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Akron, Ohio

“Great Street” Kenmore Boulevard Gets Boost in Form of Protective Zoning, Fresh Pavement, and New Community Center Roof

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City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary
Published: 04-30-2018

Akron, Ohio, April 30, 2018 Kenmore Boulevard is one of ten neighborhood business districts the City is targeting for its new “Great Streets” initiative, designed to support commercial and social revitalization in neighborhoods across the city. Mayor Horrigan is pleased to highlight some early, key investments in one of these Great Streets—Kenmore Boulevard. In the coming months, the City will be seeking to resurface Kenmore Boulevard, install a new roof at the Kenmore Community Center, and enact special zoning to preserve its urban character.

“Through Great Streets, we will be making strategic, impactful, long-term investments in our neighborhood business districts and better focusing our current community and financial capital to generate greater impact,” said James Hardy, Deputy Mayor for Integrated Development.

Last month, the City announced plans to repave and remodel Kenmore Boulevard, using community input, as part of the City’s extensive Issue 4-funded resurfacing program.  Today, City Council will consider legislation to authorize a new roof for the Kenmore Community Center, replacing the original roof installed in 1988. Finally, this month, the City is presenting City Council with a plan to establish form-based zoning along Kenmore Boulevard to preserve and enhance its urban character.

“As we work with our community partners to breathe new life into Kenmore Boulevard and our other Great Streets, we must preserve the valuable urban form of these historic corridors,” Jason Segedy, Director of Planning and Urban Development said.

Current business development guidelines in the City’s Zoning Code, developed in the 1960s, require new development to have a “suburban” feel with an over-abundance of street-facing parking and buildings set far back from the sidewalk.  While this style of development is well-suited to some areas of Akron, it is incompatible with the design of older, urban neighborhood districts, like Kenmore.

“Kenmore Boulevard is a great, historic business district and probably the most intact in the city,” Segedy continued. “Business districts like this were largely developed in the early 20th Century, with buildings right along the street front. These neighborhood business districts originally thrived on local, pedestrian traffic—and while retail habits have evolved, we are seeing a return to community-based economic and social activity that is stimulating the revitalization of these corridors.”

The proposed zoning designation will require any new construction or renovation in the corridor to match this historic form. Kenmore Boulevard will be the first of hopefully many Great Streets in the city to receive this unique zoning designation.  A public hearing on the proposal will be held before the Planning Commission of City Council on May 14.

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For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law
166 South High Street, Suite 200
Akron, OH 44308
Phone: 3303752325
E-mail: [email protected]

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