Gahanna's planning commission recently reviewed suggested changes to the comprehensive landscape plan, developed by the city's landscape board and updated May 6.

Gahanna's planning commission recently reviewed suggested changes to the comprehensive landscape plan, developed by the city's landscape board and updated May 6.

The plan was developed when the city became part of Tree City USA, a program sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

According to the Arbor Foundation's Web site, Tree City USA is a program that "provides direction, assistance, attention and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs" in thousands of towns and cities.

Troy Euton, deputy director of Gahanna's department of parks and recreation, said the city joined the Tree City USA program a few years ago. In doing so, the city had to establish a landscape board and develop a community plan.

The comprehensive landscape plan is what the board developed as a guide for future development.

"It gives direction for commercial development and public landscaping," Euton said.

The plan has to be updated annually, but this year's update included few changes. Some wording was changed slightly, and at least one species of tree -- ash -- was added to the list of prohibited street trees because of the emerald ash borer, a beetle that has been destroying local ash trees, Euton said.

Other than that, he said, "there's nothing new or any significant changes" in the plan.

The planning commission reviewed the changes again Nov. 18 and voted to recommend the plan to council.

Commission chairman P. Frank O'Hare said the motion was longer than usual because the commission wanted to ensure that the legislation would work with the city's existing codified ordinances. The commission recommended that council adopt the plan with further review of chapter 913 in the city's codified ordinance on landscaping requirements, "such that 913 will be consistent with the landscape plan."

O'Hare said the city's code needs updated to ensure that when the comprehensive landscape plan is adopted, the two work in conjunction. O'Hare said the commission had discussed the issue in full detail during a previous meeting.

The commission on Dec. 2 is expected to review plans for Clark Hall, a learning center for Gahanna Lincoln High School that will be built at the northwest corner of Hamilton Road and Granville Street.

lwince@thisweeknews.com