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We wish to join with our neighbors to protect the livability of Urbana. We seek for the West Urbana neighborhood a future consistent with its unique residential character and small-town feel, with its historic architecture, and with its quiet, tree-lined streets, mix of low-density and medium-density housing, and exceptional walkability and bikeability.
Specifically, we urge the City of Urbana to:
RENEW its pledge from the 2005 Comprehensive Plan to “promote healthy, balanced growth while preserving its community heritage.”
DECLARE Lincoln Avenue as a strict border between Campus/business/high-density residential on the west side and low to medium-density residential on the east side.
MAINTAIN the R1, R2, and R3 (low density residential) zoning between Lincoln, Vine, Main, and Florida to protect Urbana’s oldest and most architecturally significant neighborhood.
IMPROVE the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process to better align with the City’s and residents’ goals and values. Specifically,
prevent PUDs from being used to up-zone low density residential properties (R1, R2, and R3) in West Urbana.
require PUD applicants to hold at least one open publicized meeting with the neighborhood to seek input on each proposed development and to incorporate public feedback into proposal revisions.
require the scale and density of PUDs to be compatible with nearby existing structures. Large-footprint complexes, like the recently proposed but defeated PUD on Lincoln between Oregon and California, are wrong for West Urbana.
ADHERE to existing design review guidelines for the Lincoln-Busey Corridor Overlay District and the Green St. Mixed Office-Residential (MOR) Zoning District.
INCENTIVIZE maintenance and improvements to West Urbana’s older buildings. For example, give tax incentives to renovate properties similar to the ‘Think Urbana’ tax breaks the City gives for building new houses.
PROMOTE the rehabilitation of currently sub-divided rental houses in West Urbana back to their intended use as single-family or duplex properties.
ENCOURAGE use of Urbana’s central business district as the most appropriate area for high-density mixed-use (business and residential) development, not West Urbana.
We will join with and support others similarly seeking to protect the character, public spaces, and tree canopies of their neighborhoods.
P.O. Box 82
Urbana, IL 61803
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