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LIGHTING THE WAY: SOUTHERN DAYTON VIEW Chapter 2: Lighting the Way: Dayton Southern View




Project Background


The Neighborhood


Walking Audit


Abandoned Lot Description


Creative Intervention


I. Introduction: The City of Dayton can be considered a shrinking city that has faced many challenges, including a decreasing population and a large amount of vacancies. The goal of urban planners and other related professions is to identify and analyze problems that are occurring geographically within a city. The main goal of this chapter was to identify an area of focus that has the potential to be positively influenced and transformed through urban planning in order to provide an effective solution to an urban problem. The main urban problem that was the focus of this section was vacancies. Based upon the GIS data that was compiled and researched, Southern Dayton View is an area within the larger City of Dayton that has been subject to a high number of vacancies. The three major vacant lots were the focus of the research for this chapter: Dayton Tire Natural Area, the abandoned Dayton Tire Factory, and the Progressive Southern Dayton View Park. However, the area with the largest potential for change and effective planning was the Dayton Tire Natural Area that is situated near the southern edge of Southern Dayton View near Wolf Creek. Through research about the history of the neighborhood and surrounding areas, field work in Southern Dayton View, and a walking audit that helped compile data, potential urban planning solutions could be devised that could significantly impact this particular area of Dayton, Ohio. Senate Bill 221 was the legal mandate that provided inspiration for the ultimate urban planning solution that can make the Dayton Tire Natural Area a more vital area within the selected neighborhood. In the interest of making Southern Dayton View more sustainable and energy-efficient, adding solar panels proved to be the solution that seemed most viable after researching current laws and the geographic situation in this area of Dayton. II. Project Background: Team Formation The formation of small teams for this project was necessary. Prior to selecting team members, a small number of class groups were arranged to talk about individual strengths, weaknesses, and past experiences within groups. This small buffer time to feel out the other students and gauge who may or may not work well together and why proved to be an invaluable service. This team was selected both for reasons of particular skillsets, but also for characteristics such as work ethic, diligence, initiative, and an easy-going personality. It is not every time you end up with a group that has both the skills and gets along. Becoming friends with team members has proven only to add to the overall strength of the team. Once our team was chosen, we had to come together and manage our project in an effective, and importantly for us, efficient manner. In order for this to happen, all members of the team verbalized the importance of effective communication. For our team, effective communication meant consistent, continual, and weekly face-toface conversation. This way, if, and inevitably when issues or disagreements arise, Southern Dayton View

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they are addressed in a timely and constructive fashion. Hence, the team is all on one page and continuing to work and move forward. The successful communication in addition to the weekly team meetings for a few hours on Monday afternoons meant that all members were well aware of objectives, assignments, and work that needed to be done. In addition, the weekly meetings meant that group work was done in a group, but that with our continued level of successful communication, each member could work independent of the team on their own time. Thus, in keeping up the work, working hard, working together, and working individually, this team was able to be proud of what it was able to accomplish. Project Development With the goal of a creative solution for vacant lots in the shrinking city of Dayton, a series of objectives were needed to reach the set goal. Each objective has a process and a procedure in order to bring the team closer to its goal. The objectives leading towards our goal was three fold. A). The first objective was to find a focus neighborhood. The procedure for this meant that each individual researched different priority boards and neighborhoods in Dayton. After reviewing all the neighborhoods, Southern Dayton View was selected due to high vacancy rates and in lieu of the fact that at the time no other group had selected this neighborhood. B). The next objective is to hone in on a small number of lots with potential for unique planning solutions. To do this, a variety of lots were selected, and in the end, we chose to analyze three using a walking audit. In the end, the walking audit helped to solidify the lot that was chosen. C). Finally, with the lot selected, the objective of finding and choosing a viable solution was needed. This process involved brainstorming twenty to thirty possible ideas for the vacant lot. From these, all the best options were presented to a group of graduate architecture students and to Lucille Beachdell of Five Rivers Metro Parks to gather information and to receive feedback. III. The Neighborhood Initial Interest The neighborhood that this group chose for the semester project is Southern Dayton View. This neighborhood is located within the Northwest Priority Board District, and it is bordered by the F.R.O.C., Innerwest, and Southwest Priority Boards. One of the main reasons that this group selected Southern Dayton View was because of the high number of vacancies in the neighborhood (between 265 and 583) that we identified through GIS mapping. In addition to the high number of vacancies in this area, there are also large numbers of tax delinquent, city-maintained, and cityowned properties. We hope to provide viable solutions that will aid planners in revitalizing this area of Dayton. Furthermore, the group found this area of potential interest because of the neighborhood’s proximity to the urban downtown core. It seems to be an area that Southern Dayton View

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is close enough to the urban core to be easily reached by foot, bicycle, or public transportation and could attract people with either living or commercial interest. Based on pictures that were taken by the group, Southern Dayton View is an area with high levels of potential that needs revitalization efforts. These efforts can manifest themselves in a multitude of ways, but we believe it is a place that vacant lots can be converted into different and creative uses that can benefit the neighborhood and the City of Dayton both in the short term and in the future. Another interesting feature about this neighborhood is the fact that certain neighborhoods that border it do not have as high rates of vacancy, and it will be interesting to analyze on the ground why some neighborhoods have developed differently as compared to others. History of the Neighborhood Although there is limited written history specifically related to Southern Dayton View, the surrounding neighborhoods can provide helpful insight into potential historical information about the development of our neighborhood. According to Dayton History (Dayton History, 2011), both the Five Points and Wolf Creek neighborhoods that surround Southern Dayton View can be considered to be streetcar suburbs that were created after the Civil War ended (“MCHS”). This area was connected to Dayton by five streetcar lines, thus providing an opportunity for those outside the city to travel back and forth between the urban core and the suburbs (“MCHS”). Both of these areas were referred to as “Mexico” and “Little Miami,” and they were annexed to the City of Dayton in 1869 and essentially became home to middle class people who were looking to move out of the urban downtown core (“MCHS”). Both of these areas were part of an earlier suburb called Upper Dayton View (“MCHS”). According to the website, this suburb drew people who were relocated after the 1913 Flood in Dayton, and a new neighborhood area was created with large and luxurious homes (“MCHS”). This neighborhood became an established area for the Jewish community of Dayton (“MCHS”). During the 1960s and 1970s large numbers of African Americans were attracted to the Five Points and Wolf Creek Neighborhoods (“MCHS”). The African American populations in these two areas correspond to the large African American population that is present in Southern Dayton View today. By understanding the history of the surrounding areas to our neighborhood, this group believes that there may be a spillover of mix of history that is contained in the neighborhood that will be analyzed for this project. Southern Dayton View

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Demographics Most of the demographic information that can be considered when analyzing Southern Dayton View can be found in the 2000 Census Information and the City Data Website describing Dayton. According to the Census Data, the overall neighborhood composition is as follows:       

Overall Neighborhood Population: 4,170 Neighborhood Ethnicity Composition: 95% African American, 3% White/Caucasian (City of Dayton Ethnicity Composition: 43% AfricanAmerican, 53% White/Caucasian) Median Age: 30.2 Average Household Size: 2.83 Persons Average Household Income: $21,587 (City of Dayton Average Household Income: 27,232) Neighborhood Gender Make Up: 56% Female, 44% Male Educational Attainment: Over 65% of residents have a High School education or less

Spatial & Physical Analysis The Southern Dayton View Neighborhood is located in an area that is situated on the north side of Wolf Creek approximately ½ mile from the Downtown Core. The neighborhood is a residential area with 1,868 house units, (many of which are vacant), an abandoned tire factory, and abundant green space in the neighborhood’s southern edge. The few businesses that are located within the neighborhood are mostly corner stores or gas stations and are scattered towards the perimeter streets. The total land area for Southern Dayton View is approximately .8 square miles and is bounded by N. Broadway Street and Philadelphia Drive on the East-West perimeter, whereas the neighborhood’s North-South boundaries are Yale Avenue and Wolf Creek. During an initial drive through the neighborhood, we observed a large number of housing units abandoned and in various stages of decay (see Figure 2.1). Although many doors and windows are boarded by the City of Dayton, others remain open with sunken roofs and shattered windows. The housing that still is in use is scattered throughout the neighborhood and are in various stages of upkeep; Figure 2.1 (By Taylor Harmon)

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while some are being well maintained and in generally good shape, others appear to be seriously neglected and close to falling into vacancy. In addition, there are two parks that provide green space in this area. The first park is located across the street and to the north of the Dayton Tire factory. This park was part of a project by the City of Dayton that included a lit art mural that has been largely neglected (see Figure 2.2).

Figure 2.2 (By Kendall McQuay)

Another large park is located along the eastern edge of Southern Dayton View, and it has trees, a gazebo, a playground, a basketball court, and it also contains a large open area for recreation (see Figure 2.3). While there are many cars and Figure 2.3 (By Kendall McQuay) city buses present at the major east-west perimeter streets such as Broadway and Philadelphia see Figure 2.4), there does not seem to be public transit activity in the center or towards the southern section of the neighborhood. During our visits, the core of Southern Dayton View was quiet and we witnessed low amounts of foot traffic and did not observe any notable activity that would help define the neighborhood. While many of the Figure 2.4 (By Kendall McQuay) houses were large and had unique architectural features, many adjacent houses were dilapidated, featured boarded windows, and/or had severe yard neglect. We encountered no community gardens and on only one occasion found any evidence of adjacent neighbors of vacant lots taking ownership of the land as a side yard (see Figure 2.5). We hoped to find more examples of neighborhood caretaking

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and also hoped to talk with residents who are maintaining the under used on subsequent visits.

Figure 2.5 (By Taylor Harmon)

IV. Walking Audit: Walking Audit Procedure Instead of walking around the neighborhood in order to examine where we might find vacancies, we analyzed the GIS data and came into the walking audit with a plan of targeted properties that we could analyze further. This selection process was also aided by our initial drive through where we were able to make initial observations. The group identified three lots that we would focus on with our walking audits. The three lots include: 

An old industrial building that was used in the manufacturing process at Dayton Tire on a sizeable parcel zoned as I-1 (industrial).

The 37-acre Dayton Tire and Rubber Natural Area that is considered a Brownfield seems to be an interesting plot of land with high levels of potential. It is currently zoned OS and FF (open space and flood fringe).

The Progressive Southern Dayton View Community Park

We drove to the abandoned Dayton Tire Factory and parked our cars in a central location. We next proceeded to walk and take pictures along Wolf Creek, making our way through the Dayton Tire site and the adjacent abandoned lot. The group took many pictures from different perspectives to gather the most information about how to address solutions to the vacant lots. In addition to the tire factory and the Southern Dayton View

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Brownfield site, we noticed an abandoned restaurant and a park area that had a mural and lighting. We noted and proceeded to complete a walking audit for the park with the mural. In addition to these sites, we drove to a park located on the eastern side of Southern Dayton View. Once we arrived at this location, a female resident of Southern Dayton View approached us. This resident had worked as a schoolteacher and lived in Southern Dayton View for over thirty years. During our conversation, we discovered that many of the residents believe that there should be more businesses, such as grocery stores in this area. She stated how many residents feel inconvenienced by the fact that they must travel all the way across town to shop for basic necessities. She also stressed the fact that she felt that drugs had negatively impacted this part of Dayton. After we viewed the fairly well maintained park on Dayton’s eastern edge, we proceeded to drive throughout the residential areas within the core of the neighborhood (see Figure 2.6). While we saw people and cars within the neighborhood, it seemed as if every other house was vacant, and many of the properties were not well maintained. While this did not feel like a particularly unsafe area to be driving in, it certainly Figure 2.6 (By Taylor Harmon) lacked vitality. One interesting feature of the core of the neighborhood that we experienced while driving through this part of Dayton was speed bumps that seemed to limit (or at least slow down) the flow of traffic in the residential areas. Our on-site observations were close to what we expected based on our GIS mapping. For example, there were vacancies in the core of the neighborhood that we saw in our map. But after we had arrived at the sites, we noticed the opportunity for urban planning solutions. The photographs and actually getting to walk and drive through this part of Southern Dayton View helped solidify our selection of the Brownfield site across the street from the Dayton Tire Factory as our area of focus for this project.

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V. Property Descriptions: The first property we have chosen to focus on is located on the east side of Rosedale, just south of the intersection W. Riverview. It is listed as Delinquent according to city data from previous labs. There is a large empty factory that is presumably the second half of the Dayton Tire brownfield (see Figure 2.6,2.7, 2.8). The factory is in poor condition and the perimeter is lined with a tall chain link fence that is topped with barbed wire. W. Riverdale boxes in the property from the north with Wolf Creek to the south. The property appears to be well maintained for being a vacant property and in good overall condition. The front gate to the property was open but we did not enter. The land had only a small amount of litter lying about and there were very limited amounts of vandalism present, mostly in the form of graffiti or broken windows.

Figure 2.9 (By Taylor Harmon)

Figure 2.7 (By Kendall McQuay)

Figure 2.8 (By Kendall McQuay)

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The second lot we have identified is located directly across Rosedale Drive from the first industrial site, just south of the intersection W. Riverview (see Figure 2.10). The property is listed as delinquent according to city data from previous labs and is considered to be a Brownfield and an ex superfund site. The land area of the parcel is 37 acres and is currently serving as a natural area in the form of prairie and is maintained by the City of Dayton. This property is also boxed in by W. Riverdale from the north and Wolf Creek to the south.

Figure 2.10 (Kendall McQuay)

The property does appear maintained though grass has not been mowed this season and stands nearly knee height, the perimeter is lined with a single steel braided line, and the sidewalk surrounding the area is in good condition. While on our walking audit we did not notice any walking trails through the prairie, park benches, or picnic tables that would attract community members to the natural area. This leads us to believe the area has been placed in a state of “rest� by the city for the current time. The last property we chose for our audit is located on the NE corner of W. Riverview Avenue and Rosedale Drive (see Figure 2.11). The property is considered Delinquent by the city database and is currently being used as Community/memorial Park. It is, however, in poor condition and appears to see very little use. The park is wrapped with a very nice ornate wrought iron fence and the property has been planted in several species of flowering trees. The grass appears to be mowed regularly and the sidewalk is in good condition. There are once again no park benches or picnic tables in the park and thus making it an uninviting and uncomfortable place to visit.

Figure 2.11 (Kendall McQuay)

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VI. Creative Solutions/Intervention: Introduction After compiling a list of over 30 potential vacant lot reuse strategies and measuring the fit, form, and function with our chosen lots in the Southern Dayton View, our group, with much deliberation, has chosen to focus on creating a plan to outfit the Dayton Tire and Rubber Natural Area with electric producing solar panels. This decision was difficult to make, but we believe it is the best use for a large lot such as the Dayton Tire and Rubber Natural Area, especially since the lot is still considered a Brownfield. Furthermore, the process of installing the panels, the site operation once completed, and the image created for the City are all in-line with Dayton’s Green & Gold strategy in that this project creates highly skilled jobs in a technical field as well as is environmentally responsible and greens the city (see Figure 2.12).

Figure 2.12 (by Kendall McQuay)

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Current Legislation Based on Senate Bill 221, the implementation of solar panels is viable solution for the vacant lot next to the abandoned tire factory in Southern Dayton View. Enacted on May 1, 2008, the bill specifies different ways in which Ohio must modernize its energy usage and it places requirements on the state to generate a percentage of its energy from renewable sources (Natural Resources Defense Council). According to, Senate Bill 221 requires that investor-owned utilities, such as Dayton Power and Light, Duke Energy, and American Electric Power meet energy efficiency standards that can be measured by the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS) and an Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) (Ohio Department of Development Natural Resources Division). Additionally, according to The Columbus Dispatch, the bill requires that twelve and one-half-percent of energy that is used in the state will be “renewable”, one-percent of which must come from solar generated energy. According to Ohio (Ohio Department of Development Natural Resources Division), these specifications that have put in place upon enactment of this legislation will double 2025, meaning that in a matter of years, one-quarter of Ohio’s energy must come from “advanced energy sources”, including solar energy. The bill also allows Ohio cities to come into compliance with this law by purchasing “Clean Energy Credits” (Ohio Department of Development Natural Resources Division). These credits are bought on the open market from individuals with excess energy or from companies in the business of selling renewable energy and allow cities the option to comply with the legislation without putting down large sums of money to manufacture their own. The goal of this bill is to modernize the energy infrastructure in the state. Benchmark City Recently, the Village of Yellow Springs has entered into a contract with SolarVision to install a 2 MW photovoltaic field of solar panels on a 15-acre parcel of villageowned property (Green Energy Ohio). SolarVision has agreed to pay $500,000 dollars to install the photovoltaic field of solar panels. SolarVision called this a “solar licensing fee” and it was to be received in exchange for a 20-year power purchase agreement and the 15 acres of leased, village-owned property. SolarVision offered to build, maintain and own the system and then sell the power to Yellow Springs for seven cents per kilowatt-hour for the first ten years of operation. Then, for the next ten years of the contract, they guarantee to sell the power for 15% below the wholesale market price. The exact cost of installation is not yet known, but it is expected to be in excess of ten million dollars. It is SolarVision’s job to raise that capital by attracting investors through Federal 30% tax credits, Ohio SRECs reimbursements, and this year only, a Federal allowance to depreciate the entire project in just one year. Cost Analysis The most obvious drawback to our proposal from the beginning has been the cost. Solar energy is still a relatively new technology and developers and manufactures Southern Dayton View

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are still working on increasing panel efficiency while driving down cost for consumers. Our analysis is admittedly crude, but we believe it gets us into the ballpark of an accurate monetary figure. Our logic goes as follows:   

Average yearly energy consumption per Ohio capita: 13,388 kWh (Energy Almanac) City of Dayton population: 141,527 (US Census Bureau) Placing the city’s yearly energy consumption roughly around: 1,894,763,476 kWh (13,388 kWh x 141,527 Dayton Pop)

In order for the city to produce enough solar energy themselves, they would have to produce somewhere in the area of 18,000,000 kWh yearly. We were able to find a large solar energy company out of Cincinnati willing to help us with a cost estimate for this energy and were quoted as follows:  

$3-5 per installed per watt (Blue Chip Solar & Wind) Putting total project cost in the area of $56-92 million dollars

However, even the company admitted that this would be an extremely large project, nearly 10 times larger than any solar array that had been installed in the State of Ohio, and we would like to stress that the entire one-percent does not need to be achieved at one time. The city could perform this project incrementally, taking on pieces as it sees fit. Furthering Green & Gold The lot next to the abandoned Dayton Tire Factory can be utilized efficiently to help Ohio begin reaching its clean energy goals that are delineated in Senate Bill 221. Furthermore, using the thirty-seven acre lot as a solar farm can be seen as an effective tool the City of Dayton can use in their continuing efforts to achieve the Green & Gold goals set forth. These panels have the potential of supplying a substantial amount of clean and renewable energy for both the city and the state of Ohio as a whole while also creating a market for businesses and jobs in highly technical fields. This project would certainly be a large investment in time, money, and effort, but ultimately would bring Ohio and Dayton closer to reaching their goals in modernizing energy infrastructure, production, and instilling the image of an environmentally conscious City and a green place to live.

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Works Cited MCHS- Research and Resources: Who We Are- Dayton Neighborhoods Project. Five Points and Wolf Creek. Retrieved from MCHS- Research and Resources: Who We Are- Dayton Neighborhoods Project. History at a Glance. Retrieved from Natural Resources Defense Council. Renewable Energy for America: Harvesting the Benefits of Homegrown Renewable Energy. Retrieved from Ohio Department of Development Resources Division. Senate Bill 221- Ohio’s Commitment t Advanced Energy. Retrieved from Provance, Jim E. (2011, September 9). Ohio Renewable Energy Law in Danger: GOP Bill Would Strip “Green Requirements from State Utilities. Toledo Blade. danger.html Roberts, C. (2011, October). Green energy ohio. Retrieved from Blue chip solar &wind. (n.d.). Retrieved from Us census bureau . (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy almanac . (n.d.). Retrieved from

VII. Appendix A: Maps

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Figure 2.13 (By Kendall McQuay)

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Figure 2.14 (By Kendall McQuay)

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Figure 2.15 (By Kendall McQuay)

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This is a map of the current zoning code of Dayton and, as outlined in black, the Southern Dayton View neighborhood. The majority of the neighborhood is zoned MR-5 or mature residential, with the two large southern lots being zoned as OS open space and I-1 light industrial. This map was provided by the City of Dayton.

Figure 2.16 (By Kendall McQuay)

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Appendix B: Additional Maps & Information

Figure 2.17 (By Kendall McQuay)

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Figure 2.18 (By Kendall McQuay)

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Figure 2.19 (By Kendall McQuay)

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Figure 2.20 (By Kendall McQuay)

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Figure 2.21 (By Kendall McQuay)

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Appendix C: Walking Audit

Dayton Tire & Rubber Natural Area Destination, Connectivity, & Linkages Does parking exist? Is there access to public transit? Are sidewalks present? Are there crosswalks? Negatives:



Image, Aesthetic, & Cleanliness Does the neighborhood appear to be dirty? Is there green space, open space, or parks? Are building conditions well maintained? Are building conditions maintained? Are building conditions poorly maintained? Are building conditions neglected? Are building conditions Southern Dayton View


Parking lots Busses Maintained at best X


Intangibles: Sociability & User Comfort Are street lights present? Are they effective? Are they well-maintained Are there places to sit? Are there a variety of places to gather? Does the majority of the neighborhood have front porches? Is there any type of social action occurring? Negatives: Intangibles:


Dirty due to neglect by both residents and city X


Not even the bus stops had benches

Noticed a small number of people out walking People were friendly as passed by on the street


Friendly and diverse


There is trash and poorly maintained landscape Open space


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uninhabitable? Site: Dayton Tire Natural Area Is the neighborhood aesthetically pleasing? Is the architectural style cookiecutter? Are there trees? Negatives:

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It would/could be if in better condition


Architectural style of homes is well varied Only a few The neighborhood is a bit scary because of its beaten down state


Intangibles: Use & Activity Is there commercial activity in the neighborhood? Do public institutions/community locations exist? Do public gathering places exist? Is there diversity in residential building type? Is there diversity in business structures? Is crime visible in the neighborhood? Negatives: Intangibles:




Minimal. A used tire shop, 1 fast food restaurant, & a corner store School


Park and playground Single family, milti-family, & apartments


Very minimal. House and stand alone X X X

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Rate The Place Comfort & Image Overall attractiveness Feeling of safety Cleanliness/quality of maintenance Comfort of places to sit

Poor 1 1

Sociability Number of people in groups Evidence of volunteerism Sense of pride and ownership Presence of children and elders


Good 4

2 1 1

Access & Linkages Visibility from a distance Ease in walking to the place Transit access Clarity of information/sinage Uses & Activity Mix of stores/services Frequency of community events/activities Overall bus-ness of area Economic vitality


2 3 3 2

1 1 3 1

2 1 1 1

Perfect place rating score = 16 Dayton Tire Natural Area place rating = 6.5

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CASE D2:Greening Dayton's Vacant Lots--Chapter 2  

Chapter 2 is about Lighting the Way: Dayton Southern View.