Upper Arlington City Council is considering a change to its rules to make it easier to attract businesses to the community.

Upper Arlington City Council is considering a change to its rules to make it easier to attract businesses to the community.

Members heard the first reading Monday of an ordinance that would allow council to approve economic development incentives that do not exceed $20,000 after one reading and would allow the incentive to go into effect immediately.

Normally, an ordinance would have to go through three readings, followed by a 30-day waiting period before it would go into effect.

Matt Shad, deputy city manager for economic development, said the rule change would allow his department to offer incentives to businesses more quickly.

And in business, he said, time is money.

An example of an incentive that would have met the criteria under the new rule would be the recent grant given to the New Avenue Architects and Engineering firm, which received a $20,000 grant last month to locate its office in the Arlington Square development near Reed and Henderson roads.

The New Avenue grant, like the majority of others given to businesses, has attached stipulations, such as locating in the city for a minimum number of years and achieving certain revenue benchmarks.

Shad said council members regularly vote to waive the three-reading rule and pass economic incentives deals as "emergencies," which mean the 30-day waiting requirement is suspended.

"If we are always waiving it, then aren't we doing it (this way)," he said.

Council member Erik Yassenoff said the suggestion for a rule change arose from the joint Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) and city council meeting in June.

According to the proposed rule change, though council would only have to hear one reading of an ordinance, it still would be reviewed by the CIC prior to going before council.

CIC president Chris Widing drafted a letter to council thanking council for considering the rule change.

"By amending these rules, you further commit to rapidly, yet judiciously, reviewing and facilitating solid business growth opportunities that reward the community with new jobs and increased tax base," Widing wrote. "The (CIC) applauds your efforts in this endeavor and commitment to implement this change in a timely matter."

Yassenoff suggested that council waive the same rules for three readings and the 30-day waiting period to approve the rule change.

Council member Wade Steen said he would feel more comfortable allowing residents to give their input.

"I would like to see it on at least on one council session (agenda)," Steen said. "I just don't feel comfortable doing it tonight."

Council plans to hold a conference session at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7.