A large swath of land near the Ohio State University Airport will be the main focus of attention for the Northwest Civic Association in 2018, according to Nick Cipiti, chairman of the NWCA board of trustees.
Although the 57-acre "sheep farm" is still university property and there have been no development proposals, residents of northwest Columbus and those living near the Case Road property have already been lobbying to have as much green space as possible included in any future redevelopment.
"We're doing everything we can to make sure that comes to the benefit of the neighborhood," Cipiti said. "That's the big one."
Although it's anticipated the site will eventually include some residential development Cipiti said a dense multifamily project would be a game-changer for the neighborhood as a whole, given the sheer size of the site.
"I anticipate us being involved in the OSU Airport master plan process," said Marilyn Goodman, chairwoman of the NWCA's graphics and zoning committee.
"That takes up a big area in northwest Columbus and it's important to us how that ends up."
Goodman also said potential for development remains a particular focus for residents and trustees.
"We do have a very dedicated group of our members working on the OSU sheep farm, too," she said.
"We hope their efforts will yield some of the outcomes that they want.
"I think it's an uphill climb, but they're very dedicated."
A group of residents formed to encourage OSU officials to consider things such as parks, a recreation center and even a library in the equation for redeveloping the property.
Also for 2018, Cipiti said he hopes to find good candidates to fill the current four openings on the 15-member board of trustees.
He said he wants to attract "people who are committed to the neighborhood."
"Hopefully we'll have a deeper bench, so to speak," Cipiti said.
Goodman expects to continue to see development proposals in 2018.
"I think, in general, there are a number of companies that see a need for more residential housing and northwest Columbus as an attractive place to put that, so we'll be dealing with that," she said.
Goodman also would like to see more people involved in the community as a whole and the civic association in particular.
"I want us to continue to be a vital organization that has some influence over what happens in our area, that the city will listen to us," she said.