Clinton-Como Park will undergo a $200,000 facelift, although the timing of the improvements is going to be up to the people who use it.

Clinton-Como Park will undergo a $200,000 facelift, although the timing of the improvements is going to be up to the people who use it.

Mollie O'Donnell, planning and design administrator with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, and Todd Harkins, project manager with the consulting firm DLC Corp., made a presentation on the proposed improvements to the park during last week's Clintonville Area Commission meeting.

The existing two baseball fields will be turned into a single larger one, Harkins said. The park will get a new shelter, basketball court, tennis court and open space, he said.

"The community really wanted to keep tennis ... so we added a single tennis court," O'Donnell told area commission members.

The long-closed restrooms in the park will be torn down, she said.

Five parking spaces will be added as part of the project, Harkins said. In response to a request from the audience, a bike rack could be installed, he said.

"If we don't have that, we should have that," O'Donnell said.

A flagpole and plaque noting that Clinton-Como originally was called AMVETS Park will be spared, the planning and design administrator also said.

The project can go out to bid soon with summer construction, or later to minimize down time if that is the preference of residents, O'Donnell said.

Demo permit denied

Commission members at the meeting also voted unanimously, with Chairman Daniel B. Miller abstaining, to approve three variance requests while not favoring an application for a demolition permit.

Miller has said that, in his role as chairman, he intends to cast votes only when called upon to break a tie.

The demolition permit involves an abandoned gas station at 5304 N. High St. that has served as a used-car lot.

Dana K.J. Bagwell, chairwoman of the zoning and variance committee, said the applicant did not appear at the meeting at which the matter was up for consideration. Also, Bagwell said District 9 representative D Searcy, in whose area the site is located, was unable to reach the owner to find out what is planned for the property.

Zoning and variance committee members voted against the application, Bagwell said.

The full commission voted against it as well, but that won't prevent the building from being torn down. CAC approval would have allowed the work to proceed immediately, but the panel's decision not to recommend the demolition only delays it by 60 days.

Commission members voted to approve:

* A West Cooke Road property owner's request to be allowed a reduction on side-yard setback from 5 feet to 1.4 feet as a result of the expansion of an existing garage.

* Plans for the new Crest Gastropub at 395-397 Crestview Ave. to have an expanded patio area without adding parking spaces.

* A Glenmont Avenue resident's desire to build a new garage that will be 832 square feet, instead of the maximum 720 square feet allowed by city code.