Northwest News

Northwest Civic Association might add territory

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People often turn to civic associations or area commissions for help in preventing development they feel might be detrimental to their neighborhood.

Jody Dzuranin would like her area to become part of the Northwest Civic Association's territory to perhaps encourage development, as well as to bring some recognition to a part of Columbus nestled between Dublin and Hilliard.

"I feel like nobody knows we're out here," Dzurian said last week.

"I would love to see a restaurant or two come out here," she said.

"I don't know how ... they even decide this would be a good place for any business. There's just not a lot of business out here.

"I would like us to be a place that would attract business."

Dzuranin lives in a development that's about in the middle of an area bounded on the north by Rings Road, the east by Avery Road, the south by Hayden Run Road and the west by Cosgray Road.

The issue of the Northwest Civic Association adding the area near the Mall at Tuttle Crossing and west of the Scioto River was discussed at the board of directors meeting earlier this month.

Lots of small neighborhoods throughout Columbus face the same situation when it comes to coping with development questions, NWCA President John Ehlers said during the meeting, at which no decision was made.

"They are at a distinct disadvantage," Ehlers said. "They are going to need some representation.

"I do believe there is a need for this, and we could play a role."

Dzuranin and her husband, Stephen, moved to their present home, which is in Columbus but has a Dublin address, from their former residence.

They lived for 17 years in the house on Smoky Row Road, which is also in Columbus but had a Worthington address.

Their previous home was in a subdivision, she said, that dated to 1989.

"Nobody was really in charge of maintaining the infrastructure ... and at that time it was sort of like a forgotten area," Dzuranin said.

"Somebody had put up Crime Watch signs but I never saw a Block Watch or anything," she said.

"It seemed like the developers created the area and moved on.

"There just wasn't a community feel to it."

The eco-friendly house the Dzuranins moved into three years ago in a development of about 2,000 residents, mostly single-family homes with some condominiums, was one of the city's first "pay-as-you-go" developments, under which residents pay a monthly fee that is to be used for parks and infrastructure improvements that will eventually be needed.

While Dzuranin sits on the Hayden Run Community Development Authority that will be involved in spending decisions for that funding, she wasn't certain how she and her neighbors would learn of development proposals from outside their neighborhood, or how to encourage things like restaurants to locate nearby.

Dzuranin's commute to the Consider Biking office in Clintonville takes her through much of the Northwest Side, and she eventually became aware of the existence of the civic association and began attending the board's monthly meetings.

"I just really stumbled across it on the city development website," she said.

"I really was going there more for an educational opportunity.

"I'm somebody who wants to be part of a good process and to see things moving forward.

"It's going to continue to develop out here, and I want to see it be done positively and proactively and not a tug of war."

At the April 4 NWCA board meeting, Ehlers said adding the area would be as simple as informing city officials of the boundary expansion.

It could be the civic association will take the new area "under our wing," he said, until such time as the residents want to form their own organization.

"It's a good way to learn," Dzuranin said.

"Right now I don't think we're big enough to set up our own civic association," she said.

"I thought the fact we could be mentored by them and then as we grow if necessary spin off and do our own thing."

The issue will remain for the time being under old business on the board's agenda, Ehlers said, although a vote will likely be taken at some point.

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