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City of Akron
  1. Location of the High / Exchange Street Urban Renewal Area
    The High / Exchange Street Urban Renewal Area consists of approximately 6.25 acres situated within Akron's Central Business District between Buchtel Avenue to the north, High Street to the east, East High / Exchange Street to the south, and South Main Street to the west.
  2. Statement of Development Objectives to be Achieved by the Project
    The goals of the City of Akron in undertaking the project are: 1) to eliminate blight and to prevent recurrence of blight and to provide a parcel of sufficient size for redevelopment in the project area; 2) to enable the redevelopment of off-street parking to support and encourage the renovation of the High / Exchange Street buildings and occupancy by business, office and retail tenants; and 3) support the development of retail on South Main Street. Specific objectives are proposed to guide and direct urban renewal activities and redevelopment to be consistent with and supportive of the South Main Street and High / Exchange Street vicinity and the City's plans for the Central Business District as a whole.

    To Carry out projects goals, the following specific objectives are proposed:
    1. Land Use Objective
      Enhance the viability of the High / Exchange Street Urban Renewal Area by encouraging land uses which are compatible with the Central Business District's existing character which includes retail and office use:
      1. Remove blighted properties within the project area which are deteriorated, or a threat to the public health, safety and general welfare.
      2. Provide a tract of land of sufficient size to make that tract of land suitable for off-street parking.
      3. Prohibit incompatible uses from locating in the project area.
      4. Support adjacent retail and office land use with redevelopment of landscaped parking and renovation.
      5. Support adjacent retail redevelopment along South Main Street and development parking along South High Street.
    2. Environmental Objective
      Develop an attractive and visually improved environment which is consistent with approved Central Business District development standards:
      1. Remove properties which are poorly maintained, deteriorated and attract nuisance activity that detracts from office and public use within and adjacent to the urban renewal area and detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the general public and persons who pass through the area.
      2. Implement redevelopment which will prevent blighted conditions from recurring, harmful to persons within, adjacent to, and who pass through the renewal area.
      3. Develop and attractive, well landscaped and lighted facility which improves the appearance of the intersection of South Main Street and High / Exchange Street and its vicinity. Such an improvement of this entryway intersection will visually improve the downtown area.
      4. Promote the use of the Recycle Energy System energy source which reduces consumption of fossil fuels and reduces the waste stream by the conversion of residential refuse to energy.
    3. Public Improvements Objective
      Continue the City's program of upgrading public improvements within the Central Business District including the sidewalk area and utilities of High / Exchange Street.
    4. Circulation Objective
      Improve the safety and efficiency of people, goods, and services via all circulation modes including walking, automobiles and trucks:
      1. Continue the upgrading of the South Main Street and High / Exchange Street intersection and sidewalk areas.
      2. Ensuring safe ingress and egress to off-street parking by prohibiting vehicular access to South Main Street and providing safe access points from High / Exchange Street.
    5. Economic Objectives
      Facilitate the expansion of employment within the Central Business District:
      1. Remove blighting conditions and thereby encourage investor confidence in downtown Akron.
      2. Promote the use of the Recycle Energy System through the provision of additional users.
      3. Support adjacent retail redevelopment along South Main Street and development of public parking along South High Street.
  3. Types of Proposed Renewal Actions
    Proposed renewal actions to be carried out by the City upon adoption of the renewal plan may include acquisition and clearance of property and the sale or lease of land for redevelopment, the construction of public parking and may include the provision of improvements to facilitate the use of Recycle Energy System steam within the renewal area. The provision of certain equipment to process and deliver the Recycle Energy System steam as a cost effective and efficient heat source may be undertaken by the City.
  4. Land Use Plan
    1. Permitted Land Uses
      In order to achieve the objectives of this Urban Renewal Plan, the permitted land use within the High / Exchange Street Urban Renewal Area is classified under Retail Business, which includes among other uses, retail, office, and off-street parking. Permitted land uses shall include all uses permitted under Chapter 153.107 (U3 zoning classification) of the Akron Zoning Code.
    2. Zoning
      1. Existing Zoning
        The existing zoning for the High / Exchange Street Urban Renewal Area is Retail Business Use District (U3, A5, H5).
      2. Proposed Zoning
        No zoning change is proposed as a result of the urban renewal plan, therefore, Map 4 indicates both existing and proposed zoning (U3, A5, H5).
    3. Additional Development Standards and Regulations
      In addition to complying with the development standards and regulations set forth in the Akron Zoning Code, development in the High / Exchange Street Urban Renewal Area shall comply with the following:
      1. Parking Facilities
        Off-street parking is proposed to be provided through redevelopment. Off-street parking shall be designed and installed in accordance with Central Business District development standards of the Akron Zoning Code, Chapter 153.287(L).
        Off-street parking shall be setback and screened with a landscaped area five feet in width from the High / Exchange Street, South High Street, and E. Buchtel right-of-way and ten feet in width from the South Main Street right-of-way.
        Vehicular ingress and egress for off-street parking shall be prohibited from South Main Street to maintain pedestrian safety and activity along the South Main Street sidewalk.
        The design, layout and access to off-street parking shall be reviewed and approved by the City.
      2. Outdoor Advertising Displays
        No outdoor advertising display of any nature shall be placed, erected, or located in the High / Exchange Street Urban Renewal Area.
      3. On-Premise Exterior Signs
        The following guidelines apply to all exterior signage in the High/Exchange Street Urban Renewal Area.
        1. Signage shall be an essential permanent part of the overall building design.
        2. All signage materials shall be compatible with building materials and colors.
        3. Mechanically moving signage or flashing lights shall be prohibited.
        4. A sign may not project above the roof of a structure to which it is affixed.
        5. Any new signs or replacement of existing signs shall be reviewed by the Urban Design and Historic Preservation Commission and receive the approval of the Akron City Planning Commission.
      4. Utilities
        All private and public utilities will be placed underground.
      5. Building Design
        Construction of any new buildings within the High / Exchange Street Urban Renewal Area shall be reviewed by the Urban Design and Historic Preservation Commission and receive the approval of the Akron City Planning Commission.
  5. Project Proposals
    1. Redeveloper's Obligations
      Redevelopment within the High / Exchange Street Urban Renewal Area on land to be acquired by the City, shall be restricted by a Lease Agreement or Redevelopment Agreement executed by the City and the Redeveloper. The Lease Agreement or Redevelopment Agreement and project reviews and approval shall apply to all of the Redeveloper's contiguous property within the urban renewal area. The lease Agreement or Redevelopment Agreement shall include the following provisions:
      1. The Redeveloper shall submit site plans and building plans to the City of Akron, Department of Housing and Urban Development. Urban Design and Fine Arts Commission shall review and Planning Commission shall approve these plans prior to commencement of construction to determine compliance of such plans with the Renewal Plan. It is expressly understood that approval of any plans by the City of Akron applies to any and all features shown thereon; and that any subsequent additions, deletions, or other modifications hereof are required to be submitted by the developer before construction of such modifications can begin.
      2. The Redeveloper shall commence rehabilitation or new construction on land acquired by the City and conveyed to the Redeveloper within six months after clearance of the land. Off-street parking improvements shall be completed within 12 months after clearance.
      3. The Redeveloper shall make every effort to utilize Recycle Energy System steam for the heat source of properties benefiting from land conveyed by the City.
      4. The Redeveloper shall agree that no covenant, agreement, lease conveyance or other instrument relating to the property shall be effected or executed on the basis for race, creed, color, sex, or national origin in the sale, lease, use, or occupancy thereof.
      5. The Redeveloper shall maintain the structure and facilities in accordance with all codes and ordinances of the City of Akron.
  6. Other Provisions
    1. Relationship to Local Objectives
      The Urban Renewal Plan proposals are based on planning objectives for the City of Akron as expressed in the General Plan and Workable Program of the City of Akron. The Urban Renewal Plan provides for the redevelopment of the project area in a manner which will promote the public health, safety, morals and welfare.
      The acquisition and removal of blighted properties and the prevention of recurrence will benefit the general public and the business and property owners adjacent to the High / Exchange Street Urban Renewal Area.
      The land use proposals of the plan will provide for development of a new off-street parking facility in an orderly and harmonious manner.
    2. Relocation Plan
      Should action by the City result in displacement of any residents, the relocation of displaced individuals, or families will be carried out in conformance with the City of Akron Relocation Plan and Activity Program.
  7. Other Development Provisions
    1. Duration of the Renewal Plan Restrictions
      The Renewal Plan and/or any modification thereof shall be in force and effect for a period of 25 years from the date of approval of this Renewal Plan by the City of Akron. The termination of this Renewal Plan shall in no way permit the project land or any pat thereof to be restricted on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, or national origin in the sale, use or occupancy thereof; nor shall it permit the practice of discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex, or national origin.
    2. Provisions for Amending Approval Plan
      This Renewal Plan may be amended from time to time upon approval by the City Planning Commission and City Council. Any amendment which does not require the acquisition of additional properties shall not require further notice or hearing.

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