New is one word that sums up Bexley's 2016 -- new legislation, new businesses and a new look for a city "symbol."

New is one word that sums up Bexley's 2016 -- new legislation, new businesses and a new look for a city "symbol."

Here are the biggest stories of the year, in no particular order:

Banning devices

* In September, Bexley became the first jurisdiction in central Ohio to make it illegal for drivers to use handheld devices while driving within the city limits.

It is a primary offense for drivers to dial or text on cellphones and other devices, meaning motorists could be stopped for this infraction.

Stepping down

* Bexley City Schools Superintendent Mike Johnson announced the 2016-17 school year is his last in serving the district he has led for 16 years.

During the district's annual convocation in August, Johnson said he intends to leave at the end of his contract in July 2017. A search firm is working to find his replacement.

Updating the code

* After more than two years of input from city officials, the city adopted legislation that is designed to update and streamline the city's zoning code.

The measure consolidates the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Planning Commission into one body known as the Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning, while maintaining a separate Architectural Review Board.

Going shopping

* The new two-story, 30,000-square-foot Giant Eagle Market District Express opened Aug. 18 at 2242 E. Main St. To make way for the Giant Eagle, Bexley City Hall relocated last year to a new municipal office slightly to the west in the Bexley Square Shopping Center.

Other businesses that opened this year included Gramercy Books, Kittie's Cakes, Native Cold Pressed juice shop, Orangetheory Fitness, Mathnasium tutoring, Dermatologists of Greater Columbus and Bexley Urgent Care.

Reopening an icon

* The Drexel Theatre, 2254 E. Main St., reopened July 15 after an extensive renovation that left the screens dark for weeks.

Updates included a refurbished marquee, a new snack area and a conversion to digital projection and sound.