A group of Upper Arlington residents seeking to block plans to build parking space in their neighborhood for a J. Liu restaurant and the city's second hotel turned in enough valid signatures to force a November 2018 referendum vote on a rezoning for the project.

The Franklin County Board of Elections confirmed Aug. 30 that 2,271 of the 2,601 signatures on the petitions are valid - well above the 1,521 signatures – 10 percent of the number of votes cast in Upper Arlington during the 2014 general election – needed to put a referendum issue on the November 2018 ballot.

At issue is a rezoning approved by Upper Arlington City Council in July so Shanghai Properties can a two-story parking garage and surface parking where five houses currently sit at 2480, 2488, 2498, 2506 and 2512 Westmont Blvd.

The parking would serve a 7,600-square-foot J. Liu restaurant and a 90,864-square-foot, 118-room Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel Shanghai wants to build at the northeast corner of West Lane Avenue and Westmont.

“I’m incredibly proud,” said Amanda Hicks, a Westmont Boulevard resident who helped organize the referendum initiative. “I’m so grateful to the circulators and to everyone that signed.

“The response we received during the signature-gathering process was overwhelming and beyond our expectations. The sheer volume of signatures collected and validated underscores that UA residents are against this rezoning.”

For more on this story, see the Sept. 7 edition of ThisWeek Upper Arlington News.