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City of Grandview Heights Blog


Aug 21

The Tuesday Top 5: August 20th, 2019

Posted on August 21, 2019 at 4:19 PM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: August 20th, 2019

 

Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info on what is going on in Grandview Heights.

1. Honoring Steve Gladman For Leadership on Council

Many of you have already heard that Councilman Steve Gladman resigned from City Council effective with his August 10th notice to Council President Greta Kearns.

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Councilman Gladman steps down four months shy of 12 years of service on Council, a period during which the City structured – and then restructured – the public financing for roads and utility lines through the former industrial district that has blossomed during the last decade into the mixed-used Grandview Yard development.

Gladman’s financial expertise as chairman of the Council’s Finance Committee served this community well for many years. In 2018, he took a leadership role as the City worked with developers and the Grandview Heights City School District Board of Education to restructure the Yard tax increment finance (TIF) which increased the flow of property tax back to the school district. This greatly reducing the financial impact of the school construction project on residents of Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff.

Steve plans to continue to serve the broader Central Ohio community as he continues serving as president of the Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County, a nonprofit residential lender tackling the key economic development issue of affordable housing.

The City has reaped the rewards of Gladman’s contribution of his time, his intellect and calm demeanor as this community attracted more investment and job growth that greatly contributed to our high level of service the community provides and its stellar AAA credit rating. Steve and I have spent countless hours working together and he has been a key part of the great things that have happened in this community over the past twelve years.   I have personally enjoyed working with him and I will miss that.  Please take a moment to thank him for his exceptional service to our community when you see him around the town.

Meantime, Council President Kearns has announced Council will take application through Aug. 28 from Grandview Heights electors interested in serving the last four months of Gladman’s term. Council could vote on the appointment as soon as its Tuesday, Sept. 3 meeting.

“I deeply appreciate Mr. Gladman’s efforts to mentor junior Council members through the years,” Kearns wrote in a statement, “and his unwavering commitment to professionalism and civility.”

2. City Shares Revised Elmwood Sidewalk Plan

The City’s director of Public Service and consulting engineer have unveiled revised plans for a sidewalk along the east edge of Elmwood Avenue.

A few residents living along the section of Elmwood between Goodale Avenue and Bluff Road responded to an invitation from the City and stopped by Council Chambers on August 13th to review the revised plans for the sidewalk.

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In May, I had written the City had hoped to build a multi-purpose path along that narrow and steep section of Elmwood to accommodate both pedestrians and bicycles. That project is part of a broader City policy to promote safety through construction of safe walkways on at least one side of every street within Grandview Heights.

A few months ago, a closer look during the preliminary design phase for the Elmwood project revealed that an 8-foot wide path – such as that built this summer along Grandview Avenue between Goodale Boulevard and City Hall – created the necessity to cut down a few large trees along Elmwood, particularly two oak trees with diameters of 42 inches and 36 inches as the path cut deep into the embankment.

The revised plan for a 5-foot wide sidewalk will still cut into the embankment, creating a need for a stone wall along 250 feet of the 700-foot long sidewalk while allowing us to work around the existing large trees. The stone chosen for the wall will be similar to that used along Goodale as it curves into Lincoln Road.

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That same section of Elmwood also had initially made the City’s 2019 street repair list in March. The City later decided to postpone that project until 2020 so the road repair and sidewalk projects could get done at the same time, thus reducing the inconvenience on residents who travel on that street regularly.

3. Grant Sought For South of Goodale Projects Set for Wednesday, August 19th

The City will hold a public hearing this  to review public improvements planned for the South of Goodale section of Grandview Yard as it seeks state funds to help pay for a portion of the project costs.

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The Wednesday, August 19th hearing will take place at 7 p.m. in Council chambers.
Council in early February voted to rezone the industrial properties located between the eastern edge of Grandview Heights at Twin Rivers Drive to the planned extension of Bobcat Avenue on the west for commercial and residential redevelopment . Council also approved extension of the previous tax increment financing (TIF) into the new acreage and restructuring of the development agreement with the Grandview Heights City School District.

Tri W, owners of the former W.W. Williams Co. site, will redevelop property it controls in conjunction with Elford Development. Grandview Yard developer Nationwide Realty Investors also controls a portion of the South of Goodale section.

Neither have announced specific projects beyond a mix of commercial and residential projects. 

The public hearing is the first step toward the City seeking Ohio Public Works Commission funding to offset some of the estimated $15 million in construction costs associated with the road and underground utility projects.

4. Yard Office Foundation Permit Approved

Many of you have noticed more moving of dirt and boring equipment south of the Nationwide Insurance office complex in Grandview Yard.

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Grandview Yard developer Nationwide Realty Investors has secured a foundation permit for an office project along Yard Street at Burr Avenue.

But the final scope of the project and timing of actual construction remains unsettled as the developer considers its options based on site conditions.

The City issued the foundation permit on July 26 for a conceptual three-story office building at 820 Yard Street. The office building, when built, will share the Block D section of Grandview Yard where site work recently started for two apartment buildings offering a combined 218 units.

The developer has made substantial progress on the 38,000 square-foot office project it has had under construction since early April at the corner of Northwest Boulevard and Goodale. The law firm of Carlile, Patchen and Murphy committed to leasing the top floor of that building before the developer began construction.

That office project – set for a first quarter 2020 delivery – started to go vertical in the last several weeks along with the adjacent Junction townhouse project along Bobcat.

820 Yard Street Snip

                                                                                                                          

5. Mayor’s Picnic A Blast For All

The City celebrated the waning days of summer this last Sunday with games, pizza, root beer floats and a blast of water close to 500 residents gathered at Wyman Woods for the Mayor’s Picnic.
A scheduling mix up scuttled the plans for the promised giant water slide but the Parks & Rec staff improvised by hosing down a big tarp. 

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The Grandview Heights Division of Fire also came to the rescue by rolling out firehoses from the pumper trucks on display and spraying water onto the Wyman Woods sports field to the delight of dozens of shouting children, and even some adults enjoyed the shower. 

Fireman Spray

A big round of applause to the City departments and staff for putting on a memorable time on a hot August afternoon.

Meantime, I hope you enjoy this collection of photos taken during the event.


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Kids Cop Car

Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit GrandviewHeights.org. 

Sign up here to get text or email alerts with the latest news from the City of Grandview Heights: https://www.grandviewheights.org/list.aspx?ListID=261 


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Aug 13

The Tuesday Top 5: August 13th, 2019

Posted on August 13, 2019 at 1:56 PM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: August 13th, 2019

 

Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info on what is going on in Grandview Heights.

1. School Back In Session

Grandview Heights students return to classes on Wednesday, August 14th, so I wanted to offer a few words of caution to residents dropping off children as well as those commuting to work during the early morning and mid-afternoon hours.

The Stevenson Elementary is always an area on concern because it hosts some of the youngest members of our community, Kindergarten through Third Grade.

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The unsafe, mid-block crossings by parents and children on First Avenue, as well as unsafe drop-offs and pickups without properly parking the vehicles, greatly concern me. The best option is to use the school designated drop-off on Hilo Lane for drop-off and pick-up rather than the congested West First and Oxley Road.

Blocking of the driveways of private homes also became an issue in that area last year. The City in the last month has marked no parking zones around town with fresh yellow paint as a reminder where drivers cannot park, even if for ‘just’ a few minutes.

Late last school year, the City unveiled various signage improvements to remind drivers to slow down during transition times at the school.

The one improvement near Stevenson many may not have recognized yet is the signalized crosswalk at Virginia and West First avenues designed to improve the safety of pedestrians crossing First Avenue. Vehicles are required to stop when the light is flashing. Pedestrians: please heed the warning to remain on the outlook for drivers not adhering to the flashing warning.

Rest assured the Grandview Heights Division of Police will continue to monitor safety issues around our schools and will again be visibly present along the most heavily traveled routes to school. But alert drivers and tuned-in pedestrians are the key to keeping our students safe during the coming school year.

2. Mayor’s Picnic Anchors Endless Summer Fun

Even with the start of school, there’s still a lot of summer fun in the air to experience. The Grandview Heights Parks & Recreation Department will assist my hosting of the Mayor’s Picnic at Wyman Woods on Sunday, August 18th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

The event will feature activities such as family games (starting at 2 p.m.),and a large water slide for that big splash (bring your bathing suit). A favorite with many children and some adults is the “Touch a Truck” that offers residents to get up close and look and look at various City trucks, vehicles and equipment.

There will also be information about the City’s recent planning efforts and updated information on the proper way and the items that can be recycled.  Come down and get updated on what is going on.

We will offer free pizza, root beer floats and cookies.

I really hope to see you there.

In other summer fun this week, the City and Grandview Heights Public Library will host the second Music at the Yard concert on Thursday, August 15th at First Avenue Park, This concert will feature rock/pop band George Barrie Band. 

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The fun begins at 4:30 p.m. with a few activities with the concert running from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The third and final concert will take place on August 22nd at the same times. At least 150 residents enjoyed the first of the three Music at the Yard on August 8th. 

3. Voluntary Camera Registration Sought To Combat Crime

The Grandview Heights Division of Police late last week launched a voluntary program to register private security surveillance cameras to assist in solving incidents of crime in our community. 

The division has activated the registration website for willing businesses and residents who have cameras that record exterior activity. Those who register will only get contacted when investigators have information suggesting a surveillance camera may have recorded useful video near that specific exterior location.

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The division expects quick access will reduce the time it takes investigators to track down and identify potential suspects. 

On that same topic of community safety, I would like to extend my appreciation to the Division of Police and Division of Fire for their interaction with residents during the Tuesday, August 6th National Night Out at Wyman Woods organized by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

We estimate more than 300 attended the community gathering despite iffy weather at the start and the wind and rain that shortened the event.

4. Third Avenue Trestle Project Chugs Along

The installation of the new CSX trestle over West Third Avenues has advanced in recent weeks, but the completion of the project spurred by the widening of the West Third Avenue under the trestle may get delayed again.

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Phillip Sekela, the Columbus Division of Public Service construction engineer overseeing the project, said contractors installed the first of two trestle spans over West Third on August 1st. The second span will get laid into place soon after the expected delivery of the steel structure on August 19th. 

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That installation should not result in a long closure of westbound West Third. In fact, Sekela said it may only result in a closure of a few minutes as a crane sets the span in place.

That said, the engineer also said the general contractor Complete General Contracting in late July projected a completion date of December 17th rather than the September 13th target established earlier this year. Columbus has challenged the contractor to detail the reasons for the proposed extension. 

In recent weeks, crews have been installing storm sewer and water lines in the closed eastbound lanes of Third in front of Chick-fil-A.

I will update residents on that when we have more information.

            

5. U.S. Ranking Puts Grandview Heights In Top 10

Community surveys and national rankings of all sorts come across the newswires every few months, stirring up excitement at city halls, chambers of commerce and, of course, travel and tourism bureaus. 

Most of these rankings start with the same U.S. Census data (estimated between official decennial censuses) and place varying weights to certain statistics and often other data or formula to emphasize one community attribute or another preferred statistic.

The City and the Grandview Heights City School District often rank high on these lists, as well they should. But you can’t take them all seriously, even if they’re legitimate, although they are fun to look at.

I received one such ranking earlier this year from some outfit called HomeSnacks that ranked Grandview Heights as the No. 1 among the 10 Best Place to Live in Ohio, or as the press release stated, “the cream of the crop.” Director of Administration Patrik Bowman quipped at that time that Homesnacks “crunched the numbers” to come up with their list. 

Two more surveys have emerged in recent months.

In April, Realtors.com ranked the 10 best Cities for New Grads to Live, Work Play in the United States with the Columbus area ranked No. 3 in large part because of the sizzling hot home market:

“The hottest housing market in the nation is not the East or West Coast – it’s the capital of Ohio.  And thanks to the surge of young professionals moving to the city in Americas heartland, the popularity of walkable neighborhoods near downtown has exploded … (including) … German Village known for its brick cottages, or Grandview Heights with charming homes built in the 30s and 40s.”           

Now, a survey just released in recent weeks by Business Insider: placed Grandview Heights No. 8 in their Top 50 communities to Live in the U.S.,a showing that mirrors HomeSnacks claim that we’re tops in Ohio.

In fact, the ranking also tapped Dublin (No. 43) and Bexley (No. 41) as well as two Cincinnati area enclaves and a Cleveland suburb in the Nation’s Top 50.

I believe things will continue to be better for our community over the next decade as Grandview Height as City and School District leaders strive to further refine the quality services and unique community amenities that make Grandview the special place it is. I have no doubt the 2020 Census and the statistics it generates in the coming years will keep our corner of Central Ohio near or at the top of future rankings for years to come. 

Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit GrandviewHeights.org. 

Sign up here to get text or email alerts with the latest news from the City of Grandview Heights: 
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Aug 07

The Tuesday Top 5: August 6th, 2019

Posted on August 7, 2019 at 8:32 AM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: August 6th, 2019

 

Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info on what is going on in Grandview Heights.

1. Sidewalk Repair Options Gets Takers

The sidewalk repair option the City administration unveiled in July has gained favor from numerous residents whose walkways have fallen into disrepair.

A Grandview Heights Building and Zoning Department inspector canvassed about 800 properties in recent weeksThis year’s inspection covered the area roughly bounded by Grandview Avenue on the West, Mulford Road on the South, then up to First Avenue and across Northwest Boulevard to the Grandview Yard development on the East.

Inspectors tagged 379 concrete panels for replacement or repair with Xs painted in green another 256 lifted joints between panels marked for grinding down painted with a green line.  

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Through the end of July, 85 property owners have asked the City to replace their marked panels while 64 have asked the city to grind down unsafe joints.

The City expects the $250 charge for panel replacement through its contractors will be less than the cost of private repair. Property owners may also opt for quality self-repair.

The City will grind down the edges of joints for $25, a savings of $10 to $25 for the homeowner.

Residents who received notices have until August 31st to join the City program. Work paid for prior to that date will be repaired this year.  Property owners who do not take part in the program will have until Oct. 31st to complete the repairs. Property owners that have not repaired their sidewalks or paid to have the work done, will have one last chance to participate during the reading of council legislation that will place a lien on their property until the City gets compensated for the work. The City will put any sidewalks not completed before October 31st into its 2020 street program.

NOTE: As I have previously written, sidewalks marked with white paint have been determined to be damaged by city street trees and will be repaired by the City, at no cost to the resident, as part of our tree program.  

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2. Fine Feather Joins Grandview Ave. Biz Corridor


German Village resident Diana Wang has joined the Grandview Avenue business with a natural beauty and wellness shop.

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Wang opened the Fine Feather Boutique late last week in the former Chapel Florists space at 1201 Grandview Ave. after a soft opening on July 28th. The business features natural makeup, skincare and wellness products, the latter category including superfoods, whole foods and herbs.
Wang knows a lot about foods, having served as a pastry chef for Grow Restaurants dining operator and the Pistacia Vera pastry kitchen in the North Market and in German Village, where she lives with her husband and son.

She said the birth of her son a couple of years ago spurred an interest in the environment and natural products without toxic ingredients. “I’ve become passionate about giving people better options,” she said.

Wang also looked in the Short North before favoring the Grandview Avenue space.

“This is the space I really wanted,” the entrepreneur said of the 1300 -square-foot space close to other small businesses on the Avenue. “I love that independent spirit. I’m hoping some of that rubs off on me.”

3. GHHS Football Team, Band Set 2019 Debuts

The start of school means Bobcat football and half time marching band shows. 

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The members of GHHS Marching Band will present its traditional pre-season concert at Marble Cliff’s Falco Park at 7 p.m. on Sunday, August 11th.

The band will perform music from its 2019 pre-game show as well as music from its five half-time shows.

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Director of Bands, Chris Hermann, who enters his 6th season at GHHS, led the band members to Wittenberg University in Springfield for band camp during the week of July 21st to July 26th to begin learning this season’s music and initial half-time drills.

The football team also has been busy preparing for the 2019 gridiron campaign.

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Jason Peters – who’s heading into his 13thyear as head coach – the varsity and JV teams will have their first pre-season scrimmage on Friday, August 9th at 10 a.m. with Worthington Christian players at Bobcat Stadium. Meet the Team Night is August 17th at the stadium.

The football team will have its home opener on Thursday, August 29th. That game will get televised. GO BOBCATS!

4. FAA Orders Warning Lights Atop Summit Chase

Resident this fall will see red lights on the top corners of the Summit Chase condo tower. The lights will serve as a hazard warning to aircraft flying in the area.

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The Federal Aviation Administration in mid-July notified the homeowners’ association of high-rise – which opened in 1966 as luxury rental housing – regarding the need to install lighting to comply with aviation safety regulations. 

Pam Conrad, secretary of the Summit Chase Board of Directors, said the association has already contacted the Grandview Heights Department of Building and Zoning about its tentative plans to install red, steady-burn (non-flashing) LED light on all four corners of the tower’s mechanical penthouse that marks the highest point of the 26-floor structure.

The lighting plans will get submitted to the City for approval as the condo association also replaces its three-part penthouse roof.

Summit Chase has a few other internal construction projects underway or planned as well as new signage planned for its entrances off Goodale Boulevard and Urlin Avenue.

5. First Music At The Yard Set

A last minute invitation for residents to attend the first of three Thursday late afternoon concerts at the City’s newest park.

Clarence White and the Johnny Appleseeds will launch the Music at the Yard concert series this Thursday, August 8th at First Avenue Park between Bobcat Avenue and Yard Street.  The Appleseeds perform Americana/folk music with a touch of blues.  Music at First Avenue Park is also set for August 15th and 22nd.The event will run from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with various activities. The musicians are set to play between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The Parks and Recreation Department in June hosted a Flicks in the Heights movie at the First Avenue Park and have programmed the inaugural First Avenue Fall Fest at the park for September 26th as a way to continue to introduce Grandview Heights residents to the City’s newest park.

Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit GrandviewHeights.org. 

Sign up here to get text or email alerts with the latest news from the City of Grandview Heights: 
https://www.grandviewheights.org/list.aspx?ListID=261



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