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Ohio City Taps Bellevue Staffer for Assistant Manager Job

Bellevue will be looking for a new zoning administrator.

John Yung, who has worked for Bellevue since 2006, has been hired as the assistant city manager in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

The Yellow Springs News reports:

Recently Yung has worked to help retrofit a pre-existing, run-down shopping plaza into the new code by bringing back elements of the city’s historic character to the plaza to attract new development. The city had done the same thing with Main Street, and it was already attracting 50 percent more revenue than the plaza, Yung told the group of people gathered around him asking questions at the Bryan Center.

“The manager of the plaza is the same guy who built it in 1964, and we realized that by renovating it and then hiring a real estate agent to advertise it, we could be sitting on a boatload of development opportunities,” he said.

The project fit with his ideas of the kind of focus Yung believes small towns should take to “build a more fiscally sustainable city” in the face of local government funding cuts and an unstable boom/bust economy. He cited Strong Towns, an organization with a blog devoted to coaching small towns and cities for financial and cultural resiliency, as a group with good ideas to be applied in towns such as Bellevue and Yellow Springs. With the right design and investment, smaller spaces with diverse streetscapes can generate a lot more economic activity than a Walmart, he said.

“Yellow Springs already has that,” he said. “It’s about highlighting the natural assets of the community — its walkability, green spaces …”

His new gig pays between $55,000 and $70,000, according to the report.

Yung earned his master's degree in community planning from the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning (DAAP) last year. He has helped navigate Bellevue through its adopting of the form-based code and recent controversial zoning issues involving a remodel of an Arby's, a proposed gas station at the Kroger store, and the proposed addition of apartments where condos were supposed to go.

Bellevue is currently working on an update to its comprehensive plan, a process Yung was invovled in.

Yellow Springs is a small city of more than 3,400 residents east of Dayton. It is home to Antioch College and a vibrant downtown area. The River City News toured Yellow Springs over the summer.

-Staff report