Dublin City Council on Monday, Aug. 27, could vote on an initiative to update the plan that is used to oversee about 987 acres populated by corporate offices.
The corporate-area plan targets office parks in the Metro, Blazer and Emerald districts in the city, which have buildings dating from the 1970s to 1990s.
Of the 987 acres, about 133 acres is undeveloped, although that acreage is dynamic and changes with completion of recent projects, said Devayani Puranik, a Dublin senior planner.
"The main purpose of the plan is for the city to continue to set favorable development conditions that result in jobs and investment as well as provide more walkable amenities to neighboring residents," Puranik said. "This is all vital to maintain Dublin's regional competitiveness."
In the short term, the plan calls for analysis of existing zoning code and projects such as streetscape improvements to Frantz Road, Puranik said.
In the longer term, the vision includes adding amenities, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, open spaces and housing options within office parks, Puranik said.
"All of these characteristics help create true mixed-use, walkable environments that attract the young (and growing) professional workforce and sustain businesses, while also balancing the needs of our residential neighborhoods and creating new amenities for residents in the area," Puranik said.
The plan also provides recommendations to consider incentive programs for exterior improvements for legacy office bulidings at Metro Place as well as for implementing sustainable environmentally friendly practices, Puranik said.
Dublin provides programs such as PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing for building energy efficiency improvements for legacy office buildings and the installation of Dublink 100-gig fiber optics in buildings throughout the city to support technology improvements, she said.
An earlier timeline for the initiative called for council to adopt the plan between December and January of 2016.
Puranik said the timeline was extended to provide stakeholders from adjacent neighborhoods opportunities to provide input.
In January, the draft plan was presented at a public open house followed by neighborhood roundtable discussions with representatives from Llewellyn Farms, Mid-Century Modern and Waterford Village, Puranik said.
The Dublin Planning and Zoning Commission also reviewed it.
Part of the preparation also included a $92,700 contract with a consultant team including POD Design, Side Street Planning and DiSalvo Development Advisors, Puranik said. The city also incurred additional costs for the public meetings, she said.
City staff members have engaged residents of adjacent neighborhoods to understand their concerns related to plan recommendations, Puranik said.
Office development adjacent to residential neighborhoods would be categorized as "low intensity," with compatible building heights and landscaping buffers.
Councilwoman Jane Fox, whose ward includes the area targeted in the plan, said she's had frequent conversations with neighborhood representatives, who have told her they understand and agree that redevelopment needs to happen to revitalize the office park.
Their major concern, Fox said, is redevelopment on the east side of Frantz Road that abuts residential neighborhoods.
The city needs to be sensitive to neighbors as it adopts guidelines along that side of Frantz, Fox said.
Adequate protections including landscape buffering, stream protection, building-height limitations and land-use restrictions will be in place to maintain the character and integrity of the neighborhoods, she said.
The redevelopment plan is a long-term vision that's much-needed, Fox said.
The goal is not just to redesign an office park, Fox said, but to plan an amenity-rich environment for workers that makes work more enjoyable, makes the area more comfortable to live in and adds inviting amenities to play, eat, shop and in which to socially connect.