Land-use issues, planning for a public park and reestablishing a block watch are among key issues facing the Northwest Civic Association, said Nick Cipiti, the organization's president.

The NWCA needs to educate its trustees and members about zonings that affect the area, Cipiti said.

"Over the last few years, the Northwest area has seen more proposed developments with greater complexity," he said. "When more members and trustees have a deeper understanding of zoning -- including the Northwest Plan, the (Northwest Corridor Mobility Study), overlays and the 2050 Plan -- the better we will be able to determine appropriateness for proposals in our area."

Residents in the community will be asked to participate in the "sheep farm" survey, which will help the city plan for future development of the newly acquired land at 2425 W. Case Road that formerly was Ohio State University agricultural property.

"The next step in the development of the sheep farm is to survey residents and neighborhoods to see what they believe would be the best use for the property," Cipiti said.

"We need to assist the city (of Columbus) as it does a thorough survey of the district and include as many neighbors as possible to get their input."

"I second Nick's comments about the sheep farm," said Amanda Gibbs, secretary of the civic association's board of trustees. "I think it's exciting about what can go there."

Reestablishing the community block-watch program has been on the minds of many residents for some time, Cipiti said.

"Our district is fortunate in that the crime rate is low," he said. "To ensure that crime remains low, it is important to be vigilant and keep the lines of communication between neighbors and police officers open.

"Several people have asked me about the block watch, which has been a very effective program in many neighborhoods."

The civic association will continue to monitor sanitary- and storm-sewer problems, particularly in The Knolls subdivision, Cipiti said.

"The sanitary problems we learned about in The Knolls have ramifications for all projects that dump into the same system," he said. "Developments as far away as Reed Road can exacerbate The Knolls' backups and contribute to raw sewage rising out of the sewers.

"We need to encourage the city to resolve the problems quickly and consider the effects of proposed new developments."

Cipiti said the civic association would "fine tune" the student trustee program, in which two high school students become part of the civic association and observe government in action.

"This has been a hallmark of NWCA for many years," he said. "We rebooted the program this year and are working with Centennial High School to make it as meaningful as possible for student participants.

"The goal is to give student trustees hands-on experience and understanding of how local government works and how residents have a say in what goes on in their neighborhoods."

"It's a great program," Gibbs said. "I'm really proud that we're getting it back up and running."

Gibbs said more people are attending civic association meetings, signaling community participation is on the rise.

"It's great to see so many people being interested," she said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

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