Reynoldsburg City Council approved the Olde Reynoldsburg strategic plan Monday, June 27, after considering comments from residents and members of the community development committee over the past couple months.

Reynoldsburg City Council approved the Olde Reynoldsburg strategic plan Monday, June 27, after considering comments from residents and members of the community development committee over the past couple months.

The plan, introduced in early May, was devised by city planning administrator Matt Hansen, development director Lucas Haire and a steering committee of residents.

Its purpose is to provide a vision in to make Olde Reynoldsburg a successful business destination, Hanson said, and focuses on an area along East Main Street from Blacklick Creek east to Waggoner Road, then south from there to the intersections at East Livingston Avenue, Graham Road and Slate Ridge Boulevard.

The main objectives include creating land use and development recommendations, understanding how to draw successful commercial development to the area and to create a sense of place and a brand for Olde Reynoldsburg.

During committee discussions, residents objected to the possibility of rerouting truck traffic, although the plan didn't say specifically how this would be done.

Some residents who live on Graham Road voiced their concerns at the committee meetings and sent letters to the city, saying they did not want truck traffic rerouted from Jackson Avenue onto their street.

As a result, the plan was put on hold for further discussions.

Haire said part of the plan says greater use of off-street parking and planned public parking off Jackson Avenue will make the section of Graham Road between Hannah Ashton Middle School and East Main Street a key pedestrian link to Main Street businesses.

The plan suggests efforts should be made to make this link pedestrian-friendly by moving the designated truck route away from Jackson Avenue, thus also making the area safer for children walking to the school, he said.

During previous discussions, council President William Hills had suggested the plan be amended to include new language that would make it clearer and more easily understood.

As a result, Haire and Hanson amended the plan to say the city should "study an alternative truck traffic route," replacing former language that said "route truck traffic off of Jackson Avenue."

Also, they changed language in the plan that said the speed limit should be reduced on Main Street to say the city should "investigate a speed limit reduction for Main Street through Olde Reynoldsburg."

The clarity of the new language pleased council enough that members approves the plan Monday night.

"It feels good to have it passed because we've done a lot of work, and it's good to have council recognize the importance of Olde Reynoldsburg and having a plan to move it forward and help improve it,' Hanson said.

He said the next step will be to begin looking at what parking improvements can be made to the area and at what kind of identification signs and way-finding signs might be possible.

Hansen said the strategic plan presents considerations for special gateway signage to be placed along U.S. Route 256 and at the Taylor Square shopping center in order to help draw people to Olde Reynoldsburg.

"We'll start working on that and, hopefully, work with council to get some of those items to the forefront," Hanson said.

Haire said the plan is an ongoing one that will be reviewed and implemented in the next few years.

Other items in the plan include providing a high level of pedestrian connectivity and amenities within Olde Reynoldsburg's historic core - for example, a community trail along Blacklick Creek connecting the district with Huber Park.

Hansen said a facade improvement program for buildings in the area is also being considered.