The process for updating the Northwest Area Plan, which got under way more than a year ago, is about two thirds of the way complete, according to Jaqueline E. Yeoman.

The process for updating the Northwest Area Plan, which got under way more than a year ago, is about two thirds of the way complete, according to Jaqueline E. Yeoman.

The senior planner working for the city on the project provided a progress report last week for members of the Northwest Civic Association Board of Trustees.

Once formally adopted by Columbus City Council, the new plan would provide a "guiding document for rezoning and council variances" that come before the association, NWCA Board President John Ehlers said in introducing Yeoman.

Ehlers cautioned that the trustees only make recommendations on the plans, either to members of the Development Commission or council.

"The only decision-making body is council itself," Ehlers said.

The new plan, which Yeoman said city staff members hope to have ready for passage as legislation by council in the fall, would replace one adopted in 2007.

The new plan would become policy, not law, she added.

"It doesn't make anybody go out and change what they already have," Yeoman said.

The updated plan would have two components, both of which have already been the subject of public workshops.

One deals with land use, according to Yeoman, and unlike the document it replaces the new plan will have a designation for every parcel in the approximately 20 square miles it covers.

"It's quite a large area," the senior planner commented.

The other component involves design guidelines,

In both instances, Yeoman said because all but about 80 percent of the Northwest Side is already developed, the document guidelines would kick in with proposals for redeveloping areas.

"We feel like this plan is going to be a very big benefit to the community," Yeoman said. "We think it will really help with the development review process."

The third workshop for members of the Northwest Civic Association and Far Northwest Coalition is scheduled for May 26, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Meadow Park Church of God, 2425 Bethel Road. The completed draft of the new plan will be available for their review at that time, the senior planner said.

The public's opportunity to review the completed draft is set for an open house on June 7 also from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and also at Meadow Park Church.

"We really do want to get as many people out to the public open house as possible," Yeoman said.

Comments about the plan will be accepted through June 24, according to the timeline Yeoman provided at last week's meeting.

Yeoman said the current plan is to come before the Northwest Civic Association trustees at their August meeting and ask for a vote of support for the updated plan on behalf of the neighborhood.