A significant number of concerned people turned out for a community meeting last week regarding variances needed for a Jimmy John's restaurant to take the place of what's now a chiropractor's office at 4409 N. High St.
Clintonville Area Commission District 6 representative Randy Ketcham, who hosted the gathering so the Cleveland-based developer and his architect could be made aware of concerns on the part of nearby residents, said he expects at least some of the 40 or so who showed up also to attend the next meeting of the CAC.
Commission members are expected to vote on parking and drive-through stacking variances sought for the franchise restaurant during the meeting that begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 3309 N. High St.
Brent Zimmerman, who owns the rights to parts of Columbus for Jimmy John's franchises, and architect David Maison were on hand for the January community meeting to hear from people who live near the proposed restaurant, which also would have a second tenant in an expanded structure, Ketcham said.
Zimmerman assured the people who attended the meeting that "whatever the other tenant would be would not be a high-traffic tenant," Ketcham added.
The reconfigured building would have two fewer parking spaces and two fewer stacking slots than are required by city code.
"They don't have enough space now for a line going to the drive-through," Ketcham said.
Zimmerman tried to allay concerns by pointing out that 70 percent of the fast-food restaurant's business is delivery, but residents remained worried, Ketcham said.
"The residents' main concern was the increased traffic that would be on Schreyer Road because right now the city will not allow a curb cut on High Street. It would have to be on Schreyer," he said. "The residents pointed out that Schreyer is a fairly narrow street with no sidewalks and no streetlights.
"They are not dead-set against Jimmy John's ... but they are dead-set against the increased traffic."
The developer promised to continue to press city officials to allow a curb cut off North High Street to relieve potential traffic on the side street, Ketcham said.
Also on tap for the February session of the area commission will be a presentation from an Ohio State University graduate student whose class is working with the CoGo Bike Share program on possible locations for expansion, said Chairwoman Libby Wetherholt.
CoGo, which is operated by Brooklyn-based Motivate, was launched in Columbus in July 2013 with 300 bikes at 30 stations downtown and in the Short North, German Village and Harrison West neighborhoods. The program, sponsored locally by Medical Mutual of Ohio, since has expanded to Weinland Park and the University District with 46 stations and 425 bikes that can be rented by participants for $8 a day, $18 for a three-day pass or $75 annually.
Also at the Feb. 2 meeting, elections committee Chairwoman Ann E. Henkener is expected to give a report in advance of the May voting for CAC elections, Wetherholt said.
A representative from the Clintonville Neighborhood Plan Review Committee has been asked to provide an update as well, she said.
"I'm anticipating 45 minutes on zoning and variance," Wetherholt said, with the majority of time devoted to the Jimmy John's application.