Clintonville Area Commission Chairwoman Libby Wetherholt said she intends for an update to the neighborhood plan to be the main focus of the panel’s May meeting.
However, a new citywide initiative could affect several months spent reviewing the document designed to guide development in Clintonville, she said.
A subcommittee of the CAC’s planning and development panel has been looking into possible changes to the neighborhood plan since 2016, in order to prepare for an anticipated full update of the document by city staff in 2019 – the 10-year anniversary of its adoption.
Wetherholt and several other members of the CAC will be among those who attend a public meeting on the new initiative with Columbus City Councilwoman Jaiza Paige, set for April 25. The initiative has been dubbed “Columbus Citywide Planning Policies,” or C2P2.
A summary by the city’s planning department noted Columbus has more than 40 neighborhood and area plans, covering more than 90 percent of the city.
“Due to the amount of time required to update each area plan, the city has been unable to keep all plans updated within the 10-year time frame, resulting in significant differences among plans, the time involved to keep plans up to date and an absence of citywide priorities for land use and design,” reads the department’s website.
That’s where C2P2 is supposed to come in.
“The Columbus Citywide Planning Policies is a new approach to area and neighborhood planning for Columbus,” city staffer Jacqueline Yeoman wrote in an email inviting civic leaders to the meeting Wednesday, April 25. “It establishes a foundation for future neighborhood planning and development review, and includes overall principles, design guidelines, land use policies, and land use plans for individual areas.”
These policies “have been designed to guide and focus growth in a way that will support economic competitiveness, improve residents’ qualify of life and provide environmental benefits throughout the city of Columbus,” according to the summary.
The meeting, which is open to all area commission and civic association members, is set for 6 p.m. in the second-floor hearing room of the Michael B. Coleman Government Center, 111 N. Front St.
In the meantime, Wetherholt said she is looking forward to a review May 3 of the neighborhood plan update subcommittee’s work.
“I’m real pleased,” she said. “It’s been a lot of hard work diving into all the details and trying to see what we could take action on before an actual update.
“It’s helped everyone get a better understanding of what the neighborhood plan is, its limitations and maybe has given us time to discuss how we can better make use of not only the planning but planning and development’s time.”
District 9 representative B.J. White, the newest member of the CAC, also is looking forward to the discussion of any changes that might be required to keep the Clintonville Neighborhood Plan current.
“It should be ever-growing,” White said. “If it changes directions to grow toward the sun, that’s what it should be. You’ve got to be able to make that plan malleable and make it wrap around what’s going on.
“I call it a continuum of progress.”
Justin Goodwin, a member of the neighborhood plan subcommittee, offered a peak at what will be front and center next month when he gave a brief presentation during the CAC’s April 5 session.
Among the recommendations under consideration that were included in a document Goodwin provided to commission representatives are:
• Review of the Urban Commercial Overlay and nonconforming structures “to determine potential design or process loopholes.”
Established in 1999, the overlay is designed to reinforce pedestrian-friendly development in the city's older commercial corridors.
• Create an inventory of sites with a potential for either development or redevelopment and form strategies to bring about the best results.
• Establish regular communication with personnel on the city’s building and zoning staff.
• Explore the potential for creating architectural-review or site-development guidelines.