As Election Day nears -- and the political ads seem to last longer than any show you might be watching at this point -- I wanted to take a moment to remind you about the importance of Issue 24 for the Lane Avenue community entertainment district.
For many residents, the Lane Avenue corridor is a one-stop shopping mecca. Be it groceries, household items, clothing or looking for gift ideas, the district is filled with a variety of options. Then, once the "to do" list has been checked off, there are a number of restaurants to choose from to finish off the excursion with a great meal before heading back home.
Part of what keeps the district strong is the quality mix of businesses that draw customers in and then give them a reason to stay longer. As area reinvestment has occurred in recent years, it has continued to incorporate more quality businesses that further build upon the synergy of the district, fulfilling the community's oft-stated desire to have more dining and entertainment options close at hand.
A Lane Avenue community entertainment district was created in 2011 in support of the continuing evolution of the corridor, creating opportunity for up to five additional, district-specific liquor permits to help attract prospective new restaurants to the corridor.
As plans for the mixed-use project now under construction were taking shape, the city became aware that several parcels in the district are currently "dry."
To address this, Upper Arlington City Council placed Issue 24 on the ballot for a citywide vote in order to make all parcels within the district "wet."
Council believes this is the most practical and efficient way to address the existence of "dry" parcels within the district. Members also have expressed their belief that Upper Arlington voters will understand and support Issue 24 in order to provide certainty and vitality for the entire area for the long term.
A "yes" vote on Issue 24 protects existing liquor licenses at community favorites such as Carsonie's Stromboli & Pizza Kitchen, China Dynasty and the Whole Foods Market, while creating new opportunities for growth. A "no" vote, however, threatens to close the doors of existing Lane Avenue businesses and thus risks the future of one of our community's primary shopping and dining destinations.
I encourage you to become informed on this and other local issues to be put before Upper Arlington voters on Nov. 6. Visit uaoh.net for full details on Issue 24, or call my office at 614-583-5040 if you have questions.
Thanks to Leadership UA, residents have an opportunity to learn firsthand about this November's local ballot issues at an Issues and Candidates Night scheduled for 6:30 p.m. tonight, Oct. 18. The three issues up for discussion are: Issue 24, for the community entertainment district; Issue 51, the school operating levy; and Issue 2, which addresses state redistricting. The event is being held at the Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road. Visit leadershipua.org for more details.
Continuing my goal of reaching out to residents for important community discussions, you can join me for coffee and conversation beginning at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Collins Coffee in the Golden Bear Shopping Center. It's always beneficial for me to meet firsthand with residents to better understand what's important to you as we work to address the challenges and opportunities before us.
Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.