Established in 1803, Sycamore Township has long enjoyed its position as a rural preserve at the edge of an ever-growing metropolis. However, explosive growth in recent years has transformed Sycamore Township’s rural character to that of an “edge city.” The Township is home to over 23,000 residents and boasts over 2 million square feet of retail space (more than in all of Downtown Cincinnati) and over 750,000 square feet of office space. The Township Trustees and the Township Planning and Zoning Commission, realizing both the benefits and costs of such dramatic growth, understood that the Township needed a Land Use Plan to guide future growth and development. Such a plan would enable Sycamore Township to maintain and increase the quality of life that those who live and work there currently enjoy. The Township Trustees established a three-fold strategy as the basis for the formulation of their vision for the Township:
- Support and protect the residential neighborhoods
- Encourage private enterprise and job growth within clearly defined areas and;
- Provide necessary infrastructure improvements, land use controls and funding for implementation.
The first planning efforts by the Township were focused on the Montgomery Road Corridor between Silverton and the northern Hamilton County boundary line. The Montgomery Road corridor Land Use Plan was adopted in 1985. In June 1986, the Township Trustees hired a planning consultant to develop a Land Use Plan for the Northern Sycamore township area, realizing that the large amount of prime, undeveloped land were ripe for development in the near future. The “Northern Sycamore Township Focus Area Land Use/Zoning Plan” was the first Land Use Plan developed and adopted by the Township Trustees to attempt to control growth in the Township. It was also the first document in a line of several subsequent Land Use Plans developed and adopted by the Trustees established to manage growth in the entire Township. This document, the “Sycamore Township Coordinated Land Use Plan” combines three Land Use Plans, developed and adopted over the course of the last five years, into one cohesive planning policy document. This document contains the following Land Use Planning Documents reviewed, adopted and endorsed by the Township Trustees:
- The Sycamore Center Land Use Plan – adopted in April 1993
- The Northern Sycamore Township Land Use Plan – adopted in April 1995
- The South Sycamore Land Use Plan – adopted in 1996
- The Montgomery Road Corridor Land Use Plan – adopted in 1985
The aforementioned plans were developed by the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission and Sycamore Township in conjunction with Edwards and Kelcey (formally Pflum, Klausmeier & Gehrum Consultants, Inc. – PKG). It is imperative that any planning process in a community with well established institutions and lifelong residents evolve so that the Plan has a strong sense of local ownership. The challenge for PKG was not to prepare a plan “for” the Township, but rather to facilitate a process whereby the Township plans for itself. The planning process used to develop each Land Use Plan and ultimately this document, was that of Steering comprised of residents, community leaders, members of the Township Planning and Zoning Commission, township Trustees and representatives from the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission. The Steering committees worked with PKG to become the driving force behind the ideas, goals, policies and recommendations of these plans. Each committee met on a monthly basis to develop and refine issues to be included in each of the plans included in the Sycamore Township Coordinated Land Use Plan. Each of the Steering Committee meetings were open to the public in order to receive feedback and ideas from the citizens of Sycamore Township. Furthermore, several as hoc committees were formed in order to address specific neighborhood concerns. Examples include the Montgomery Road/Moeller High School area, Holiday Acres Neighborhood Association (HANA), and the East Kemper Road Residents Group.This document also recognized the land use studies researched and developed by the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission in an effort to manage and control growth and redevelopment occurring along the major arterial traversing through Sycamore Township Section 4 of the Sycamore Township Land Use Plan includes those sections of the Montgomery Road Corridor Land Use Plan developed and adopted in 1985, and updated by the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission in January 1994 that related to South Sycamore Township. Although the Montgomery Road Corridor Land Use Plan is not an official part of Sycamore Township Coordinated Land Use Plan during the adoption of this document in 1996, the Township will revisit the land use planning document in five years to determine the applicability and validity of the Coordinated Land Use Plan and the potential inclusion of the Montgomery Road Corridor Land Use Plan.
The Sycamore Township Land Use Plan is the combination of the results of the public input process and the research and evaluation process of the Township and its planning consultant. This document represents the intentional efforts and desires of the Township to control the location, type and quality of development and redevelopment in relation to the ability of the township to provide the necessary infrastructure, in a fiscally sound and responsive manner, while preserving the quality of life that makes Sycamore Township attractive to residents and business owners alike.
For a complete review of the Sycamore Township Land Use Plan, please contact the Planning and Zoning Department for a copy or download for no cost below.
In addition, if you would like to become part of the public input for the Sycamore Township Land Use Plan please feel free to contact us at 513.792.7250.