The next meeting of the Clintonville Area Commission will include a proposal to turn a former funeral home into a day care center and a presentation on how the neighborhood can formally proclaim a commitment to the environment.
The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 3909 N. High St.
The lone item on the agenda for zoning and variance matters, said Chairwoman Libby Wetherholt, involves the former Southwick-Good & Fortkamp Funeral Chapel, 3100 N. High St. The property, which encompasses the historic Clinton Chapel, is being proposed as a third location for the Balanced Family Academy.
In an informal presentation at the CAC's Aug. 2 meeting, academy founders and sisters Sarah Fite and Rebecca Handley said their day care is for children ages 6 weeks to kindergarten.
"There is currently a nonconforming funeral home partially located on the subject lot," according to the rezoning application from attorney Jackson B. Reynolds III.
"The funeral home predates the rezoning to the RRR district (in) 1979. The property had been zoned C-4 prior to 1974. The applicant wants to ... reuse the existing building and facilities to allow for a new and viable repurposing of the existing vacant structure."
The funeral home closed in 2017.
"The granting of the council variance will not negatively impact surrounding properties as the proposed day care operation is a needed and useful addition to the community and allows for the preservation of the existing building," Reynolds concluded in his statement of hardship.
"I think the fact that they're wanting to use the building and not demolish it overrides anything else," Wetherholt said.
Scheduled as a guest speaker, after he was unable to attend the August session, is David R. Celebrezze, GreenSpot coordinator for the city.
He will outline how all of Clintonville can qualify as a GreenSpot neighborhood, joining the Discovery District, Sawmill Place and German Village.
"There are a number of things that are pluses to being a GreenSpot neighborhood," Celebrezze said. "It gives you an idea of what you can do as a neighborhood to be green, conserving and protecting water, greening transportation, and ... improving sustainability. You bring neighbors together to talk about the neighborhood; it doesn't get much more local than that."
"I think it's just a matter of, do we want to officially be a GreenSpot neighborhood," Wetherholt said. "We already have, according to David Celebrezze, 1,600 households as GreenSpot members and I think it's 58 businesses. Those are approximate numbers. There are things that we could do to add onto what we already have.
"I'm not sure what the commissioners are thinking about it."
"Certainly there are bragging rights," Celebrezze said. "Everybody knows Clintonville's green. This kind of puts it down on paper."