The Bridge Street corridor study has evolved into a plan.

The Bridge Street corridor study has evolved into a plan.

The study that began last year to encourage development and redevelopment along state Route 161 gained approval from Dublin City Council on Oct. 25 as city staff members and consultants begin to take steps toward implementation.

The study of the area that extends along state Route 161, from Sawmill Parkway to the Interstate 270 and U.S. Route 33 interchange, encourages mixed-use, walkable development.

"Obviously, this is the first step of what won't be a long process," said Steve Langworthy, director of land-use and long-range planning. "But it will be a complex and involved process."

The implementation strategy will begin immediately, working toward a district pattern book that will "fully describe site planning, development and process issues related to the identified districts in the corridor," the staff report said. The book should be completed by March.

Framework, city code, models on transportation and utilities, as well an analysis on infrastructure cost, and fiscal effects also are planned, all set to be finished by next fall. The cost is expected to be at least $495,000.

Though council members approved the Bridge Street corridor study vision statement, vision principles, vision report and implementation strategy this week, some members questioned how much power the approval would give the new plan.

"This draft vision plan really binds us," Cathy Boring said, adding that she didn't like some of the pictures in the plan.

Richard Gerber said he wanted flexibility in the guidelines.

"I don't want to give the impression that this is exactly how we expect it to look," he said.

Council member Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher said she was contacted by Dublin Village Center owner Matt Stavroff with concerns on the plan.

"What does the adoption of such a vision mean," she asked.

Langworthy and interim city manager Marsha Grigsby said the plan is a vision that would unfold over the next 20 to 40 years and only acts as a guideline for future development.

"It's kind of gray. It's not black or white," Langworthy said, adding that in several places throughout the vision, "it says 'It's a guide.'"

While council members want the plan to remain a vision, a few said they wanted to make sure it is used.

"The whole purpose of this initiative was to seek out a unique area that will draw new people to the area," Chinnici-Zuercher said. "If we approve this, I hope it's with an open eye to doing business differently in this area of town."

"The thing that excites me about this plan is we are doing something completely different," vice mayor Amy Salay said.

Despite concerns, council unanimously approved the vision and implementation strategy.