Anticipating an overflow crowd eager for information on a controversial development proposal, Clintonville Area Commission Chairwoman Libby Wetherholt last week moved the next meeting of the panel to a larger venue.
The March 2 session, set for 7 p.m., will be held at North Community Lutheran Church, 114 Morse Road. Meetings typically are held at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
During the gathering, Vision Development officials will offer a presentation regarding the 300-unit project planned for the 10-acre Dixie International Trucking site on Indianola Avenue.
Although residents worried about increased traffic and decreased property values may have plenty to say regarding the project -- de facto apartments but technically classified as an extended-stay hotel -- it won't much matter, said Wetherholt and Matthew Cull, the District 5 CAC representative in whose territory most of the project would be located.
That's because, they said, Vision Development made the proposal before city officials closed a loophole that prevented extended-stay hotels from rising on former manufacturing sites.
The change to the zoning code does require developers of projects grandfathered in to "consult" with area commissions.
"Consulting means they will listen to ideas, but they don't necessarily have to change their minds," Wetherholt said.
Cull described the presentation as more of a courtesy, because no variance is needed for the project to move forward.
"I would imagine there's going to be a lot of people at the meeting," Wetherholt predicted.
"Just based on the comments and emails and people talking to me when this was first announced, I would suspect even if it's cooled down a little bit, people are still very interested," he said. "I think it's generally confusing, the idea of an extended-stay hotel even if it's not an extended-stay hotel.
"I don't think most of the residents are happy with this many units at the end of their street, regardless of what name it goes under."