Pataskala's report on housing within the city shows that the city isn't balanced in its land-use mix.

Pataskala's report on housing within the city shows that the city isn't balanced in its land-use mix.

The report was initiated by council member Chip Fraley, who died this year. In June, Fraley made a motion for the administrator to have the city's planning commission review the housing inventory and related development standards.

City planner Dianne Harris met with Pataskala City Council earlier this month and said "the city is currently not balanced in its land-use mix and needs a great deal more nonresidential uses and development."

In the report, Harris attempted to estimate how much development the city would need to generate as much revenue as the proposed 2-percent income tax that voters rejected again in November.

"My estimate is that to generate $2-million in new property-tax revenue, the city would need to experience more than $750-million in new construction immediately," Harris said.

Harris said residential growth does not generate as much revenue because it increases the demand for city services and on local infrastructure.

"Only through the creation of dense employment centers can the city reduce the overall tax burden on the citizens and conserve its agricultural spaces," she said in the report.

Pataskala's planning commission made several suggestions on ways the city could improve its housing situation. One is to protect property values by providing "excellent infrastructure, quality city services and community amenities that are valued by home buyers in our regional market."

Amenities listed included "parks, open space, pedestrian and bicycle routes, excellent safety services and convenience of location to employment, goods and services for daily needs."

The planning commission has determined the city does not need to adopt more standards for housing. Instead, the commission recommended finding ways to "create or enhance the community amenities that have been shown to make the community a desirable place to live."

The commission then would work to make changes to ordinances to help improve the quality of life and improve amenities while new development occurs.

The report also includes some demographic information but states that some estimates were based on information from local agencies and data from the last decennial census in 2000.

The city's population is estimated to grow to 15,535 in 2009, despite a slowdown in growth since 2002. The report states the city has added an average of 402 people per year since 2002. Information from the last census showed 27 percent of the city's households had an income of less than $30,000, and a little more than 27 percent listed the head of household as someone age 55 or older.

The median income of Pataskala residents listed in the last census is $58,041 annually, but current employment figures available show Licking County has an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent.

Commission members determined the city to have a wide range of housing options and land already zoned for housing that could take the city through the next four years if all of it is developed.

According to the report, Pataskala has not been spared from foreclosures on homes, with 59 foreclosures in the city from Jan. 1 to June 30, leading to more losses in property-tax revenues.

City administrator Timothy Boland said council and city staff would use the report "as a reference guide for housing issues."

"Council will continue to study and refer to the report in discussions, particularly of housing issues," Boland said.

lwince@thisweeknews.com