There are four areas of the city identified in Fairfield’s comprehensive plan that need “special, detailed attention,” according to the project’s lead manager.
City Council, which is expected to vote on the plan later this year, contracted Jacobs Engineering to take the lead on the comprehensive plan, known as “Fairfield Forward.” The four “Small Area Plans” were developed were due to ongoing issues and the potential for change and investment, said Paul Culter, Jacobs Engineering project manager.
The areas include:
Ohio 4 corridor
Ohio 4 will continue to be the primary commercial corridor in Fairfield as it features a variety of businesses. But it also serves as a major north-south connector “that is envisioned to have a more aesthetically appealing development style, enhanced landscaping and streetscaping,” according to the report.
The plan calls for re-evaluating the city’s sidewalk policy to permit and encourage sidewalks south of Nilles Road. It also pushes for enhancing parking lot landscapes and screening requirements, and working with businesses to consolidate curb cuts and use “access management techniques” to improve traffic flow and safety.
This area is what Fairfield officials consider the city’s downtown. The plan calls for it to “continue to be the central gathering area” for the community, but it also calls “to expand the well-designed, compact, walkable characteristics of the Village Green” and the entire area.
The plan calls to promote available and redevelopment sites, developing a pedestrian and bicycle connectivity plan, and encourage businesses that attract “communal gathering opportunities.”
John Gray Road/Pleasant Avenue
This is the city’s southern gateway into Fairfield, proving access to many of the city’s neighborhoods, as well as Harbin Park and Village Green. The area is a small-scale, mixed-use area supported by low-intensity retail and services.
The plan calls for design guidelines to be developed and encourage planned unit development on key parcels of the area. The plan also calls for a gateway to be developed, but planning for that is set for 2020.
South Gilmore/Mack roads
This area is a primary gateway into the city, and is close to Interstate 275 and home to three of the city’s largest employers, Cincinnati Financial Corp., Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital and Veritiv Corp. The area also has two of Fairfield’s largest undeveloped properties — 110 acres known as the Heine property and 27 acres know as the Benzing property — and “have the potential to accommodate significant growth.”
The plan calls for collaborating with neighboring Forest Park on the redevelopment of the former Forest Fair Mall, improving the existing gateway, and reducing roadway congestion.
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