German Village Gazette

Society wants to lure planning conference


The German Village Society wants to spread its message of historic preservation to a whole new professional audience.

The Society Board of Trustees April 8 authorized spending up to $9,000 for a consultant to create an American Planning Association conference in March 2014.

Shiloh Todorov, society director, said the hope is to create a two-day workshop that would appeal and apply to architects, real-estate agents and attorneys -- all receiving credit for their continuing-education requirements.

She said the discussion came out of a 2012 board retreat, when the board established two high-level goals: advocate for and promote historic preservation and educate visitors, residents and like-minded organizations about how German Village is a leader in preservation.

Todorov said the society has a history of keeping German Village at the forefront in preservation: winning national designation as an historic site in 1974, creating the Heritage America convention in 1986, winning a Preserve America designation in 2006 and being among the American Planning Association's 10 Best Neighborhoods in 2011.

"So, this is another step in living our education mission," Todorov said.

She said the society plans to reach out to about two dozen neighborhoods and affinity groups.

"While German Village would like to 'own' this workshop, we are very much interested in showing off all of Columbus and our many, many great neighborhoods and experts in urban planning," Todorov said.

The goal is to attract up to 150 people to the symposium, which will make it difficult to host a majority of programming in the village, Todorov said.

However, officials hope to have some workshops at the Meeting Haus, she said.

Trustee Jeff McNealey suggested inviting as many as 750 people, but others indicated that was too many people for a debut event.


Other matters

In other news from last week's meeting, the board accepted the resignation of Stefanie Martt and appointed Tim Bibler to fill the remainder of her term, which expires in September 2015.

Bibler, the second highest vote-getter in the last election, is chairman of the streetscape committee, is a member of the civic relations committee and soon will be joining the operational development committee.

Bibler, 62, did not attend the April 8 meeting.