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Land use is a term used to describe the type of activity that can occur on a parcel of land or in the structure located in the parcel. Land use is described in visual and written formats, including a future land use map and corresponding category description. 

Typical land use categories include residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, institutional, and open space.


Land use reflects the existing or desired type of activity in an area. A future land use map is created to guide decision-makers on what type of development should be encouraged and to provide the basis of the zoning code. The future land use map will visually represent Moraine’s intent for desired and compatible development patterns. The future land use map also includes focus areas with alternate scenarios to offer flexibility for future development. 


  • Create a vibrant destination. 

  • Promote a balanced development pattern to meet the community’s needs. 

  • Enhance property maintenance.

  • Revitalize and “right-size” parks and recreation facilities.

  • Maintain infrastructure and support job creation.

  • Engage and retain youth. 

  • Diversify housing options.


  • Encourage redevelopment of existing areas to diversify the tax base while promoting smart growth practices with new development in Moraine. 

    • STRATEGY: Continue to plan to use the City’s industrial areas to attract and retain large employers. 

    • STRATEGY: Develop specific land use guidelines and design standards that promote mixed-use developments, workforce housing, and efficient land use.

    • STRATEGY: Create opportunities to attract retail and hospitality users near large employers through creative land use patterns.

    • STRATEGY: Upgrade and expand infrastructure in areas targeted for redevelopment, such as roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, utilities, services, and public amenities.

    • STRATEGY: Refer to the future land use map when evaluating new developments or revitalization projects.

    • STRATEGY: Provide development incentives to encourage redevelopment in the focus areas identified on the future land use map.

  • Ensure that the City’s zoning ordinance and supporting regulations (e.g., subdivision, permitting, utility connections, etc.) are aligned with the future land use map and support a mix of commercial, industrial, residential, and mixed-use development. 

    • STRATEGY: Update the City’s Planning and Zoning Code to include mixed-use, neighborhood commercial, trail-oriented development, regional commercial, and single-unit attached residential districts to encourage the desired land uses by reducing the time needed for zoning approval.

    • STRATEGY: Carefully plan for development/redevelopment, preserving the character and Moraine’s physical historic assets by creating flexible zoning districts that guide this development.

    • STRATEGY: Ensure that the permitted uses in the industrial zoning districts are updated to reflect changes in business models and types to ensure that large employers can easily locate in Moraine.

  • Encourage revitalization of existing areas and residential infill to promote a compact development pattern. 

    • STRATEGY: Focus on specific areas for concentrated development and infrastructure improvements, enhancing connectivity and creating focal points for economic and social activity.

What Did We Hear?

Key themes from stakeholder meetings, surveys, public events, and AD HOC committee meetings:

  • The community feels the City’s visual appeal could be improved, especially along major corridors. There is a desire to develop a stronger identity for Moraine, including creating a central hub or “Main Street” concept. 

  • The community emphasized the importance of identifying and capitalizing on redevelopment opportunities, including transforming old offices and industrial areas.

  • Mixed-use development, recreational spaces, and leveraging assets could enhance the City’s appeal. Recreation and hobby spaces are seen as potential draws.

  • The community expressed the need for a downtown area and more vibrant main streets. 

  • The community is interested in creating inviting spaces for community gatherings to foster a stronger sense of community and promote social interaction.

  • Developers and major employer stakeholders expressed the need for a corporate accommodation area where businesses could entertain clients and provide executive-level lodging in Moraine. 


A land use alternative scenario is presented for each focus area to offer flexibility. These scenarios represent multiple land uses that were deemed appropriate in these areas. By providing these alternatives, future development can utilize either development type in line with multiple zoning districts, some of which are recommended zoning code updates without requiring an amendment to this Plan to proceed. (Click on the map to view in full screen.)

Focus Area One
Moraine does not have a traditional downtown to be a focus of activity and central identifying space. Wax Park is the community’s principal gathering place in many ways. The ad hoc committee and community identified Focus Area One as the best place to create a “main street” concept for Moraine, as it connects to Wax Park, is close to residents, is centrally located, and Main Street is lined with trails and City-owned properties. A central node of retail is shown at the Main Street and Vance Road intersections. This land use alternative supports a walkable neighborhood boulevard for visitors and surrounding residents that connects to the bike trail from Sellars Bridge over the Great Miami River. Taylor Park is a natural tie-in to extend this concept and be reorganized as a flexible recreation and community gathering space. On the western portion of the focus area, duplexes are shown to increase density and attainable housing without negatively impacting the view sheds of the surrounding single-unit detached housing.

Acceptable Alternate Land Uses
The following alternate land uses may be considered in Focus Area One in the identified locations.

  • Neighborhood Commercial

  • Single-Dwelling Attached

Focus Area Two
Focus Area Two is intended to provide a live, work, and shop district for local businesses to entertain clients, hold conferences, and host visiting executives. For employees, it also provides lunch break amenities, such as a place to walk or grab a quick bite, and attainable housing options close to work. 

Acceptable Alternate Land Uses
The following alternate land uses may be considered in Focus Area Two in the identified locations:

  • Regional Commercial

  • Mixed-Use

Focus Area Three
Focus Area Three is adjacent to a priority City gateway. It consists of four non-contiguous sites: a former car lot, hotel, and dialysis center, which are important to City leadership to redevelop. We have shown these properties with alternative future land uses to provide flexibility and assist with promoting their redevelopment. Given the nature of this intersection, creating a common vision for all properties would be difficult. Instead, sample images have been provided to help guide the form of future development.

Acceptable Alternate Land Uses
The following alternate land uses may be considered in Focus Area Three in the identified locations:

  • Neighborhood Commercial

  • Single-Dwelling Attached Residential

  • A single-unit detached residential, formerly called a detached single-family house or single-family residence, is a self-contained residential building that stands independently and is not physically connected to other dwelling units. This type of housing structure is distinguished by its autonomy and exclusivity, as it accommodates only one household or family, in contrast to multi-unit residential dwellings that house multiple families or households within a single building. Most of Moraine’s existing housing stock falls within this category.

    Single-Unit Detached Residential

  • Single-unit attached refers to housing units that are physically connected, typically sharing a common wall. Despite this connection, each attached unit accommodates an individual household or family, maintaining distinct living quarters. This architectural configuration ensures that each unit retains its privacy and self-sufficiency.

    Single-Unit Attached Residential

  • The multi-unit residential neighborhood category includes apartments and condos. Multi-unit areas should be established near commercial or mixed-use areas. These areas should be walkable, with daily shopping and amenities within walking distance.

    Multi-Unit Residential 

  • Other residential is a catchall classification to address all other forms of housing, such as mobile home parks and the more recent tiny homes. Permitting other residential uses can provide attainable owner-occupied housing options for lower income levels.

    Other Residential 

  • Industrial land use is for manufacturing (e.g., light, medium, and heavy), mining and mineral extraction, and chemical processing. Industrial can also include structures and activities that support the industrial process, such as warehousing and transportation shipping.


  • Regional commercial permits higher-intensity commercial with a regional draw, creating an economic destination for local and visiting businesses. 

    Regional Commercial 

  • This category consists of areas in the county dedicated to retail, offices, and food services. The purpose of the commercial category is to provide goods and services to residents and visitors of Moraine. This land use should be highly visible with convenient access to draw in customers. Commercial uses generally include service businesses, restaurants, convenience stores, supermarkets, professional offices, and more. 


  • The alternate future land use along Main Street proposed neighborhood commercial land uses. Neighborhood Commercial refers to a designated commercial area within a residential neighborhood that offers a range of goods and services primarily aimed at fulfilling the everyday needs of residents. This type of commercial land use acknowledges the essential requirements of the community by facilitating access to convenience-oriented establishments. 

    Neighborhood Commercial

  • Alternate land use for Area 2 permits mixed-use. The area is currently built up with general commercial uses; it has the potential for mixed-use development as it is located in one of the primary gateways to the City. Mixed-use development represents a distinctive urban development, design, and planning approach, often manifested through zoning classifications. The physical realization of mixed-use development might encompass diverse scenarios, ranging from ground-up constructions to the adaptive reuse of preexisting structures or repurposed brownfield sites. Mixed-use development creates modern urban planning, poised to rejuvenate urban landscapes and enhance the quality of life for communities at large.

    Mixed-Use Development

  • This category consists of areas in the City where public facilities are located and public services are offered. The purpose of the Institutional category is to provide civic, religious, or educational services to the residents of Moraine. Institutional uses typically include courthouses, town halls, churches, police and fire stations, schools, and healthcare facilities such as clinics or hospitals. 

    Institutional Land Use 

  • The agricultural category consists of areas of low density within the far western portion of the City’s jurisdiction. The agricultural category generally includes land for farming or raising livestock, crop propagation, stock animals, and poultry. New development of other land use categories within the Agricultural land use should be discouraged to limit these areas’ conversion to intense development. 

    Agricultural Land use

  • Open space is located around Moraine. The parcel proposed for future open space is currently classified as institutional. The repurposing of the land could create a connection to future development around the area. Open space is land not intensively developed for residential, commercial, industrial, or institutional use. It serves many purposes, whether it is publicly or privately owned. 

    Open Space Development

Future Land Use Categories 

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