Northland News

Development prompts new members to join NCC

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Progress and development were front and center at last week's Northland Community Council meeting.

The two don't necessarily go hand in hand, especially in the view of those representing two new members to the council.

"The development in that neighborhood is astronomical," said Bob Shipka, president of the Village at Preston Woods Condominium Association on North Hamilton Road, just north of state Route 161.

"Our community is very concerned about the development plans," chimed in Allen Wiant of the Blendon Chase Civic Association, which is on Ulry Road.

Proposed multifamily developments in their vicinity, especially at far higher densities than members of either neighborhood organization envisioned when they located near Westerville and New Albany, led the groups' leaders to apply for membership in the NCC. Their hope is to help influence the development committee's recommendations regarding some of the projects they foresee and strongly oppose.

Voter members on hand for the relatively sparsely attended session approved the two applications unanimously.

"Thank you for accepting us," Shipka said.

"We are only as strong as our members and we gain strength as we gain members," NCC president Emmanuel V. Remy said. "We welcome you and we encourage others to follow suit."

Remy then led the group in one of the monthly roundtable discussions he's implemented since taking office, this one focusing on development of mostly a more positive nature for the neighborhood.

This includes the arrival of some of the signs welcoming people to Northland subdivisions that are being erected throughout the city as part of the bicentennial celebration, as well as the relocation of two businesses from Clintonville.

"I think it's looking pretty nice," Remy said of the signs.

Seasonal Concepts relocated from the Graceland Shopping Center to the former Buddy's Carpet store on Morse Road on Sept. 1, and Babushka's Kitchen, a Polish restaurant, is now in renovated space on Sinclair Road after moving from North High Street. Remy urged Northland residents to patronize both.

"We don't want to see them fail," he said.

Noting that early in-person voting this year has been moved from Veterans Memorial on West Broad Street to a portion of the former Kohl's store on Morse Road, Remy said he hopes the entire Franklin County Board of Elections might one day take over the building.

Also in the offing, he said, are more businesses coming to Northland Village and a Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen restaurant taking over the spot vacated -- much to the consternation of some local residents -- by the former Max and Erma's on East Dublin-Granville Road.

"I think things are moving in the right direction," Remy said.

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