CAC aims for civility, development in new year

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Dan Miller, chairman of the Clintonville Area Commission, is pictured last Thursday, Dec. 27, in his office at the Porter Wright law firm in downtown Columbus.

Clintonville Area Commission Chairman Dan Miller wants to see more in 2013: more civility among members of the advisory panel and more development within the neighborhood.

He has high hopes for the former, he said, and much anticipation regarding the latter.

Upon becoming chairman of the once-contentious bunch not long after being elected to the commission last spring, Miller said one of his main goals was to foster better relations and more cooperation among the members.

"I think we're really starting to see that already," he said.

Some of his colleagues echoed that.

"May 2013 see the CAC continue on this rediscovered thoughtful path to serve the residents of Clintonville," District 9 representative D Searcy commented via email.

"2013 will also hopefully bring more of the new, thankfully less 'tabloid-esque' CAC, now under the measured and calm leadership of chairperson Dan Miller," wrote Jennifer Kangas of District 6.

"I think that all that's going to lead in 2013 to all the commissioners having a lot more freedom to come forth with their own ideas and projects," Miller said.

"I look forward to increased ideas and involvement from residents for projects and activities that will continue to connect us as we build upon our unique and vibrant community," offered Nancy Kuhel of District 2.

On the development front, which had been relatively quiet in much of 2012, Miller anticipates more activity.

"I would certainly hope so," he said. "I'm not an expert economist so I don't know to what extent the drag on the economy has led to a lack of commercial development in Clintonville.

"I do think the economy is turning around and we're on the upswing, and I do think that would lead to a much greater number of commercial development issues coming before the commission."

"Looking forward to 2013, it is very encouraging that new businesses continue to open in Clintonville, resulting in more options to dine, drink and shop locally, and I hope and expect that trend will continue," Kangas said. "It would be fantastic if the former Babushka's/ Scottie MacBean site found a good fit tenant at last, and even more wonderful if the unappealing mix of demolition, empty space and building that is the southwest corner of North High Street and North Broadway ... would find a suitable developer and turn into something great and useful and hopefully not experience a wave of opposition to whatever is proposed."

"I definitely hope that there's going to be more commercial development in 2013 and that the CAC is going to be involved in that," Miller said.

He added he would encourage his colleagues on the commission as well as the "wonderful group" of volunteers on the planning and development committee to reach out to developers and help market Clintonville to them.