Vineyard Columbus: Rezoning of Goodale property required to allow move to Grandview Heights

Alan Froman
ThisWeek group
Vineyard Columbus is planning to move its Lane Avenue campus into a portion of the building at 777 Goodale Blvd. in Grandview Heights. The church's conditional-use permit request was tabled Jan. 20 by the planning commission because a rezoning is needed to permit the church as a conditional use at the site.

Vineyard Columbus' plan to move its Lane Avenue campus to Grandview Heights has been slightly delayed.

The church's request for a conditional use was tabled Jan. 20 by the planning commission because a rezoning is needed for the property at 777 Goodale Blvd.

Vineyard is planning to occupy 17,146 square feet of the 44,700-square-foot building, said Dave Perry, an attorney serving as a consultant on the project for the church. The remaining space would continue to be occupied by current office tenants, he said.

The church would occupy space that once served as the administrative offices for FoodFirst Global Restaurants (formerly the Bravo Brio Restaurant Group). The company moved its headquarters to Orlando, Florida, in 2018.

It would be leasing the space in the Goodale building, said Craig Heselton, one of Vineyard Columbus's founders who served as executive pastor until his retirement in January 2020.

Vineyard began looking at potential sites in Grandview about a year ago, Heselton said.

"Part of the reason we want to move to Grandview is because we see it as a thriving, growing community," he said. "We have a significant amount of our members already living there."

The Goodale location would be ideal to serve the Grandview area, including residents who live in the Grandview Yard development, Heselton said.

About 8,000 people attend services each weekend at one of Vineyard's four central Ohio campuses, he said. The main campus is at 6000 Cooper Road in Westerville, and other church sites are at 333 Jericho Road in Pickerington and 4140 Tuller Road in Dublin.

Vineyard Columbus site plan

About 350 people attend service each weekend at the Lane Avenue campus (2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus), said Insoo Kim, who will serve as pastor at the Grandview campus.

Along with the conditional use, Vineyard is seeking a parking variance, approval of signs at the new site and a major site-plan review.

The property at 777 Goodale is zoned M-1 light industrial.

Staff initially believed the conditional use could be approved under that zoning but has determined the church would not be allowed as either a permitted or conditional use in an M-1 district, said P'Elizabeth Koelker, the city's director of planning and community development who completed the staff report for Vineyard's application in her previous role as a consultant for the planning commission.

The property would best be rezoned as a Grandview Commerce Mixed Use District (GCMXD), especially given the office uses that already are in the building, she said.

The conditional uses allowed under the GCMXD zoning "are fairly wide open" and would include a church, Koelker said.

City Council would have to approve the rezoning. A 30-day notice is required before a public hearing and vote on the rezoning could be held, city attorney Joelle Khouzam said.

With council scheduled to meet Feb. 1, the earliest date the public hearing and rezoning approval could occur would be March 3, she said.

After the rezoning is approved, the conditional use would be considered by the planning commission. The final step would be a certificate of appropriateness, which would be completed through an administrative review and would not be handled by the planning commission.

The commission agreed to table Vineyard's application until its March 17 meeting.

Commission members all indicated they were in favor of both the rezoning and the conditional-use request.

Perry said he would forward more information about the rezoning issue to the owner of the property at 777 Goodale but does not expect any objections.

Work on reconstructing the interior of the building would start about 60 days after the conditional use is approved, with construction likely completed in about five or six months, said David Hartsook, a church member who is serving as real estate agent for Vineyard.

"Vineyard Columbus is a bit unusual in that we are an outreaching church," Heselton said. "Half of our revenues go to support the city (where a campus is) in different initiatives and meeting the needs of the city. ... Our goal is to be the best friend of the city."

Vineyard has partnerships with several nonprofit organizations, including World Vision, Convoy of Hope and Lower Lights Ministry.

For more information about Vineyard Columbus, go to vineyardcolumbus.org.

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