Bellevue SmartCode and Illustrative Vision Plan
City of Bellevue bellevueky.org
As advocates for pedestrian-friendly, urban development throughout the southern Ohio and northern Kentucky region, glaserworks is often called upon to help give vision to desire. This was the case when Bellevue, Kentucky was faced with uncertainty about its future. glaserworks created a master plan for a mixed use development on a “grayfield” site. A grayfield site is one that has a substantial amount of parking lot serving a vacant or underutilized shopping center or similar use. Our mixed use master plan was called the Donnermeyer Mixed Use District.
While Bellevue has seen recent real estate development along its main street (Fairfield Avenue), much of that new development was suburban scaled and hostile to pedestrians. This newer development was in very stark contrast to the thriving historic district, and nearly all of the city’s traditional neighborhood patterns of development, only blocks away.
City leaders feared that more new development would follow the simplistic suburban patterns it didn’t want instead of the century-old patterns that have made the city charming and livable and which guided the design of the Donnermeyer Mixed Use District plan. After realizing that their regulations were set against pedestrian-friendly development, the city moved to adopt a form-based code.
glaserworks helped the city select a nationally renowned form-based code writer, Placemakers, to create a form code for their city. Because the city is small (8700 people in 1 square mile) the city decided to have Placemakers perform a calibration of the SmartCode, a form-based code template.
glaserworks staff gave multiple presentations on what a form-based code is, and led a planning workshop which included mapping exercises and a visual preference survey. These efforts set the tone for the 4-day charrette that glaserworks and Placemakers held to create the code and illustrative plan. glaserworks and Placemakers created urban designs for each part of the city that would be governed by the SmartCode, to indicate the potential for development.
The SmartCode was adopted in 2010.