Dublin is trying to utilize ideas and input from residents in its quest for a new look in the Scioto River Corridor.

Dublin is trying to utilize ideas and input from residents in its quest for a new look in the Scioto River Corridor.

At an Oct. 22 public forum, residents were issued "clickers" to provide real-time feedback on ideas that could bring pedestrian-friendly, urban-style mixed-use development to the portion of the Bridge Street District around the Scioto River.

The Bridge Street District covers about 6 percent of Dublin, or 1,200 acres, around state Route 161 from Sawmill Road to the Interstate 270/U.S. Route 33 interchange.

Marty Saperstein of Saperstein Associates has worked with Dublin before on community surveys and was last week on hand to poll residents on proposed projects ranging from a riverside park to a $300 million mixed use development that would include a hotel, restaurants, boutique shops, a grocery store and residential housing.

Input from the crowd showed strong interest in the plans for the Scioto River park on the east bank. About 90 percent of the people in attendance said they thought plans for greenspace, trails, a stage, cafe and climbing wall fit the vision set forth in the Bridge Street District.

When polled on the most valuable assets of the proposal, the crowd favored plans for a cafe, stage for entertainment, trails and green space.

After the meeting, a few Historic Dublin business owners showed interest in the plans for the area.

"As a business owner and resident, I'm excited," said Craig Sonksen, one of the owners of the Sister's Sweet Shoppe.

"We've talked about it for a long time and it's time to do something," Sonksen said. "I think the community of Dublin wants something like this."

Anne Gleine of Ha' Penny Bridge Imports of Dublin didn't see the presentation, but expressed excitement after talking to some of the developers. The projects could bring more foot traffic to Historic Dublin, she said.

"I'm sure what will happen is people will come across the bridge in the evening and come to the restaurants," Gleine said.

"I'm hoping retirees and young people will come across the bridge with their strollers and walk the district," she said.

"My understanding is there will be condos and businesses. That combination seems to be what is happening around, not just in our community," Gleine said.

"People are not wanting to travel a half hour to get to work. They want to live right there and enjoy where they live 24/7. It's a good thing."

There was some apprehension from Gleine about the timing of the roundabout construction at the state Route 161 and Riverside Drive intersection and the improvements at the Interstate-270/U.S. Route 33 interchange.

"I would hope there is some way we can keep traffic coming through," she said. "My concern is if both are under construction at the same time people will say 'Let's not even go to Dublin.'

"I'm hoping it will be well thought out."

The input from the Oct. 22 community forum will be given to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Dublin City Council as the developments move forward, said Terry Foegler, Dublin's director of strategic initiatives and special projects.

"We'll pull together not just those polls (from the forum), but all the online comments," Foegler said. "Council will have the benefit of learning where the community is."