Development, celebrations marked 2012 in Northland
The year started off on a positive note in January when another piece of the puzzle for redevelopment of the former Northland Mall site fell into place.
Franklin County Job and Family Services moved into new headquarters in the former J.C. Penney store off Morse Road and began consolidated operations in the building shared with the Northland Performing Arts Center during the first week of 2012.
"Northland Village is coming along," Dave Paul, then-president of the Northland Community Council, said at the time.
Paul stepped down from the post he had held for six years and Emmanuel V. Remy took his place in February. The move enabled Paul to concentrate on his duties as chairman of the NCC's development committee.
In late January, members of the North Side Health Advisory Committee established priorities for the remaining 11 months of the year. These included joining the NCC as a regular member, once again holding the Y Walk Northland in the spring, achieving nonprofit status and using that to obtain grant money and other funding for projects.
Roseann Hicks was elected to a third consecutive term as president of the Northland Area Business Association early in 2012.
A Columbus City Council community meeting was held Feb. 1 at the Fedderson Recreation Center to provide residents of the Northland area and surrounding neighborhoods a one-on-one meeting with elected representatives.
NCC members in February approved expanding the awards handed out at the organization's annual banquet to include not only individuals nominated by civic associations for exceptional service but also outstanding Block Watch or safety programs, community publications and social events.
At the community council's March meeting, new secretary Brandon L. Boos outlined goals for the organization he had been developing during his time as chairman of the strategy and planning committee. These included:
* Strengthening civic associations in Northland.
* Developing action-oriented NCC committees.
* Fostering a culture of participation and engagement.
* Enhancing the economic viability of Northland.
"There is just one Northland, and we're all a part of it," Boos said.
The inaugural Northland Community International Festival to celebrate the growing diversity in the neighborhood was announced in April. Sponsored by the Northland Performing Arts Center, Northland Alliance, Chase Bank, Northland Community Council and the North Side Health Advisory Committee, the two-day event was held in late August at Northland Village.
In May, the Forest Park Civic Association celebrated the 50th anniversary of its subdivision.
Also celebrating a half-century of existence was the Northland Community Independence Day Parade. This year's theme was "Celebration of History," in keeping with the bicentennial for Columbus. Fran Ryan, ormer longtime Northland resident, one-time member of city council and at one point, a member of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, was the grand marshal.
Kimberley Jacobs, the first woman to hold the post of chief of the Columbus Division of Police, was a guest speaker at the June meeting of the Northland Community Council.
"I want you to know that we're going to be very transparent, very open," Jacobs said.
While some NCC-member civic associations were dropped from the rolls during 2012 for lack of participation, they were, for the most part, replaced by condo and homeowner groups, mostly in the vicinity of New Albany, over concerns about development proposals, in particular high-density apartment complexes.
That trend was something of a disappointment for committee co-chairman William Logan.
"Development continues to emphasize the introduction of multifamily housing over single-family housing," he wrote in an email. "This does not contribute to the long-term stability and increased citizen participation in the Northland community."
In September, after more than 20 years of meeting in the Minerva Park Community Center, the NCC development committee moved to the Northland Performing Arts Center on Tamarack Boulevard. The change of venue provided more space for residents of proposed projects who had sometimes represented an overflow crowd at the community center's meeting room.
Efforts to update the existing Northland Plan I, for the area within the Outerbelt, got a jumpstart in November with a public workshop in the headquarters of Franklin County Job and Family Services.