Pickerington city officials are seeking to establish boundaries for the city's historical downtown area.

Pickerington city officials are seeking to establish boundaries for the city's historical downtown area.

Pickerington City Council was expected to pass the second reading of legislation to adopt boundaries for Olde Pickerington Village on March 20, after ThisWeek's press deadline.

According to city development services director Joe Henderson, the move largely is designed to identify which areas are considered to be part of Olde Pickerington Village so city officials can better promote future economic development and community activities.

"There are multiple different boundaries that have been established over the years," Henderson said. "We are looking to create one that can be all-inclusive and also allow us to promote activity and development in the Olde Village."

If accepted, the boundaries would surround 243.5 square acres.

The area would include "key parts of the downtown area," Henderson said, including Sycamore Park, the downtown business district along Columbus, Center and Cross streets, the Towne Square Drive area and parts of the area around Heritage School.

Council unanimously passed the first reading of the proposed legislation on March 6.

Should council pass the second reading, it's expected the measure would receive final approval on April 3.

Henderson said designating district boundaries will help the city tout Olde Pickerington Village to potential new businesses and developers.

He also said the new boundaries are expected to reduce planning and zoning complications for residents and businesses seeking to make improvements to their Olde Pickerington Village properties, while potentially making improvement grants available.

"We have seen some issues with residents and business owners who are looking to invest in their property and because some of zoning requirements, they have to do a lot more steps," Henderson said. "We are looking to help promote new investment and improvements to properties in the Olde Village.

"We (also) are looking to create an overlay district that will help many of the properties if they are looking to expand or improve."

The overlay will help officials "outline new zoning code that makes sense for this specific area - more realistic setbacks and lot coverage," he said.

Henderson said the existing city code requirements are designed "for sites more like those found on Hill Road up closer to I-70."

The new zoning codes included in the overlay would reduce the number of times property owners would need to seek variances from the city's board of zoning appeals, he said.