Xenia presents 10-year development plan to city residents; meeting set May 9

Two key development areas are Xenia Market District (formerly Xenia Towne Square), and the Bike Hub District, near Xenia Station; plan also addresses roads, parks, land use

The city of Xenia’s “neXtPlan,” the updated roadmap guiding development over the next 10 years, is seeking feedback from residents on topics of economic development, housing affordability, land use, and other topics before a final draft goes to city council.

The document, which lays out the community’s priorities for the next decade, also addresses issues of roadways and mobility, community facilities, utilities and infrastructure, and parks and trails.

More than 900 people participated in developing the plan, over the course of 20 in-person meetings and four online surveys,. The top three areas residents are most concerned with in feedback are downtown economic development, roads and transit, and parks and recreation — “more broadly, just entertainment and leisure, wanting things to do locally,” city planner Brian Forschner said during a community open house on Tuesday.

“What we do is we take what people want, and we figure out what that means in terms of practical things that the city or partners could do,” Forschner said. “So people are saying ‘housing is too expensive,’ well, maybe we can look at our zoning code and see ... what can we do to create a larger diversity of housing types? We do want single-family, owner-occupied housing but other types too, like what they call middle housing or duplexes, things we don’t have a lot of.”

Several residents have requested more transportation options, particularly the elderly, and Central State University students, who have issues getting Uber or Lyft service on campus.

“I’ve been a lifelong Xenia resident,” said Nelson King, who attended Tuesday’s event. “So I’m interested to see what’s happening.”

The city has two major areas of focus when it comes to redevelopment: the Xenia Market District, formerly Xenia Towne Square, and the Bike Hub District, near Xenia Station.

“It would just be so neat to have all this redone,” King said of the Bike Hub district. “It used to be just homeless camps.”

Goals for parks and recreation include increasing accessibility, exploring opportunities to add active amenities, and increasing recreational programming.

After this round of resident feedback, the plan is tentatively scheduled to be presented to the city’s planning and zoning commission on May 9, after which it will go to city council for adoption.

The latest draft of neXtPlan can be found online at www.cityofxenia.org/158/neXtPlan.

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