When it comes to a new approach to municipal planning in Columbus, some residents are willing to give the city the benefit of the doubt -- while others doubt it will be any benefit to the city.

The process being developed is called C2P2, which is derived from the double consonants in its formal name, Columbus Citywide Planning Policies, according to planning manager Jacqueline E. Yeoman.

The city planning department's website describes its goal: to establish a "foundation for future neighborhood planning and development," including consistent, regularly updated design guidelines and land-use policies.

The website indicates the new approach is necessary to handle an expected influx of up to a million new residents over the next three decades or so.

C2P2 is "designed to guide and focus growth in a way that will support economic competitiveness, improve residents' quality of life and provide environmental benefits throughout the city of Columbus," the site reads.

Full adoption of Columbus Citywide Planning Policies is projected for 2020.

Neighborhood leaders have been split on how they feel about C2P2 as they seek to learn more about the potential impact it will have in their areas of the city.

Some greeted it with skepticism, while others offered guarded optimism.

Clintonville Area Commission members, in discussions regarding C2P2 at the May and June meetings, have been hesitant to offer the new approach their full support, and others are waiting for more details.

"I'm trying to keep an open mind and not form any judgments on this until we have time to sit down with staff and get a sense of what they're trying to accomplish," said Dave Paul, chairman of the Northland Community Council development committee, who scheduled a special meeting of the panel this week to hear from officials with the planning department regarding C2P2.

"It's got some of the new thoughts on where to put retail, where to put different types of housing developments, and that's all good," said Northwest Civic Association President Nick Cipiti.

"As usual, the big concern is the issue of density. We're always concerned about that, and we've been trying to hold on to the density guidelines in the Northwest Plan for all the development proposals we've seen.

"The good news is the city planners are seeking input from a variety of sources as far as where to put the new developments and where to put the density."

"Overall, I think the C2P2 thing is good for the city at large," said CAC member David Vottero. "But we in Clintonville have a very good neighborhood plan that received a lot of public participation, and that has a lot of value. I would be reluctant to lose any of that hard work that the public put into it.

"Clintonville is fairly built out. Land use is less of a concern for us," Vottero said. "We're going to see some changes along the Indianola corridor and parts of North High Street, but I don't think they'll be too radical. I don't know that we're not supportive of the process, but we're eager to be cautious."

"Overall, I think it's going to be good if the follow-through is as good as the proposal," said Kit Logsdon, a member of the Northwest Civic Association board of trustees who has attended some of the C2P2 briefings by city personnel.

Logsdon said she is hesitant to accept the aspects of C2P2 that seem to embrace the anticipated population increase.

"My personal inclination is to say we should stop where we are, but I've lived in Columbus for over 60 years and I know that's hardly likely," she said. "If we can plan for the growth instead of always playing catch-up, that would be good."

"It's not about cramming more people or places into a space," said B.J. White, another member of the CAC. "It's not about becoming higher and tighter. It's not about becoming cookie-cutter. Those are two major misnomers about C2P2 policies."

"The uniqueness of the communities is partly what makes up the uniqueness of Columbus," NCC development committee Vice Chairman William Logan said. "You can't homogenize the city and have it still be unique.

"They haven't been successful yet in explaining what they're trying to accomplish," Logan said. "If their intent is to change the areas, the neighborhoods ... it's a question of how they intend to control growth in all the respective areas and still respect the areas for their uniqueness.

"Northland is characterized by large, wide-open spaces, unlike Clintonville, where along the High Street corridor, everything is tightly packed and closely positioned in terms of vehicular, pedestrian and living environment," he said. "If their intent is to bring that to Northland, I question how successful they'll be. You select your area based on your environment, the aesthetics."

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1