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City of Grandview Heights Blog

Dec 11

The Tuesday Top 5: December 10th, 2019

Posted on December 11, 2019 at 4:41 PM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: December 10th, 2019


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



1. Holiday celebration shifts into high gear

The City launched the Christmas season with two special events in the last week.

The annual lighting of the Christmas tree the evening of December 3rd capped a celebration marked by ice skating, decorating cookies, watching the ice sculpture of Olaf – the snowman from the animated Frozen features – getting carved and listening to the sounds of music performed by
the Grandview Heights High School jazz band and the Grandview Singers choir set the stage for
all of those attending.

The recognition of this special time of year continued on Saturday, December 7th as children and their families joined together to welcome Santa Claus for his annual visit to the Grandview Heights
Public Library.

A special thanks to the leadership and staff of the Grandview Heights Parks & Recreation
Department for organizing another wonderful tree-lighting celebration. Thanks also to Library
personal, Parks & Recreation and Division of Fire for their support at the holiday gig at the

Please safely enjoy the rest of the Christmas season. Meantime, enjoy these photos from these
recent events.

Santa 4

LIbrary Ladies

Library Throne Crop








2. Bowman retirement a loss to the City

As I prepare to leave office as your Mayor, I wanted to recognize a few long-term staff members set for retirement on December 31st who made such important contributions to the rejuvenation of this community during my 16-year tenure.

Director of Administration and Economic Development Patrik Bowman tops this list as the City’s
senior adviser in sustaining and rejuvenating the quality of life in this community.


As many of you can recall, the City began a severe economic trial just weeks after my January
2004 inauguration when the Big Bear Stores grocery chain went out of business and shut down
its 60-acre office and distribution complex that stretched along the CSX tracks from West Third
to Goodale Boulevard. That and other business closures within the City’s industrial district had a
devastating impact on City tax revenues and our ability to effectively deliver basic City services.

Pat played a key role in our community planning, economic development planning and city administration over the past sixteen years and was key to our financial recovery. He set the
tone for the next two decades in leading the recently approved Community Plan and Civic
Places and Spaces public facilities vision.

Patrik was my first hire as Mayor. I first met him in 1975 at The Ohio State University where we
were both going for a Master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning and we quickly
became friends. Before I decided to run for Mayor in 2003, I met with Pat to see if he would
join my administration. Pat first worked with the City in 1996 and 1997, as a consultant when he
was with NBBJ and wrote the 1997 Community Plan. A decade later, that plan set the
groundwork for the mixed use redevelopment of the former industrial area we now refer to as
the Grandview Yard development.

One of the most important things when your Mayor is to have people around you that you can
trust, are true professionals, can challenge you, and have the best interest of our city at heart.

Pat was all of these to me.

Please see this blog post for more information on the professional recognition Patrik received recently from the Ohio Chapter of the American Planning Association as the most Outstanding Planner in Ohio for his stellar career achievements in our community and other Central Ohio communities he helped to shape.

Thank you, Pat, for the excellent work you have done serving our community.

3. City to yield half of Fairview turnaround

The early 2020 start of construction for the new Grandview Heights high school and middle school complex has prompted the need for the City to vacate the western portion of the turnaround on the Fairview Avenue. The portion being vacated was school property prior to the closure of the street.

City Council on December 2nd heard a first reading of proposed Ordinance 2019-32 meeting that calls for the City to vacate the property and transfer the ownership to the school district. The need
to vacate that semi-circle comes as the Grandview Heights City School District gets ready to
start construction on a new school in the open space between the high school and the Edison
Middle School/Larson Junior High Commons and gymnasium in early 2020. The land set for
transfer will become part of the school construction footprint, requiring the land ownership to
get transferred to the district.


The formal groundbreaking on the first phase of that project is set for January 11th.

The City acquired title to the semi-circular property in 1995 at the same time the district gained
control of the Fairview right-of-way from West First Avenue to the cul-de-sac built to allow
school buses and other vehicles to turn around safely. The school district turned that vacated
portion of the street into a playground for Edison students.

The City and District remain in discussions about how best to handle the traffic flow after the
completion of the new Edison/Larson complex and renovated high school. My administration
earlier this year had proposed re-establishing traffic on Fairview from Third to First in accordance with the recent discussion about that proposal and the support of the Grandview Heights Planning Commission. City

Council this summer voiced its support for the City administration to continue discussions with
the school district and affected neighbors on traffic issues tied to the school project with
passage of Resolution 11-2019 during its July 1st meeting.

4. Kearns’ election opens up Council seat

Grandview Heights City Council is taking applications to fill the seat Council President Greta Kearns vacates January 1st when she is sworn in as Mayor.

In accordance with the Grandview Heights City Charter, prospective candidates must be a
resident and elector of the City not otherwise employed by the City. Those interested should
submit or hand deliver a letter of intent and/or professional resume to Clerk of Council Leilani
Napier’s office at 1016 Grandview Avenue, Columbus OH 43212, or by email,, no later than 4 p.m. on December 30th, 2019.

City Council expects to begin interviews the week of January 6th, 2020. Per City Charter, Council must approve a new member within 60 days of the January 1st vacancy. The term expires on December 31st, 2021.

This marks the second time Council has had a seat to fill in the last several months. Steve
Gladman resigned 
in early August. less than five months before the end of his term. Council in early September appointed West First Avenue resident Rebekah Hatzifotinos to serve the last four months of that seat on Council even as she ran in an uncontested seat in the November 5th election.

5. Demolition set for Deyo-Davis, McGovern buildings

Redevelopment of the Deyo-Davis Funeral Home and McGovern office building will move forward soon on the West First Avenue at Fairview Avenue site.

West First

Developer Scott Owens and partner Brexton Development expect to begin demolition on the
shuttered funeral home at 1574-1578 W. First Avenue and office property at 1562-1572 W.
First by year’s end. Construction is set for early 2020.

The developer had picked up demolition permits on March 18th but delayed
tearing down the buildings until it could complete unit pricing and secure project financing for
the three-story, mixed-use project. The project calls for a combined 18 residential condos on
floors 2 and 3 and 9,500 square feet of ground-floor retail/office space.

 I will report more details on this redevelopment project as they become available. 

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

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Dec 03

The Tuesday Top 5: December 3rd, 2019

Posted on December 3, 2019 at 10:57 AM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: December 3rd, 2019


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


1. Capital budget reflects infrastructure priorities 

City Council last night reviewed my administration’s $4.4 million capital budget that reflects this administration’s priorities for 2020 as well as setting out estimated capital needs from 2021 through 2024. 
Street, sanitary sewer, waterline and storm sewer projects top the needs in 2020 at a combined $2.72 million. A little over half of that – $ 1.47 million – will go to street repair, paving and a multipurpose path on the east side of Elmwood Avenue south of Bluff Avenue.  The remainder of the budget request is for waterline and storm sewer projects. The requested budget for vehicles and equipment includes:  two replacement police cruisers for the Division of Police and a dump truck, utility boom truck and fork lift for the Service Department.  Some other requests include: a new paint sprayer, power washer, zero turn radius mower, cardiac monitor defibrillator, portable message board and Knox Box security upgrade.

The Parks division of Parks & Rec has requested $462,500 for projects, including $250,000 for McKinley Field improvements, which includes restrooms by the ball field.  Other sizable projects include Buck Park lighting, pool painting, recycling containers, and the repair of the Wyman Woods sledding hill and the McKinley and Pierce ballfields. 

Administration is requesting $570,000 for an expanded sidewalk program.

The request also includes continuation of our tree replacement program, design funding for civic facilities and funds to address mobility issues around the community. 

2. M/I Homes marks first closings at Grandview Yard 

M/I Homes has secured its first closings within its Homes at Grandview Yard subdivision as contracts continue to pile up. 

A Dennison B series home at 938 W. First Ave. closed on November 19th. Public records show the property sold for $649,500. The three-bedroom property is located on the north side of the West First Boulevard, six houses west of the First and Bobcat Avenue intersection and close to the middle of 14 homes built between Bobcat and the terminus of Edgehill Drive.

The homebuilder also reported the three-bedroom, Baldwin A home at 944 W. First Avenue closed the week of November 25th. The price was not immediately available from the Franklin County Recorder’s Office.

The completed sales come as M/I Homes continues digging more foundations and raising walls and roofs even as it puts even more homes in contract. As of press time, 38 homes were either built, under construction or lots listed as in contract for construction on the M/I Homes at the Yard website, with one more lot listed as reserved for future construction. 

A ride around the streets show 14 homes built along westbound West First, including three model homes closest to Bobcat. Another 11 homes have been built or are under construction eastbound on First with another three basements awaiting vertical construction. Six houses are under roof along Pullman Place just north of Williams with another four basements completed just north of those homes.

M/I started construction not quite a year ago and began the heavy marketing effort in June. I had last updated the marketing efforts in early September, when M/I reported 28 homes in contract.

3. Santa sets appearance at GH Public Library 

Grandview Heights continues its Christmas holiday traditions with a visit from St. Nicholas on December 7th at the Grandview Height Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave. 

Santa 4

Expect Santa to arrive on a Grandview Heights fire truck just before the 11 a.m. start of his visit with children. Those visits will continue to about 1 p.m. Parents should bring their cameras to capture their kids on Santa’s lap. 

Those wishing to visit with the jolly old elf do need to stop by the Youth Services desk at the lower level of the library to pick up free tickets with the time of their visit. One ticket per family is required. While waiting their turn with Santa, children can make holiday crafts and visit with Rosie the Comfort Dog from Atonement Lutheran Church. 

This community activity is presented with the Grandview Heights Department of Parks & Recreation which also will host the City’s tree-lighting ceremony this evening – Tuesday, December 3rd – at the Grandview Center. BRING YOUR ICE SKATES.

You may also have noticed the LED snowflakes Parks & Rec hoisted on the light pole banner holders along Grandview Avenue between Goodale Boulevard and West First Avenue. This new display should set the mood as we formally enter the Christmas season. Thanks go out to Director Mike Patterson and his staff for their initiative in putting up the new seasonal decorations.
111111 2222

4. Council plans December 9th forum on short-term rentals 

City Council’s Planning & Administration Committee will host a public forum December 9th at 6 p.m. to hear the pros and cons of short-term rental housing. The forum on STRs that emerged as a public policy and neighborhood lifestyle issue earlier this year will take place at City Hall, 1016 Grandview Ave.

Council in early October passed Ordinance 2019-26 that instituted a 90-day ban on un hosted rentals of homes for less than 30 days in residential areas. The legislation also  established regulations on existing short-term rentals. At that time, Council had planned this forum to gather more perspective from stakeholders such as STR property owners and other proponents of the properties marketed through such networks as Airbnb and HomeAway as well as residents living near these operations, real estate professionals and hotels that compete with STRs for guests.

The City’s Building Code currently does not specifically address the operation of STRs within residential areas as the concept is relatively new as a popular hospitality lodging option in the Grandview area. Council passed the temporary measure as it considers whether to prohibit short-term rental activity entirely in areas zoned as residential and/or pass further regulations. 

The STR issue was discussed at the November 13th Grandview Planning Commission, with some members indicating they plan to attend the forum.

5. Grandview Hop touts 2019 success, 2020 plans 

Cooperative weather and a full switch to a block party format helped organizers of the Grandview Hop claim success during the 2019 season.

Hop snip

The Columbus Young Professionals Club and the nonprofit Destination Grandview travel and tourism promoter reported a combined 15,000-plus attended the Hops in late June, July, August and September. Beer sales resulted in a combined $16,500 donated to local charities.

CYPC CEO Derek Grosso said having all four Hops on a blocked Grandview Avenue between West First Avenue and before the alleys at The Avenue steakhouse and the Balboa Mexican restaurant allowed for more food trucks to attend and made it easier for folks to move around. The first two 2018 Hops followed the sidewalk markets of previous years before expanding to the block party.

“It was so much better,” Grosso said. “We got more people because it wasn’t as crowded.” This last year also marked the creation of more space for arts and crafts opportunities for children and space for young entrepreneurs to sell their wares. 

Grosso said he hopes to form an advisory committee of Grandview merchants to look for ways to better integrate businesses in the corridor into the Hop. Tentative plans also call for more public art and interactive art activities as well as expansion of the kids’ activity area.

The organizers in mid-November posted a YouTube video recapping the sights and sounds of the 2019 season.

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

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Nov 26

The Tuesday Top 5: November 26th, 2019

Posted on November 26, 2019 at 9:17 AM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: November 26th, 2019


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

1. Operating, capital budgets submitted to Council

I submitted 2020 City Operating and Capital budgets to Grandview Heights City Council on November 18th.  City Council’s Finance Committee had the first hearing on the operating budget yesterday, Monday, November 25th.  A December 2nd committee meeting at 6 p.m. is set to consider the proposed capital budget. Other meetings may precede the expected December 16th passage of both budgets by the full Council.

The yearly budgets stem from several busy weeks of the administration and city departments looking at existing operations, proposed additional programs and services, establishing operating priorities, justifying capital equipment needs and prioritizing capital improvement projects.  This year I would like to again recognize the great work of my department directors and their managers and specifically Finance Director Bob Dvoraczky and his team for their great coordination of the process.

The planned general fund budget projects General Revenue Fund revenues of $16.97 million and expenditures of $16.51 million. Salaries and related expenses, not surprisingly, make up the bulk of expenditures. At $10.82 million, that spending marks an increase of $410,365 over the projected 2019 personnel expenditures. Contractual services as proposed come in at $1.89 million, a $273,333 rise from projected 2019 expenditures. The proposed additional operating expenditures is a 2.88% increase over the current year. There are two new initiatives: additional IT funding and funding to start a new facility programing/design process. The total for these two new initiatives is $150,000, a 1.04% budget increase.  Total operating increase before transfers is 3.92% over this year.

We are obviously working closely with Mayor-Elect and Council President Greta Kearns as well as the rest of Council in shaping the budget. I will continue to update the community as the process moves along.

2. Tree lighting celebration, Santa mailboxes ready to roll

The Christmas season in Grandview Heights launches on Tuesday, December 3rd with the Christmas Tree Lighting and other traditional events that afternoon and early evening.

Ray and Melissa 1

For the second year, a vendor will install an iceless skating rink in the Grandview Center parking lot for those attending the festivities to enjoy at no cost. Skate rental will be available. The rink will open at 3 p.m. on December 3rd and close at 8 p.m. 

Ice Skating 3

The program begins at 5:30 p.m. as the Grandview Heights High School Jazz Band and Choir entertain residents within the Grandview Center. Sculpt Decor artist Dustin Weatherby will again be there captivating us as he carves a creation out of ice outdoors. Kids can take part in a coloring contest and creating various crafts, including Clay Café holiday decorations.

For the first time, two food trucks – Tortilla Street Food and Pitabilities – will serve food during the festivities while Crossroads Church will provide free coffee and hot chocolate. Santa will make his initial appearance in the City immediately after the tree lighting. (Santa will make another appearance at the Grandview Heights Public Library on December 7th).


Santa has already placed mailboxes in the Youth Section of the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave., and in the lobby of the Municipal Building, 1016 Grandview Ave. Parents may also email letters to please provide a home address in the emails to ensure a response. Letters will be accepted through December 17th. 


3. Third Avenue opens to two-way traffic

Getting around the Grandview area will get a little easier with two-way traffic opening up on West Third Avenue beneath the new CSX span late last week. Construction will continue on related projects into the winter.

Contractors took down the “Road Closed” signs and many of the construction barrels in early afternoon on Friday, November 22nd after completing the installation of utilities. Each direction will now have one through lane underneath the trestle. Still blocked are turn lanes that will eventually serve the extension of Rail Street at Third Avenue. Work to tear down the embankment for a temporary rail line built for the widening of Third and construction of the street extension will continue into the early winter.


Earlier projects built as part of West Third improvements include the signalization of the Edgehill Road/Bobcat Avenue intersection at Third and the Edgehill signalization at West Fifth Avenue.

The improvements to Third Ave will improve the flow of traffic not only in and out of Grandview Yard during the weekday rush hours, but throughout this section of Columbus as redevelopment activity continues in both communities.

4. Grandview Avenue project to get revised

The developer of a mixed-used project at 1229 and 1237 Grandview Avenue plans to return to the Grandview Heights Planning Commission in 2020 with a revised proposal after a spirited November 20th meeting that attracted numerous residents, especially from Broadview Avenue.


Crossley Development Ltd. presented the concept of a four-story project anchored by 1,600 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 29 residential condos on floors 2 through 4. The 14 one-bedroom units ranged from 587 to 604 square feet while the 15 two-bedroom units ranged from 907 to 1,242 square feet. Mechanized stacked parking would take up 9,200 square feet of the lower level.

1229 Grandview Avenue SNIP

Crossley Development principal Ryan Crossley, a resident of Marble Cliff, said the condo units served what they saw was a growing demand for smaller, more efficient for-sale housing at more affordable price points in this market.  They believe the lower price may allow empty-nest residents to remain in the community after selling their single-family home. “This is an important project for us and to the community,” he told the commission and residents. “We’re here to get it right.”

Numerous Broadview residents spoke against the project for about an hour, with those living closest to the project expressing concern the height of the project and  its abutting a little more than a foot from the back property line would eliminate the privacy of their backyards and put several homes in the shadows for much of the morning. Potential traffic issues also emerged as a concern.
All the commission members expressed concerns about the massing of the project, lot coverage, rear yard setback and other details. Commissioner Frances Rourke said more first-floor commercial space on the ground floor would make a more compelling argument the project is a true mixed-use project in line with the Grandview overlay district. Board Vice Chairman Bob Wandel offered that the project needs more frontage on Grandview. But Crossley said owners of the neighboring properties to the north and south rebuffed efforts to sell or even make parking available behind their buildings.

In an email the day after the meeting, Crossley wrote the development team appreciated the opportunity to discuss the project in an open forum and will come back with a revised plan at an unspecified date. “The meeting provided important and meaningful community feedback that we sought from our informal presentation,” he wrote. “We will continue pursuit of a plan that meets the guidelines and spirit of the Grandview Avenue Overlay District Ordinance, the existing zoning code and integrates community input.”

Documents related to the request for a site plan review, variance, lot combination and conditional use can be viewed here

I want to express my appreciation for the civil tenor of the meeting by all involved.  Cooperative discussion is key to keeping that district active and viable.  Grandview Avenue remains our community’s jewel for entertainment, retail, community interaction and service businesses.

5. Council seeks candidates for Board of Zoning Appeals

City Council is seeking candidates to serve on the Grandview Heights Board of Zoning Appeals as member Megan Murphy nears the end of her term. Those serving on the five-member panel considers appeals of requirements, administrative decisions or enforcement of the City’s zoning ordinances within residential districts.

Candidates for the panel must be a Grandview Heights resident and have special knowledge or expertise in one or more of the following disciplines: architecture, construction, engineering, the fine arts or landscape architecture. The term of the appointment is five years. Those serving will attend hearings on the second Wednesday on an as-needed basis.

One can find additional information on the BZA in Chapter 1139 the City’s Codified Ordinances.Those interested in serving on the board should submit letters of interest and a resume to Clerk of Council Debbie Nicodemus, 1016 Grandview Avenue, Columbus OH or to no later than 5 p.m. on this coming Monday, December 2nd. 

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

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