Tri-Village News

Grandview invites input on community aesthetics


The city of Grandview Heights has about $9 million worth of upcoming infrastructure investments resulting from grants and loans, and it wants to make sure those projects are done wisely to improve the aesthetics of the community.

It is undertaking a planning process to create a "community character strategic framework."

As part of the process, the city will hold a public workshop from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the Grandview Center, 1515 W. Goodale Blvd.

"When you have so many projects, you want to make sure they fit the look we want for our community," Director of Administration/Economic Development Patrik Bowman said.

The goal is to create a set of guidelines that will help those professionals the city hires to create the designs understand the aesthetics the community wants, he said.

"We did (something similar) for the architectural design guidelines we developed for structures," Bowman said. "This will result in guidelines for the public realm."

The future projects include improvements and redesign of intersections throughout the city; improvement projects for the west end of Goodale Boulevard and the area of Goodale near the Grandview Yard development; and projects resulting from the money awarded to the local Safe Routes for Schools group.

"When you add on top of that the park projects we have planned, we need to determine if there are common elements of landscaping, materials and design we want before we start going off in 1,000 different directions," Bowman said.

The city is working with planning consultant ACP on the framework process, he said.

During a multi-day urban design workshop the week of April 8, the city will hold working sessions with members of the planning commission, board of zoning appeals and city council, Bowman said.

Sessions also will be held with focus groups representing local stakeholders and experts in various areas, such as historic preservation, sustainability, marketing/branding and public art/placemaking, he said.

At the public meeting, residents will be able to learn about proposed recommendations and give their feedback, Bowman said.

The recommendations will be for a number of topic areas, including overall design aesthetics, street typologies, gateways, bicycle and pedestrian connections, open space and civic investments.

A number of questions will be addressed through the development of a strategic framework, Bowman said, including:

* What is the appropriate overall design aesthetic for the city?

* What are the key entranceways and how should they be treated?

* How should the business and industrial districts be identified?

* How can parking be dealt with in a functional yet aesthetic way?

* How can the parks work as a character-giving system?

* How can Grandview Yard be integrated into the surrounding community?

* When and where should the city make updates to the public services?

* What are the implications of the Wagenbrenner Co.'s new development on Dublin Road, especially for Grandview Avenue?

A final report with a set of recommendations is expected to be presented to city council the week of May 13.