and the Sycamore Greenway will provide resi- dents with unique recreational opportunities, access to local natural resources, and indirect- ly encourage physical activity. The Sycamore Greenway could expand into the Kickers Soccer Park to improve access for disabled visitors and provide a loop for walk- ing and biking. Extending connections to the Greenway from Paddock Circle or as wide sidewalks along the future alignment of McCollister Boulevard will also increase use of this resource. Another important addition to the transporta- tion network is the planned trail extension along Highway 6, which will connect residen- tial, commercial, and manufacturing land us- es, allowing residents to walk and bike be- tween these destinations. 39 S t r e e t s , Tra i l s , a n d S i d e w a l k s A r t e r i a l S t r e e t s Arterial streets are the main travel corridors of the city, the primary function of which is to carry traffic through and between neighborhoods. In general, maintaining efficient automobile traffic flow on arterial streets helps to prevent cut-through traffic on local residential streets. Modern arterial street design is intended to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians as well as motorized vehicles. Trees and other landscaping in the right-of-way, between the sidewalk and the street, provide additional separation, creating a safer and more inviting environment for pedestrians and a welcoming entrance into the adjacent neighborhoods. While the design of any specific arterial street is dependent on its context, the basic principles remain the same: provide adequate infrastructure to accommodate anticipated traffic volumes, including comfortable and safe environments for pedestrians and bicyclists. The South District is served by four arterial streets: U.S. Highway 6, McCollister Boulevard, South Gilbert Street, and South Sycamore Street. Due to a lack of connectivity within the local street system, South Iowa City’s arterial streets have taken on a heightened role as travel corridors for all modes of transportation. U.S. Highway 6, a divided four-lane roadway, crosses the entire Planning District, forming its northern boundary. As a federal highway, it functions as a regional vehicular corridor connecting surrounding communities. Because it is the sole east-west travel route for South Iowa City, High- way 6 is an integral connection between residential neighborhoods and commercial and employ- ment areas. Many residents of south-side neighborhoods rely on the highway for their daily trips, even within the district. Much of South Iowa City’s identity, for better or worse, is tied to the highway. Its significance—both as a connection and a barrier—should not be overlooked. Though it provides a convenient and efficient corridor for automobiles moving across the dis- trict, Highway 6 was originally designed and constructed as a federal highway with few accom- modations for non-motorists. Commercial and industrial properties along the corridor are orien- tated toward the highway and have little integration with the local streets that serve the adja- cent neighborhoods. Iowa City constructed a paved trail along the south side of Highway 6, beginning at the Iowa Riv- er (where it branches off from the Iowa River Corridor Trail) and traveling along the commercial corridor, just east of Broadway Street (at Casey’s). Extending the trail will provide better connec- tion between neighborhoods at the east end of the district, including manufactured housing “ A body without good bones will fall apart. . . . Streets are the bones of communities. A community that lacks good streets will suffer in its economy, its social well-being, and its health.”—Robert Steuteville, Better Cities, Better Towns (2015) “If there is one class of improvements which is more necessary, which becomes more permanent and unalterable, or which exerts a stronger influence upon the indi- viduality and general physical aspect of the city, than any other, it is the layout of the streets. The street layout deter- mines, in a very large degree, how the people shall live, how they shall travel to and fro, how they shall work and play; it has a direct influence upon the character of the home and its surroundings, upon the safety, comfort and convenience of the people, and upon the efficiency of govern- ment and the public service.” —B. Antrim Haldeman (1914) 40 parks and multi-family and commercial areas to the west. It will also extend the reach of the trail network for recreational bicyclists. The trail extension is currently on the unfunded Capital Improve- ments Project (CIP) list. According to the 2010 Census, South Iowa City is home to nearly 1,800 school-age children. Some of the highest densities of children live in the multi-family and manufactured housing developments along the highway corridor and near Pepperwood Plaza. Because the junior and senior high schools and one of the elementary schools that serves the South District are all located north of the highway along with the public library, public recreation centers, and most medical and health services, fami- lies with children often cross the highway on a daily basis. Crossing Highway 6, particularly east of Sycamore Street, can be challenging. East of Fairmeadows Drive/Industrial Park Road, there are no sidewalks or trails to serve the industrial uses along the north side of the highway, which employ many residents of South Iowa City. Without the requisite sidewalk facilities to connect into, there are no pedestrian crossings along this portion of the high- way and limited lighting for those who choose to cross in these areas. For residents, especially those who don’t have cars or with limited access to cars, this creates a considerable impediment. Many participants in the planning workshop and online survey asked for safer crossings over Highway 6 to link residents with the rest of Iowa City, especially employment opportunities, shopping, and schools north of the highway. Many called for a pedestrian bridge—an expensive option that requires a sig- nificant amount of space given the flat topography of the area. Others requested longer walk signals to cross the wide roadway. McCollister Boulevard is a planned and much anticipated east-west arterial street that will eventual- ly connect across the South Planning District from the Iowa River east to Heinz Road and then on to Scott Boulevard. An extension of Mormon Trek Boulevard, McCollister Boulevard begins at South Riverside Drive (Old Highway 218), crossing the river into South Iowa City and intersecting South Gil- bert Street before entering into the Sand Hill Estates development where it currently terminates at the city limits. With Highway 6 serving as the only east-west connection across the district, neighborhoods to the east of Wetherby Park and Sycamore Street seem distant from neighborhoods immediately to the west. Neighborhoods east of the Sycamore Greenway are similarly isolated from the larger district, including the new school. An extension of McCollister Boulevard east to Scott Boulevard is essential for providing east-west connectivity and provides an alternative commuter route connecting with Highway 218 and Interstate 380. Work on this extension will likely occur as land is annexed into the city and developed. For many, the visual image of South Iowa City is tied to Highway 6 and its commercial and industrial properties. Residents see the extension of McCollister Boulevard as an important opportunity to The Highway 6 Trail is an important route for pedestrians and bicyclists, providing a route along the highway from Gilbert Street east to Taylor Drive and Hollywood Boule- vard. Extension of the trail to the east will require engi- neering to cover the drainage area on the south side of the roadway. The extension of McCollister Boulevard between Gilbert and Sycamore Streets will provide much needed east- west connectivity for residential areas located south of Highway 6. 41 draw attention to the diverse and family-friendly neighborhoods that lie south of the highway. Par- ticipants in the workshop and on-line survey expressed a desire for a pleasant arterial street that unifies and connects neighborhoods across the district. Because McCollister Boulevard will pass through the heart of South Iowa City’s residential neighborhoods, it should be a welcoming, pedes- trian- and bike-friendly street that is easy to cross and that sets the tone for future development. Buildings on either side of McCollister Boulevard should be oriented toward the street to prevent the corridor from being lined with residential privacy fences. South Sycamore Street is the spine that provides a north-south travel route for neighborhoods east of Wetherby Park. This important roadway enters the northern edge of the district at Highway 6 and continues south before making a 90-degree turn to the west (the Sycamore “L”) where it currently intersects with South Gilbert Street. Along with Gilbert Street it provides connectivity to Riverfront Crossings and Downtown commercial as well as employment areas and schools north of Highway 6. The northern portion of Sycamore Street was originally constructed as a four-lane road and later re- striped to provide a center turn lane as well as shared-lane bicycle markings on both north- and south-bound travel lanes. The reconstruction of the south portion of Sycamore Street will provide an improved connection to Archibald Alexander Elementary School. South of Langenberg, the paved roadway will narrow retaining on-street bike lanes but eliminating the continuous center turn lane. A wide (8-ft.) sidewalk will be provided on the west side of the road and a 5-ft. sidewalk on the east. The remaining right-of-way width will be dedicated to wider parkways (14 feet on the east and 24 feet on the west), which will allow space for street trees to be planted one year after road construc- tion. Roundabouts are planned at the future intersection with McCollister Boulevard and where Syc- amore turns west at the “L.” Cross section of the South Sycamore St. extension 5ft. 14 ft. 6 ft. 11 ft. 11 ft. 6 ft. 24 ft. 8 ft. Two priorities for South Sycamore Street emerged from the planning process: slowing vehicle speeds and cre- ating a more attractive and welcoming entrance to the neighborhoods. Above: a section of Sycamore near High- way 6, where street trees have been established. Below: Further south on Sycamore, subdivisions with rear or side yards that face the street often result in a street corridor lined with privacy fences. 42 South Gilbert Street provides access to residential neighborhoods west of Wetherby Park, a river crossing at the McCollister Boulevard Bridge, the Napoleon Park softball complex, and the newly developed Terry Trueblood Recreation Area (TTRA) before continuing on into the county as Sand Road. Gilbert Street is an important entry and connection between the South District, Downtown Iowa City, and the University’s east campus. The City anticipates greater use of the road as develop- ment occurs around the new south elementary school, including subdivisions that connect into McCollister and Gilbert Streets. Reconstruction of South Gilbert Street is planned from Benton Street to Stevens Drive but does not include any improvements to the Highway 6 intersection. How- ever, it is unlikely these plans will be implemented in the near future. Long-term anticipated arterial improvements: 420th Street/Scott Boulevard and McCollister Boulevard intersection: 420th Street east of Highway 6 has been converted from a rural road to a collector street with public utilities, turn lanes, curb-and -gutter, and sidewalks. The new road serves as the main access to the new industrial park east of the Scott-Six Industrial Park. In the future, intersection improvements for the industrial park will take place south of Highway 6 at Scott Boulevard and the McCollister Boulevard extension. South Arterial: A future two-lane, east-west arterial is contemplated within the growth area approx- imately 2 miles south of U.S. Highway 6. The new arterial would become an integral part of the city’s major street network, providing a new east-west connectfon between U.S. 218, Old Highway 218, Sand Road, and Sycamore Street. L o c a l S t r e e t s The primary function of local streets is to provide access to individual properties and to facilitate circulation within a neighborhood. Local streets in the northern part of the South District are gener- ally arranged in a curvilinear pattern with longer block lengths and numerous cul-de-sacs. This type of street pattern relies on collector streets that “collect” the traffic from the cul-de-sacs and other local streets in a neighborhood and funnel it to the arterials. This type of street system can result in an inefficient transportation network that overburdens certain streets with traffic, discourages walk- ing and biking, and results in inefficiencies for provision of services such as public transit, garbage collection, snow plowing, mail delivery, and emergency services. Iowa City’s subdivision regulations (adopted 2008) help to ensure that future neighborhoods will be designed with better connectivity by establishing a limit on block lengths, discouraging cul-de-sacs, and requiring streets to be extended (stubbed) to the edge of the subdivision. The subdivision regu- lations also require each subdivision to “contribute to the larger interconnected street pattern to ensure street connectivity between neighborhoods, multiple travel routes resulting in diffusion and STREET LAYOUT & WALKABILTY Street layout can increase or reduce the opportunity for children to walk or bicycle to school. In some are- as, the layout of subdivision streets makes routes to school much longer than they need to be—so much so that they become impractical. Neighborhoods developed with long blocks and nu- merous cul-de-sacs become barriers to walking and bicycling to school as they reduce connectivity and increase travel distance between the home and school. Iowa City’s current subdivision regulations (adopted in 2008) limit block lengths along local and collector streets typically to 300-600 feet and require each subdivision to contribute to the larger connected street pattern. Sidewalks are required along all streets. Cul-de-sacs are discouraged except in those areas where due to topography or other conditions, a street connection would be impractical. 43 distribution of traffic, efficient routes for public and emergency services, and to provide direct and continuous vehicular and pedestrian routes to neighborhood destinations.” This not only ensures that a street pattern established in one subdivision can be readily extended through the next, but that the design of one subdivision does not preclude future subdivisions on adjacent property from developing in an efficient manner such that orientation and configuration of blocks is consistent and complementary between subdivisions. On local streets where the speed and/or volume of traffic becomes excessive, the City’s Traffic Calming Program may be implemented. The program uses one or more approaches to reduce speeds or discourage cut-through traffic, including increased police enforcement, improved signage and other driver education techniques, and/or physical changes to the roadway such as speed humps and traffic circles. Streets in the South District that have been identified over the years as possible candidates for traffic calming include Hollywood Boulevard, Lakeside Drive, Langenberg Avenue, Whispering Meadows Drive, and Whispering Prairie Avenue. Some of these neighborhoods have requested a traffic calming study and did not qualify. It is up to the residents along these streets to request that a traffic calming study be conducted by the City. If, based on a traffic study, the subject street is identified as an appropriate candidate for traffic calming, a majority of residents along the street must be in favor of any proposed traffic calming strategies before they will be con- sidered. C o m p l e t e S t r e e t s The City has adopted a new Complete Streets Policy. This means that all new streets as well as im- proved streets will be designed and constructed to accommodate all modes of transportation – cars, bicycles, pedestrians, and public transit, and to provide ADA-compliant curb ramps. South District workshop participants were overwhelmingly supportive of the effort to improve streets in the South District to facilitate and encourage use of alternative modes of transportation. In 2009, the City of Iowa City partnered with the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County to draft the Metro Bicycle Master Plan, which outlines new strategies to create an accessible and coordinated bike network throughout Iowa City and the larger metropolitan area. The Metro Bicycle Master Plan identifies opportunities for on-street bike routes, including a signed bike route along Sycamore Street and trail improvements along Gilbert Street. To increase awareness and ac- cess to the network, the plan also recommends that way-finding signs be installed on area trails. As mentioned previously, it is an important objective of the South District Plan to provide better way- finding signage along off-street trails and along area streets that are designated as bike routes. There are a number of streets in the South District that were constructed at a time when sidewalks were not required. Unfortunately, this has resulted in gaps in the district’s sidewalk network. In ad- “The City of Iowa City intends and expects to real- ize long-term cost savings in improved public health, reduced fuel consumption, better environ- mental stewardship, and reduced demand for motor vehicle infrastructure through the imple- mentation of its Complete Streets Policy. Com- plete streets also contribute to walkable neigh- borhoods, make the community attractive to new business and employment, create a sense of com- munity pride, and improve quality of life.” — from the Iowa City Complete Street Policy (adopted March 23, 2015) “Since school zones are locations frequented by children, making the area safe for children at any time of day is a sound investment for the community.”—Safe Routes to School National Partnership 44 dition, residential areas that were developed outside the city limits were not required by the County to construct sidewalks. Due to increasing public demand for a complete sidewalk network, the City Council established a sidewalk infill program, whereby gaps are identified and funds set aside each year to construct missing pieces of the sidewalk network. Priority is given to main pedestrian routes, such as routes to school and along arterial and collector streets. Subdivisions located in the county that are annexed into the city would become eligible for this sidewalk infill program. Improving pedestrian safety is also a priority. The City will continue to work with the school district to identify safe routes to schools. To improve pedestrian safety, marked crosswalks are typically painted at signalized intersections, at official school route crossings, and at other high-volume inter- sections. Public requests for marked crosswalks in other locations are evaluated carefully. While well -designed crosswalks are important to pedestrian safety, marking crosswalks at locations where driv- ers do not expect them or where pedestrian traffic is sporadic can actually reduce pedestrian safety by giving pedestrians a false sense of security when crossing the street. The City evaluates each pro- posed crosswalk to determine if it is warranted and safe. W a l k a b i l i t y In general, participants in the on-line survey and community workshop find the South District walka- ble for recreational purposes, and are enthusiastic about the extensive trail system in South Iowa City. However, walking or biking to meet daily needs or for travel can be more challenging due to the lack of street connectivity (especially east to west), requiring heavy reliance on Sycamore Street and Highway 6 by all modes of transportation. Neighborhoods in the west portion of the district and those east of the Sycamore Greenway, includ- ing the manufactured housing parks, can feel isolated or cut off from many destinations within the district, including parks. This can present special challenges for children traveling to school or recrea- tional opportunities within the district as well as those in areas north of Highway 6. The extension of McCollister Boulevard and construction of new trail sections, including an extension of the Highway 6 trail, are seen as essential to creating better physical and social connection throughout the district. PRINCIPLES OF WALKABILITY Pleasant factor: Separation from cars and traffic, shade trees, things to see along the way . . . Proximity to home: How far is it? Is it practical to walk there? Physical access & infrastructure: Sidewalks and trails to mark your path along with crosswalks, traffic signals, and lighting to make it safe. Places to go: A sensible mix of destinations, such as parks, schools, coffee shops, neigh- borhood activities. 45 T r a i l s Trails are critfcal components of the South District’s transportatfon network. In additfon to providing recreatfonal opportunitfes, the trails offer low-cost, energy-efficient transportatfon to schools, em- ployment, and commercial destfnatfons. Notably, the South District offers access to two popular trails in the metro area: the Iowa River Trail and South Sycamore Greenway. The Iowa River Trail and Terry Trueblood Recreatfon Area (TTRA) directly link our community to out- door actfvitfes and connect Southside residents to the Downtown Business District and University of Iowa campus. The 2.2-mile South Sycamore Greenway is anchored at the north by Grant Wood Ele- mentary and Kickers Soccer Park to the south. The Greenway functfons as a stormwater detentfon area that reduces run-off into the Iowa River. As areas south of the school are annexed into the city, a trail connectfon or sidewalk will connect the Greenway to TTRA. P u b l i c T r a n s i t Public bus transit is a crucial part of the South Iowa City transportation system with more than 500,000 rides annually on routes that serve the area. All south-side routes circulate through the northern portion of the district and provide access to the commercial and industrial areas along Highway 6. They include the Lakeside, Eastside Loop (during school), Mall, Cross Park, and Broadway routes. The Lakeside Route has the highest bus ridership of any route in Iowa City. Residential development around the new elementary school in addition to weekend activity at Kick- ers Soccer Complex and Terry Trueblood Recreation Area may prompt changes to current bus routes. There has long been support for loop routes that do not terminate downtown, but instead provide residents with direct service to major shopping and employment areas. Commercial devel- opment along both sides of the river, along Highways 6 and 1 (e.g. Walmart, Aldi’s, Hy-Vee, Pepper- wood Plaza, and Sycamore Mall), could ideally be served as part of loop route. The absence of a grid system creates a challenge for extending service further into the residential neighborhoods and, be- cause there is no east-west connection across the district south of Highway 6 and minimal connec- tivity to areas east of the Greenway, potential bus routes are limited. The extension of McCollister Boulevard will make for an efficient loop route and allow transit to reach more areas in the South District. Participants in the planning process expressed a desire for improved signage and transit information at bus stops, expanded hours of transit service, and service on Sundays. There is also a need for ad- ditional bus shelters in some locations in the South District. Iowa City Transit will be addressing many of these concerns as part of a comprehensive study of its current service. Bus stops are being redesigned and “Bongo” software makes route information and accurate arrival times accessible to the public by computer and smart phone. Wireless service is now available on all buses. BENEFITS OF WALKABILITY Health • Men and women age 50 –71 who took a brisk walk nearly every day had a 27% reduced death rate compared to non- exercisers. • The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs 6 to 10 pounds less than someone who lives in a car-dependent neighborhood. Economic • Save money: Transportation is the second largest expense for Ameri- can households. • Make money: 1 walk score point is worth $700-$3,000 in home value. Community Connection • Studies show that for every 10 minutes a per- son spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10%. • People living in walkable neighborhoods trust neighbors more, participate in community pro- jects, and volunteer more than in non-walkable areas. 46 STREETS, TRAILS, SIDEWALKS —GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The following goals and objectives for streets, trails, and sidewalks were formulated with input from participants in the planning workshop and on-line survey. Improvements to rights-of-way, including sidewalks and trails, are the responsibility of the City and developers. GOAL 1: Improve connections between residential neighborhoods and commercial and industrial properties on both sides of Highway 6 and explore ways to reduce the barrier effect that this ma- jor traffic corridor has between South Iowa City and areas to the north. These improvements will require funding by Iowa City and/or grant funds, as well as cooperation from the Iowa Depart- ment of Transportation. • Evaluate pedestrian crossings along the length of Highway 6 for safety improvement. • Construct pedestrian facilitfes that connect to industrial and commercial propertfes north of Highway 6. • Review pedestrian signal tfmes and explore improved signage, median design/landscaping, and lightfng to improve the actual and perceived safety of Highway 6 crossings. • Extend the Highway 6 trail east to Heinz Road to ensure safety for pedestrian and bicycle access across the district • Extend a sidewalk/trail connectfon along Highway 6 and across the bridge to Riverside Drive. GOAL 2: Prioritize the extension of McCollister Boulevard as an integral element in improving connectivity and access for South Iowa City and to spur the development of a high -quality neigh- borhood surrounding the new school. • The new road should enhance movement between neighborhoods by providing appropriate crossings, including medians or traffic controls where needed. • Design and construct McCollister Boulevard as a welcoming and attractfve entrance to the South Iowa City neighborhoods by including trees, landscaping, lightfng, public art, or other features that foster a distfnct identfty for the district. Trees and other landscaping along arterial streets can help buffer neighboring homes from noise and other activity and provide a sense of comfort and safety for pedestrians. Roundabouts offer an opportunity to enhance the ap- pearance and identity of public streets. The above examples are from Holiday Road and 12th Avenue in Coralville. 47 GOAL 3: Enhance safety and aesthetics along arterial streets. • Provide safe and accessible street crossings at key locatfons, such as entrances to commercial centers, parks, and school sites, and where designated trails cross arterial streets. • Design the extension of South Sycamore Street and McCollister Boulevard to moderate vehicle speeds and maximize safety for children traveling to and from school. Consider the feasibility of on-street parking to slow traffic if a neighborhood commercial area develops. • Where appropriate, include crosswalks, signals, or median islands as well as lighted trail connec- tfons. • Enhance aesthetfcs of arterial streets with trees, landscaping, lightfng, public art, or other fea- tures that support housing and subdivision designs oriented toward the street. GOAL 4: Maximize walkability and connectivity in all neighborhoods, especially those east of the Greenway. • Align collector streets along arterial streets to provide for safe crossing of neighborhood bound- ary streets, partfcularly for pedestrians and cyclists. • Fill in gaps in the sidewalk network and ensure ADA-compliant curb ramps throughout the dis- trict as intersectfons are improved, including connectfons to multf-family developments. • As residentfal development extends south toward the school, ensure multfple safe and logical walking routes to the school, including well-marked crosswalks for schools. • Provide count-down tfmers at high-volume intersectfons. • As re-development of commercial areas occurs, work to establish improved street, trail, and sidewalk connectfons to better integrate shopping centers with surrounding neighborhoods. • Improve lightfng along residentfal streets if needed for safety. Consider lightfng along off -street trails, such as at trail head areas or connectfons to parks in order to enhance safety. • Adopt a form-based code that promotes walkable neighborhoods and encourages the use of alternatfve modes of transportatfon and reduces car dependence. Physical Infrastructure for Pedestrian Safety Well maintained sidewalks and trails. Clearly marked crosswalks. Good intersection controls where needed. Reduced vehicle speeds. Separation between sidewalk and street. 48 GOAL 5: Create an accessible and well-coordinated bike network that allows bicyclists to con- nect to schools, parks, and commercial areas. • Construct a wide sidewalk from South Sycamore Street to the Terry Trueblood Recreatfon Area. • Construct a trail along the trunk sewer easement to connect residentfal development in Sand Hill Estates to Archibald Alexander Elementary. • Establish a bike trail or on-street route to connect the Sycamore Greenway Trail and Court Hill Trail. • Create unique and easily identffiable signage or other wayfinding methods to help cyclists find bike routes and off-street trails. • Encourage visible and well-designed bike facilitfes as part of any redevelopment plans in South Iowa City. • Wherever street widths permit, consider establishing or improving on-street bike facilitfes, such as “sharrows,” bike lanes, or bike boulevards. GOAL 6: Improve and expand transit service. • Consider the expansion and diversificatfon of bus routes and stops , including loop service, to connect residentfal neighborhoods with schools, parks, and recreatfonal opportunitfes (e.g. Kickers Soccer Complex and Terry Trueblood Recreatfon Area), and major commercial areas along Highways 1 and 6. • Raise awareness and improve access to transit service by providing well-marked bus stops with posted schedule and route maps. • Consider attractfve bus shelters, especially at commercial centers and public parks, and adopt-a -shelter programs with neighborhood organizatfons and commercial centers to help ensure shelters are well-maintained. 49 Commercial Areas The South Planning District is served by commercial areas located along or near the Highway 6 corri- dor, most notably Pepperwood Plaza and the Waterfront Hy-Vee area. Although it is just outside the South District boundaries, the Iowa City Marketplace (formerly Sycamore Mall) is commonly considered an important commercial center serving the South District. Pepperwood Plaza and Sycamore Mall once offered a wide variety of retail goods and services. In the late 1990s many of Iowa City’s natfonal retailers moved to the Coral Ridge Mall and in 2013 Von Maur department store moved to the River Landing in Coralville. This has left South Iowa City and much of the east side with fewer shopping optfons, especially children’s items, clothing, sportfng goods, and housewares. Partfcipants in the on-line survey and community workshop eagerly antfcipate redevelopment and improvement of commercial areas within and adjacent to the district. Aesthetfc improvements along the Highway 6 and South Gilbert Street commercial corridor, opportunitfes for local and neighborhood-serving businesses, and improved pedestrian and bike facilitfes are seen as prioritfes. The viability of any commercial business—shops, restaurants, and services—depends on the market demand in the area in which the business is located. Populatfon, residentfal density, and proximity to customers as they commute to and from work are essentfal for many retail businesses. New resi- dentfal development around the elementary school and improved connectfvity made possible by the extension of McCollister Boulevard have the potentfal to strengthen the commercial prospects in South Iowa City. While this will take tfme, efforts to make the area more attractfve and to raise the profile of South Iowa City for residentfal development will also enhance prospects for commercial development. Highway 6 Commercial Corridor As stated above, commercial development in the South District is concentrated along and to the south of Highway 6. While this busy traffic corridor offers the visibility and traffic actfvity that many businesses desire, competftfon from new commercial centers and big box or discount stores in other parts of the trade area, along with changes in the retail market due to the rise of on-line shopping have had an impact on large shopping centers, including Pepperwood Plaza. Designed with large buildings set back from the road behind ample parking lots, this sort of shopping center is appropri- ate for large natfonal or regional chain stores. The format is less adaptable for small or unique busi- nesses that are less able to capture the attentfon of passing motorists. The Highway 6 Urban Renewal Area was estab- lished in 2003 with a goal of strengthening com- mercial activity in existing core areas and neighbor- hood commercial centers and discouraging the proliferation of new major commercial areas. The City makes available tax increment financing as a means to help finance the construction of some of the necessary private and/or public infrastruc- ture improvements within the Highway 6 Commer- cial Urban Renewal Area. In addition, the City makes available the use of tax increment financing (TIF) to provide rebates for qualifying businesses or development projects within the Urban Renewal Project Area. This agreement will expire in 2025. Improvements may include stormwater manage- ment facilities, public streets and sidewalks, entry- way enhancements, sanitary sewers, storm sewers, and open space improvements. Site improvements may include design and construction of buildings and building additions; grading for building con- struction and amenities; adequate paving and park- ing; adequate landscaping; and on-site utilities. 50 While the nature of Highway 6 commercial corridor will likely remain car-centered, residents in the surrounding neighborhoods expressed a desire to tame the auto-dominated character of these shopping areas and improve their aesthetfc appeal. Making these areas accessible and invitfng to pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users by connectfng into the local street network should be a priori- ty. Aesthetfc improvements, including landscaping and shade trees to break up large parking areas, may entfce shoppers to linger and could help foster a sense of place that encourages neighborhoods to identffy with commercial areas. Such efforts could also help to improve the prospects for small or local businesses . Façade and parking area improvements made to Waterfront Hy-Vee at the tfme of its expansion offer an example for future redevelopment in the area. Other models can be found along Highway 1, west of the river, where landscaping and other parking design requirements have softened views of very large parking areas. Longer term, any redevelopment of propertfes in the Highway 6 corridor should emphasize bringing buildings closer to the street, pedestrian accessibility, more efficient use of land , and introducing mixed use development South Gilbert Street Commercial Corridor: The South Gilbert Street Commercial Corridor is generally located between Highway 6 and the CRANDIC Railroad. The 1997 South District Plan called for general commercial development in this area, including along Stevens Drive and Southgate Avenue, with a focus on creatfng a more attrac- tfve, well-landscaped entrance to the City. At the tfme, most of the undeveloped land was zoned for Intensive Commercial (CI-1), a classificatfon that provided areas for businesses with operatfons char- acterized by outdoor storage and display of merchandise, by repair and sales of large equipment or motor vehicles, or by actfvitfes or operatfons conducted in buildings that are not entfrely enclosed. In 2006, propertfes along Stevens and Waterfront Drives, east of Gilbert Street, were rezoned to Community Commercial (CC-2). Propertfes south of Southgate remain in the CI-1 zone. More re- cently, the CI-1 zone was amended to allow a wider range of commercial uses, including retail and restaurant uses. Little new development has occurred in the area around the Southgate Avenue and Gilbert Street intersectfon. This may be due in part to the risk of flooding. During major rainfall events, the intersectfon of South Gilbert and Stevens Drive is frequently flooded and all but a few commercial propertfes south of Highway 2 and west of the railroad are in the flood hazard area. While future residentfal development within the South District, especially in areas along South Gil- bert Street may improve development prospects in this area, the character of development that can be antfcipated along this corridor is uncertain. Close proximity to Riverfront Crossings and the Down- town, and UI Campus, along with ready access to the Iowa River Corridor Trail and future riverfront park, may make this area attractfve to a variety of uses, including mixed use or residentfal. It is important to carefully consider the impact of future development on the adjacent residentfal and commercial neighborhood. The area to the east of the railroad tracks is currently a mix of tradi- The areas highlighted in yellow indicate vacant commercial properties that front onto South Gilbert or Southgate Ave- nue. Redevelopment in the Riverfront Crossings District to the north of Highway 6 along with new residential develop- ment in areas to the south of the Crandic Railroad may gener- ate new interest in these properties for commercial uses. 51 tfonal CI-1 uses along with a number of social service agencies and the Hilltop Mobile Home Park. Any proposal for residentfal or mixed use development in the area should be scrutfnized to ensure that it contributes to the stability of the neighborhood. With any development or street improve- ments in this area, the attractfve landscaped entryway envisioned in the previous plan should remain a high priority. Neighborhood Commercial Areas The future land use maps include a small area designated as urban main street at the intersectfon of McCollister and Sycamore Street and other neighborhood nodes designated as “open” subareas. The goal of these areas is to create opportunitfes for small-scale commercial uses that principally serve the surrounding residentfal neighborhoods. In additfon to small retail and personal service us- es, neighborhood commercial areas may include instftutfonal uses (e.g. daycare, churches or educa- tfonal facilitfes) as well as neighborhood-serving office uses (e.g. medical offices). Commercial uses are limited in size to promote a local orientatfon to minimize potentfal adverse impacts on nearby residentfal propertfes. Where small neighborhood commercial areas are appropriate, careful consideratfon should be given not to detract from existfng commercial zones along Gilbert, or the commercial node at McCollister and Sycamore. Such smaller neighborhood commercial areas should be part of a master plan that shows a thoughtiul transitfon to the surrounding residentfal area. Zoning code standards for neighborhood commercial areas ensure that development is compatfble in scale and intensity to the surrounding residentfal neighborhoods. Building placement and design requirements help to create an environment that is invitfng to pedestrians and that minimizes the impact of automobiles. To functfon as a successful neighborhood center, the design of the mixed-use area should incorpo- rate pedestrian and bike accessibility as well as a transit stop. Including a small plaza, park, or other communal space within the development will help to make this corner a neighborhood gathering place and an anchor for the adjacent neighborhoods. As noted above, commercial uses depend on surrounding residentfal density and actfve commutfng routes in order to be successful. It will take tfme for this area to develop enough of a populatfon to support even a small business, such as a coffee shop. Allowing moderate density housing around these commercial areas and providing residentfal units above the commercial ground floor may help to improve the prospects for businesses and may encourage pedestrian trips and extension of trans- it services. Ensuring that these higher density uses are well designed and constructed will help to ensure that density is also an asset to the neighborhood as a whole. Traditional gas station site design. A re-oriented site design with the gas station canopy located behind a storefront at the corner. This could allow the site to offer more than gas/convenience retail. This may be an appropriate site design for the commer- cial corner at McCollister Boulevard and South Gilbert. 52 COMMERCIAL AREAS —GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The following goals and objectives for commercial areas were developed with input gathered dur- ing the South District planning process. Achieving these goals may require collaborative efforts by business owners, associations, property owners, and developers. GOAL 1. Improve the aesthetic appearance of commercial areas along Highway 6 and other commercial streets within the district (e.g. Boyrum, Keokuk). • Improve the aesthetfc appeal/appearance of the Highway 6 and South Gilbert Street Commer- cial Corridors—both within the right-of-way and on adjacent commercial property—taking cues from aesthetfc improvements planned along Riverside Drive as well as landscaping improve- ments west of the river on Highway One. • With any proposed redevelopment of Pepperwood Plaza, encourage a reductfon of large parking areas to create more invitfng social and pedestrian space. Include shade trees, distfnctfve land- scaping, invitfng pedestrian routes, and amenitfes such as seatfng, bike facilitfes, and art. • Encourage landscape improvements for other existfng commercial propertfes/neighborhoods and enforce compliance with landscaping standards as well as maintenance of required land- scaping. • Encourage commercial areas to adopt a common design theme—taking cues from Olde Towne Village at the corner of Scott Boulevard and Rochester Avenue—to create a sense of contfnuity and identfty (e.g. façade design, signage, lightfng, landscaping). • Ensure that small commercial areas, such as those contemplated or zoned along McCollister Boulevard, are designed to complement the adjacent residentfal neighborhood and contribute to an attractfve gateway to the South District by encouraging attractfve landscaping, screened parking areas and/or parking behind the building, minimal exterior lightfng, bike facilitfes, and connectfon to pedestrian routes. Landscaping, shade trees, and pedestrian islands can help break up large parking areas. 53 GOAL 2: Improve connectivity between commercial areas and adjacent residential. • As development and redevelopment occur, integrate shopping areas with adjacent residentfal neighborhoods by providing improved street, sidewalk, or trail connectfons and enhance entry- ways with art, landscaping, and wayfinding. • Encourage attractfve and readily identffiable bike parking and transit stops within commercial development areas. GOAL 3: Engage the community in re-thinking South Iowa City’s commercial areas by encouraging (sponsoring) unique events such as food or cultural festivals, roller derby or roller skating, mini- concerts, farmers market or food trucks nights at Pepperwood Plaza and other commercial areas. GOAL 4: Support development and redevelopment of areas identified as commercial in the fu- ture land use maps, ensuring that commercial areas and uses contribute to the long-term vitality and appeal of adjacent neighborhoods. • As the nearby Riverfront Crossings builds out, re-evaluate the development potentfal and zoning of propertfes in the South Gilbert/Southgate Avenue area. Explore the potentfal for mixed use/ residentfal or instftutfonal uses. Any proposed rezoning of this area should be scrutfnized to en- sure that new development contributes to the overall health of the surrounding neighborhood, including nearby residentfal areas. • Consider opportunitfes for small neighborhood commercial or mixed use nodes at key intersec- tfons, such as where McCollister Boulevard intersects with Gilbert and Sycamore Streets and encourage quality design and constructfon that enhances adjacent residentfal or public open space areas. • Support local and independent businesses in South Iowa City through targeted promotfonal efforts and by encouraging alliances among businesses and property owners. • Encourage or create incentfves to attract neighborhood-serving businesses—e.g. daycare, coffee shop, medical office, music or dance studios, salons and other personal services, etc., to com- mercial areas. • Adopt a form-based code that provides for a compatfble mix of non-residentfal uses, including commercial nodes that serve the needs of the neighborhood. A few fun event ideas suggested for making commer- cial areas—especially large parking areas—more socially active: outdoor sport demonstrations, such roller derby or basketball, food truck night with live music, and art events such as a Chalk the Lot festival. Photo copyright Greeley Tribune. 54 GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR FORM-BASED LAND USE Generally: − Promote, preserve, and enhance community design and character in support of the community's vision of a college town with a vari- ety of neighborhoods with centers along pleasant and convenient corridors that connect the City; − Reinforce the urban pattern of mixed-use walkable districts, resi- dentfal neighborhoods, and multf-modal corridors with centers serving as amenitfes and focal points for community actfvity; − Ensure appropriately-scaled development for a variety of physical contexts; − Support a diversity and wide variety of housing choices appropri- ate to their locatfon; − Ensure that each building plays a role in creatfng a better whole; and − Promote development patterns that support safe, effectfve, and multf-modal transportatfon optfons for all users and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Within residentfal neighborhoods: − Protect the character of established neighborhoods and build upon and reinforce the unique physical characteris- tfcs of the City's neighborhoods; − Support walkable neighborhood patterns through highly interconnected networks of multf-modal streets that are safe for pedestrians and bicycles; − Promote neighborhoods with quality housing and a diver- sity of context-sensitfve housing choices. Within districts and employment centers: − Create new districts and centers that accommodate appropriately scaled infill housing, mixed-use, and cultural development; − Facilitate transitfons from single-use employment centers to mixed-use districts that are compatfble with adjacent residentfal neighborhoods and public access. Along corridors: − Promote a wide variety of housing choices; − Promote small local businesses as an important part of the City's economy; − Promote incremental infill and revitalizatfon; − Enable neighborhood main streets as centers to become vibrant social and commercial focal points, with services and amenitfes for the surrounding neighborhoods located within a safe, comfortable walking distance of homes; − Balance pedestrian comfort and place making with traffic efficiency; and − Promote and accommodates high-quality community de- sign. 55 Form -Based Land Use Zoning through a Form-Based Code (FBC) represents a paradigm shift in the way that the built environment is regulated. Unlike conventfonal, use-based codes, FBCs utflize the intended physical form and character of a context type, rather than use as the organizing framework of the code. Further, FBCs regulate a series of elements not just to create a good individual build- ing, but a high-quality place. The terminology in FBCs reflects the intended physical form and hierarchy of different places. For example, instead of a zone being "commercial" or "mixed use," it might be called "main street." The term tfes back to the intended physical form or place, which includes a mix of uses, civic spaces, thoroughfares, frontages, and building types that create vibrant walkable urbanism. For this reason, FBC also do not regulate by maximum density, which is a change from previous use-based standards utflized by the City. While FBCs primarily regulate the intended physical form, they regulate use secondarily. FBCs allow a range of uses that are carefully chosen to maximize compatfbility between uses and the intended physical form. Use tables are simplified and categorized by use type, and clearly de- fined, to allow a greater degree of administratfve decision-making related to partfcular uses. Most FBCs use an organizing principle called the Natural-to-Urban Transect. This enables a cus- tomized framework of zones for a community that are based on intended physical character (or form). The Natural-to-Urban Transect: The Framework for Form-Based Codes: The Natural-to-Urban Transect is the organizing principle used in most Form-Based Codes (FBC). It establishes a hierarchy of physical environments or 'transects' from the most natural to the most urban. The designatfon of each transect along this hierarchy is determined first by the phys- ical character, form, intensity of development, and type of place, and secondly by the mix of uses within the area. This hierarchy of physical environments becomes the framework for the entfre FBC, replacing use as the organizing principle as in conventfonal, use-based zoning. Each transect is used to reinforce existfng or create new walkable environments. Form-Based Codes foster predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle for the code. These codes are adopted into city or county law as regulations, not mere guidelines. Form-Based Codes are an alternative to conventional zoning. - Form-Based Codes Instftute 56 The model transect for American communitfes is divided into six individual transects: Natural (T1), Rural (T2), Walkable Neighborhood/Sub-Urban (T3), General Urban (T4), Urban Center (T5), and Ur- ban Core (T6), together with a District (D), designatfon for areas with specialized purposes (e.g., heavy industrial, transportatfon, or university districts, among other possibilitfes). Each transect is given a number. Higher numbers designate progressively more urban environments, and lower numbers designate less urban and natural environments. These transects were used to help devel- op the new future land use map shown on page 61. Because the South District is located on the edge of Iowa City, it includes only designatfons from the T3 Suburban and T4 General Urban tran- sects. Implementatfon in the South District: Form-based standards that are consistent with this plan should be considered for greenfield sites in the South District. Implementatfon would need to occur through amendments to the City’s Zoning and Subdivision Codes. Any form-based standards should include specific approval criteria to determine if rezonings demon- strate substantfal compliance with the Comprehensive Plan. The future land use maps show only one possible way that the City may develop. Specific approval criteria defining consistency helps pro- vide more predictability to neighbors, developers, and the community as to what development may look like compared with previous zoning standards. Example of Transect 3: Suburban Form Example of Transect 4: General Urban Form 57 58 Low to Medium Density Residential: 2-8 dwelling units/acre Intended primarily for detached single-family housing. Duplexes are allowed on corner lots in all single-family zones. In some areas attached housing may be located along arterial streets or adjacent to permanent open space. The resi- dentfal density for a property should reflect the nature of the site and take into account sensi- tfve environmental features, topographical con- straints, street connectfvity, and compatfbility with historical development patterns. Low to Medium Mixed Residential: 8-13 dwelling units/acre Intended for medium- to high- density single- family residentfal development, including small lot detached single-family units, zero lot line development, duplexes, and townhouses. Suita- ble for sites where a single loaded street is de- sirable to provide visibility and access to public open space, or where clustering is desirable to protect sensitfve environmental features. Low- density multf-family residentfal may also be considered if buildings are designed in a man- ner that is compatfble in scale and design to the lower scale residentfal dwellings in the neigh- borhood (e.g. triplexes and 4- or 6-plexes). Higher density housing should be located at the edges of neighborhoods, principally in areas with good street connectfvity, access to open space or parks, trails, and transit. Multi-Family 12-24 dwelling units/acre Propertfes developed prior to 2015 may have been established at higher densitfes, partfcular- ly in neighborhoods close to Highway 6. The “New Neighborhoods” sectfon of the plan (page 18) includes language describing the density, locatfon, and design quality that will be part of any rezoning to allow multf-family housing. Higher-density zoning designatfons may not be suitable for areas with topographical con- straints or limited street connectfvity or access. Preferred locatfons for new multf-family devel- opments are along main travel corridors or in- tersectfons, especially near permanent open space or adjacent to commercial development. Commercial Areas intended to provide the opportunity for a large variety of commercial uses, partfcularly retail commercial uses, which serve a major segment of the community. Mixed-Use An area intended for development that com- bines commercial and residentfal uses. Individu- al buildings may be mixed-use or single-use. Development is intended to be pedestrian- oriented, with buildings oriented to the street with sidewalks, street trees and other pedestri- an amenitfes. Buildings with residentfal uses should be designed to ensure a comfortable and functfonal environment for urban living in close proximity to commercial uses. The mix of uses requires special consideratfon of building and site design. Public Institutional Property that is publicly owned and used for a public purpose, including public schools, and City, County, State, and Federal offices or facili- tfes. If the property is proposed to be sold to a private entfty for a non-public use, then the land should be rezoned to be compatfble with the surrounding neighborhood. Public Parks/Open Space Indicates existfng or potentfal public open space intended for the protectfon of sensitfve natural features, stormwater management, and/or to provide for passive, actfve, recreatfonal, or oth- er public open space needs, and/or to protect the aesthetfc values of the community.* Private Open Space Indicates existfng or potentfal open space on private land that is important for the protectfon of sensitfve natural features and/or provides for stormwater management, and/or for private, shared passive or recreatfonal opportunitfes for adjacent propertfes, and/or to protect the aes- thetfc values of the community.* *A public or private open space designatfon on land that is not currently designated as open space may indicate that an area is largely unsuitable for development due to envi- ronmental or topographical constraints or may indicate that an opportunity to acquire needed open space is pos- sible if current land uses are discontfnued. While these areas are best reserved or acquired for open space, devel- opment may occur on privately held land if a proposal meets the underlying zoning requirements and the re- quirements of the Iowa City Sensitfve Areas Ordinance. S o u t h D i s t r i c t F u t u r e L a n d U s e M a p D e s i g n a ti o n s 59 S o u t h D i s t r i c t F u t u r e L a n d U s e M a p Areas Subject to Form-Based Land Use (see Map on p. 61) 60 TRANSECT 3: SUBURBAN Neighborhood Edge: A walkable neighborhood environment of detached, small-to-large building footprint, low-intensity hous- ing choices from House Large, Duplex Side-by-Side to Cottage Court, supportfng and within short walk- ing distance of neighborhood-serving retail, food and service uses. Buildings are house-scale and de- tached in nature. Both design site widths and build- ing footprints are small-to-large with medium-to- large front setbacks and medium side setbacks. Homes are up to 2.5 stories tall, and frontage types include Porch, Dooryard and Stoop. Neighborhood General: A walkable neighborhood environment of small foot- print, low-intensity housing choices from House Small, Duplex Side-by-Side, Duplex Stacked, Cottage Court, Multfplex Small to Townhouse, supportfng and within short walking distance of neighborhood- serving retail and services. Buildings are house-scale and detached in nature. Design site widths are small- to-medium with a small footprint and medium front and side setbacks. Homes are up to 2.5 stories tall, and frontage types include Porch, Dooryard and Stoop. TRANSECT 4: GENERAL URBAN Neighborhood Small: A walkable neighborhood environment of small-to- medium-footprint, moderate-intensity housing choices from Cottage Court, Multfplex Small, Court- yard Building Small to Townhouse, supportfng and within short walking distance of neighborhood- serving retail and services. Buildings are primarily house-scale with both attached and detached vari- ants. Design site widths, building footprints, and front and side setbacks are all small-to-medium. Homes are up to 2.5 stories tall, and frontage types include Porch, Dooryard and Stoop. Neighborhood Medium A walkable neighborhood environment of small-to- medium-footprint, moderate-intensity housing choices from Multfplex Large, Courtyard Building Small to Townhouse, supportfng and within short walking distance of neighborhood-serving retail and services. Buildings are primarily house-scale with both attached and detached variants. Design site widths and building footprints are medium, while front and side setbacks are small. Homes are up to 3.5 stories tall, and frontage types include Porch, Dooryard Stoop, Forecourt and Terrace. Main Street A walkable, vibrant district of medium-to-large- footprint, moderate-intensity, mixed-use buildings from Townhouse (in which units may be stacked) and Courtyard Building Large to Main Street Build- ing, supportfng neighborhood-serving ground floor retail, food and services, including indoor and out- door artfsanal industrial businesses. Buildings are block-scale and attached in nature. Design site widths are medium, and building footprints are me- dium-to-large with front and side setbacks that are small-to-none. Buildings are up to 3.5 stories tall, and frontage types include Dooryard, Stoop, Fore- court, Maker Shopfront, Shopfront, Terrace, Gallery and Arcade. OTHER DESIGNATIONS Open Subareas: Open subarea designatfons may be applied to T3 Neighborhood General, T4 Neighborhood Small, or T4 Neighborhood Medium land use designatfons. The subarea allows more uses than the base land use designatfon but maintains the same form and character. As such, open subareas provides additfon- al flexibility at or near intersectfons that functfon or can functfon as a neighborhood node of non- residentfal uses. Public or Private Civic/Park/Open Space Indicates existfng or potentfal civic or open space on public or private land that is important for the pro- tectfon of sensitfve natural features and/or provides for stormwater management, and/or for private, shared passive or recreatfonal opportunitfes for ad- jacent propertfes, and/or to protect the aesthetfc values of the community. This designatfon may indi- cate that an area is unsuitable for development due to environmental or topographical constraints. De- velopment may occur if a proposal meets the under- lying zoning and Sensitfve Areas requirements. Existfng & Potentfal Wetlands/Lagoons Indicates existfng or potentfal wetlands or lagoons. F o r m -B a s e d F u t u r e L a n d U s e D e s i g n a ti o n s 61 F o r m -B a s e d F u t u r e L a n d U s e M a p Form-Based Land Use Designatfons Existfng & Potentfal Wetlands/Lagoons 62 F u t u r e T h o r o u g h f a r e M a p Passage: 20’ ROW Pedestrian access only Alley: 20’ ROW Neighborhood Street: 70’ ROW Utility Easement Area: 10’ min. 63