Developers representing some of the biggest shopping centers on Bethel Road asked the city of Columbus to delay a vote on a proposed overlay for the Northwest Side.

Developers representing some of the biggest shopping centers on Bethel Road asked the city of Columbus to delay a vote on a proposed overlay for the Northwest Side.

The Columbus Development Commission's policy committee last Thursday tabled the issue because representatives from Carriage Place, Bethel Center and Olentangy Plaza, among others, asked for more clarification on the design standards.

"There was a lot of questions about what the after-effect would be," committee chairman Mike Fitzpatrick said. "It's the old adage: If you solve one problem you might create another problem or 10 problems."

At the dismay of some Northwest Side civic officials, the matter was tabled without discussion. Fitzpatrick said he did that because he didn't think all the questions could be adequately answered by commissioners, who had a lengthy agenda.

He said he doesn't expect a major overhaul to the plan, but there could be some adjustments.

"Even getting a few minor revisions worked in can take care of a lot of questions," he said. "Sometimes just having the conversation to clarify (issues) can put some concerns to rest."

Still, the chairwoman of the Northwest Civic Association is upset with the CDC's decision.

"We want to get moving with it," Jennifer Adair said. "We were disappointed it was tabled. We weren't given a really good explanation as to why."

Both the NWCA and Far Northwest Coalition had recommended approval of the plan. Adair wondered why developers waited so long to ask questions. There were many opportunities for property owners to weigh in during the process, which took several months, she said.

"Developers, whether they like to or not, are part of the community," she said. "They need to go through the proper channels. They need to play by the same rules as anybody else."

The overlay addresses many issues, from lighting to signage. Yet, most of the current properties will be excluded from the rules, barring major reconstruction efforts, said Devayani Puranik, a planner for the city.