Raising Cane's

CAC puts off discussion of restaurant's tree removal

Group will consider potential solutions at Aug. 19 gathering


People upset about the removal of some old-growth trees over the Bill Moose Run on North High Street didn't get a chance to tear down Raising Cane's last week during a special Clintonville Area Commission meeting regarding a demolition permit.

Instead, CAC Chairman Daniel B. Miller suggested just as the case was about to come up that it "might be in the best interest" of everyone concerned to hold off consideration until the panel's next meeting, set Sept. 4.

Dana Bagwell, chairwoman of the zoning and variance committee, said concerns were expressed by representatives of Friends of the Ravines, Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed and others at a meeting earlier in the week regarding the demolition request over the destruction of trees at 5132 N. High St.

A representative of the restaurant franchise was on hand during the meeting, Bagwell said, and apologized profusely, promising to work with local groups to plant 40 to 50 trees on the site and make other efforts to repair the damage.

Commission members opted to hear the matter again at a Sept. 2 committee meeting in order to see if the restaurant's mitigation efforts had sufficiently placated upset residents and organizations.

Bagwell pointed out that the only matter before her committee and the full CAC was to eliminate a city-required 60-day waiting period before a 99-year-old house on the site can be torn down.

That waiting period could be cut in half at the Sept. 4 commission session if Raising Cane's comes through with promises to make things right, Bagwell said.

District 9 representative D Searcy said a meeting will be held next week to focus on what Raising Cane's officials can do to mitigate the removal of trees and gouging of the hillside on land where the Bill Moose Run is contained in a culvert.

That meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, at North Community Lutheran Church, 1400 Morse Road.

Last week's special session, which began an hour before the regular gathering at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, was called by Miller primarily because of the anticipated interest in not only the Raising Cane's demolition permit but also five variance requests for a proposed Rusty Bucket restaurant at 4109 N. High St.

The latter matter also was put off until the September CAC meeting, largely because so many people spoke at the zoning and variance committee meeting earlier last week that there wasn't time to consider it.

Commission members did take up consideration of two zoning and variance matters at the special session.

The first involved a reduction in required parking spaces from 74 to 55 for a former car wash at 2971-2977 N. High St. that is being transformed into the new home of Lineage Brewing, as well as a future restaurant. Architect Tim Lai, representing the property owner, said the plan for the 10,000-square-foot structure is to use 1,000 square feet for the brewing operation, 1,900 square feet for a brewpub and the rest for an unidentified eatery.

A related variance from landscaping requirements proved to be a sticking point with District 1 representative David Vottero and other CAC members.

In the end, the variances were approved, with a requirement that four shade trees be planted within the parking lot.