The West Innovation District Plan was developed through public input spanning many years. The goal of the planning process was to meaningfully build from work encapsulated in the 2007 Dublin Community Plan. Years of effort by area residents, businesses and other stakeholders in developing the city-wide plan created a foundation for which the West Innovation District Plan provides additional detail and refinement. Public comment from the Community Plan was used as a starting point, and the process for the West Innovation District included direct property owner dialogue, neighborhood input and broader public comment.
Community Plan Background
The 2007 Dublin Community Plan included a three-year public input component with many public workshops and area plan meetings specific to the West Innovation District conducted to identify area issues and concerns. Results of the input focused on a desire to provide comprehensive pedestrian and greenway connectivity, as well as ensuring that the research-oriented development envisioned for the area would appropriately transition in scale to residential neighborhoods. Participants also identified a desire to properly manage employment traffic and to minimize impacts on existing residential areas.
Property Owner Involvement
The West Innovation District Plan includes more detailed planning consideration for properties within this business neighborhood. Personalized meetings were conducted with key owners in the planning area most impacted by future development and the extension of significant elements of supporting infrastructure. Discussions included the identification of future expectations for properties, identifying planning issues that could be addressed by the Plan, and reviewing draft concepts. Dialogue will continue as part of Plan implementation to promote the West Innovation District and individual properties to the Central Ohio region and beyond.
The neighborhoods of Ballantrae and Shier Oaks will be most directly affected by growth in the West Innovation District. The area planning process used the Community Plan process as a starting point that identified major resident concerns. Development of the West Innovation District Plan included further dialogue to provide updates and obtain additional comment. Presentations to resident associations and neighborhood meetings at key points in the process provided important interaction. The public process included a series of mailings and email correspondence to ensure that interested parties were given every opportunity to provide input.
A series of presentations and informational memos were provided to City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission as part of the planning process. These periodic interactions conveyed the growing direction of the Plan and general timelines for its completion.
As part of efforts to provide greater transparency, a project page was established on the City’s website to provide project materials to the public for ongoing interaction and input. The project page included timelines and meeting information, draft plan materials and results from the public process. Continual updates allowed the public to know the status of the project at any moment.
Public Open Houses
As part of the planning process, a series of public open houses were held to obtain additional feedback and direction for the general goals and planning direction for the area. A forum in November 2010 provided an opportunity to discuss planning objectives and to further identify issues and concerns important to the Plan’s outcome. Resulting development concepts were also studied as part of the process to develop a preferred scenario that incorporated planning solutions that consider specific issues, as well as the larger context.
Public Review and Adoption
Following completion of the final draft document, the Planning and Zoning Commission conducted review meetings at which the public was invited to provide additional comment on the Plan. On April 21, 2011, the Commission provided a positive recommendation to City Council noting that the Plan was a very well thought-out project. City Council reviewed the work derived from the public process and adopted what was originally referred to as the Economic Advancement Zone (EAZ) Plan on May 23, 2011.
Integration with the Community Plan
The EAZ Plan was officially adopted as an amendment to the 2007 Community Plan, incorporated by reference as a refinement to the southernmost portion of the U.S. 33 Corridor Area Plan. As part of the 2013 Community Plan amendment, this refined plan is now fully integrated into the Community Plan, and is renamed as the West Innovation District Plan. This name change is part of a comprehensive effort by the City to establish distinctive and descriptive identities for each of Dublin’s business neighborhoods to assist in consistent marketing for economic development initiatives. The remainder of the U.S. 33 Corridor, north of SR 161/Post Road is included in the Community Plan as a separate planning area.