The Grandview Heights Planning Commission April 16 began a discussion about establishing zoning for the Grandview Yard development and the rest of the city's Commerce District.

The Grandview Heights Planning Commission April 16 began a discussion about establishing zoning for the Grandview Yard development and the rest of the city's Commerce District.

Planning facilitator Greg Dale of the planning and zoning consulting firm McBride Dale Clarion reviewed for the commission a draft discussion outline he and director of administration/economic development Patrik Bowman had prepared.

The zoning change will be city-initiated, so there will be no formal application needed, Dale said.

While the zoning would focus on the Grandview Yard site, it would also be applied to a larger area than the property Nationwide Realty Investors owns, he said.

Although nothing is set in stone, it would be likely that a zoning overlay would be created, Dale said. That would mean the M-1 light industrial zoning would remain in place, he said.

A development size threshold could be set that would trigger design standards for urban mixed use, Dale said. Individual businesses that do not meet the size threshold would continue to be governed by the underlying zoning.

Nationwide would "get the first shot" at developing land uses and design standards for Grandview Yard and presenting them to the city for its approval, he said.

Nationwide's track record with projects such as the Arena District would seem to show that "they know what they are doing," Dale said.

"It's reasonable for them to have the first shot," he said. "I think that's more efficient than us or (city) staff trying to develop standards."

The administration process is "a balancing act between flexibility and predictability," Dale said.

A determination must be made of how the plan review role will be divided between the planning commission and city staff, he said.

"The worse case is that every time they bring in a tenant they have to bring it in for your (planning commission's) review, so they are on the agenda every month," Dale said. "I wouldn't advise you to abdicate all responsibility. While (Nationwide has) a good reputation, there's an expectation the city has some role."

Not surprisingly, Nationwide would like to have the zoning process done as quickly as possible, he said.

On a fast track, the process might be completed in four or five months, although it may well take longer, Bowman said.

Depending on what role it wants to play in the process, the planning commission could opt to schedule a second meeting each month, Dale said.

He said the sense he was getting from the planning commission was that it wants to have more than just a zoning role and that it wants "to keep the 'planning' in planning commission."

The Grandview Yard zoning will be "a multi-meeting issue for the planning commission," he said.

City council will then need at least a couple of meetings to review the zoning proposal and make sure it is comfortable with it, Dale said.

A public meeting would then be held to present a broader view of the proposed zoning for Grandview Yard, he said.