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City of Grandview Heights Blog


Sep 21

The Tuesday Top 5: September 18, 2018

Posted on September 21, 2018 at 7:12 AM by Laura Oldham

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

1. Expansion of Grandview Yard and Revised School Compensation Agreement

Resolution No. 13-2018 passed Council (4 to 2) yesterday to support revisiting the 2014 Amended and Restated Development Agreement between the City and the Nationwide Realty Investors, the Developer of Grandview Yard, and supports a mixed-use redevelopment of 14 acres south of Goodale Boulevard east of Bobcat Street. The bulk of the land south of Goodale is owned by Tri W, the owner of the vacated W.W. Williams property who has partnered with Elford Development in that project. A small remainder of the acreage would be redeveloped by NRI. The City is being asked to approve additional public infrastructure south of Goodale to clean up brownfield sites, add a new east/west street to help traffic movement in that area and invest in improving storm water and sanitary sewer infrastructure. The two development groups would pay for the public improvements and be repaid entirely through funds generated from the increased value of the improvements. The Resolution would also support revising the 2009 School Compensation Agreement between the City and the School District. The new agreement would allow tens of millions of additional dollars to go to the school over the next 20 years. Read more: Expansion Grandview Yard

2. Heavy rains

Central Ohio has experienced more than its share of water this year. Residents who have experienced flooding should immediately report the problem to the City. We track and investigate all of these reports. Being able to identify where issues occur helps us plan improvements to the system. Please call the service department direct at (614) 488-4728. If you want to go through the website, go to www.grandviewheights.org scroll down to “Contact us, Report a Concern.” If it is an emergency after business hours or during weekends call the Police Dept. at (614) 488-7901. Grandview Heights continues to invest in improving our infrastructure. Read more: Sanitary Sewer Evaluation and Maintenance 

3. Wallace Gardens

Director Patterson provided the results of the returning gardener’s survey of Wallace Gardens to the Parks Board during a Thursday, September 13 presentation. Weed control was identified as one of the biggest problems. Tim McDermott, a resident, gardener at Wallace and an Extension Service educator with an expertise in urban gardens, talked to the board about ideas for a non-herbicide approach to significantly reduce weeds. He recommended more aggressive mowing of vacant plots and plots that become overrun with weeds before seeds form on the plants. He suggested tilling the plots only in the spring and just mowing in the fall to improve the soil. That leaves weed seeds on top of the soil where birds can feed on them and prevents five months of erosion through the winter. The board also heard presentations from two Boy Scouts, who proposed Eagle Scout projects at the gardens. Alecco Walli purposed to build an information board for the gardens and Jude Rosinski is looking at installing a “pollinator” garden which will attract bees and butterflies. The board asked the City to look into working with the scouts on a design that could incorporate both in the turnaround circle on the drive on the east side of the gardens. As Mayor, I appreciated the presentations and I believe the projects would be great additions to the garden.

4. Third Avenue Railroad Bridge Project

The completion for the Columbus railroad bridge and road widening project along West Third Avenue between Yard Street and Olentangy River Road has been delayed again. The revised schedule calls for the one-way (westbound) traffic to continue until February rather than December. The delivery of the bridge steel for the project is causing the delay.

Third Ave Railroad Bridge

5. Pierce Field

Heavy rains falling Sept. 8 and 9 did more than put a damper on the Saturday activities at the Bobcat Boosters Ox Roast. The upward of 5 inches of rain softened the baseball field, leading to damage to the grass areas as the carnival operators removed the rides and other equipment in the days following the festival.

The City’s Park and Recreation Department is evaluating the damage to the field and will develop a plan to get the field ready for activities the coming spring. Until then, all activities scheduled on the field are being rescheduled to other fields in our community.

Pierce Field

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

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Sep 20

Wanted: Benjamin Thomas Sheets

Posted on September 20, 2018 at 1:54 PM by Laura Oldham

Benjamin T. Sheets is wanted in connection with the theft of jewelry totaling in excess of $18,000 between two victims. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Benjamin T. Sheets, you are requested to contact the Grandview Heights Detective Bureau at 614-488-7901.

WANTED_POSTER09202018_10_28_00

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Sep 14

Expansion of Grandview Yard

Posted on September 14, 2018 at 10:17 AM by Laura Oldham

City in a good position to negotiate positive change

The City of Grandview Heights has been presented with an opportunity to negotiate a major change to an existing Grandview Yard Development Agreement that would extend the planned mixed-use development to the south of Goodale Boulevard. The project would include the W.W. Williams property, the railroad spur owned by NRI, 2 parcels owned by John Chusato (1 held under Hildredth Properties) and multiple parcels owned by Greenswan LLC. The proposed new 14 acres would also include the existing rights of ways of Swan Street and Edgeworth Avenue. Private property ownership totals 13.1 acres. In addition to extending the Yard project south, the proposal would allow for the renegotiations of the current City/School Compensation Agreement that will allow tens of millions of additional dollars to go to our school system over the next 20 years. This opportunity is possible because Grandview Yard has met or exceeded all the fiscal projections that were made before the Grandview Yard project got underway. The revenue generated by this new development, when added to the current revenue generated by Grandview Yard, will be sufficient make these changes and pay off the public infrastructure bonds in approximately the same time frame as established in 2014. Like the current project, all funds needed to pay off the public improvement bonds will be generated from the project. The agreement will also devote revenue to the construction of a new street network and infrastructure that will serve to reduce congestion along Goodale Boulevard and improve our sanitary and storm water systems.

The Administration has had the question posed as to whether decision makers should adopt a more formal prescriptive approach to review the opportunity or does the situation require a more adaptive approach. The prescriptive approach would wait for the community plan to be completed so the action steps can be identified. The adaptive approach focuses on the opportunity and seeks strategic arrangements that meet current needs.

In this instance, we can make a strong case that that this project addresses some of the current needs of our Community:

• Increase the revenue going to the School District. This in turn will potentially decrease the tax burden on residents as well as reduce the effective tax rate on all properties.
• Improve the street system south of Goodale will help to control access onto Goodale, improve traffic flow while still maintaining the ability to approve land uses that will not overburden the street system.
• Expand the current publically planned and supported mixed use Yard project.
• Clean up and redevelop brownfield sites including a long existing industrial scrap yard.

Therefore, issues at stake require the municipality to take a more adaptive approach in its assessment of the opportunity the existing property owners and developers have presented. Grandview Heights has a respectable history of community planning. These planning and zoning efforts have provided city officials with an ability to act strategically. The key to successful strategic planning is to be able to recognize opportunity and to mitigate threats. This was the theme of the 1997 Community Plan. The Plan recommended that the City pursue economic development but only to the extent that it does not negatively impact the residential community. Based on participant comments made during the current community planning effort, this recommendation appears to be still valid.

The ability to act more strategically is further supported by the fact that the development of the 14 acres is not adjacent to existing neighborhoods and is likely to not have a direct impact on existing residential areas. The pursuit of a street network south of Goodale has the goal of lessening the traffic impact on nearby streets. It is still possible to act on the comments recorded at our current planning meetings. Since the plan is still in the early stages, the development will be required to be guided by a set of development standards especially with respect to providing sufficient parking which is a major concern of the neighbors. Other issues expressed during the planning process include instituting traffic calming elements and pedestrian improvement as well as streetscape beautification. If the subject properties can be held together for planning purposes, the calming and the streetscape will be accomplished on a larger scale. It is also important to note that the proposed developers have a long history with the City of Grandview Heights. Approximately 9 of the 14 acres are or will be owned and developed by the Tri-W Group. Tri-W Group was formed out of the sale of the WW Williams Co. This family owned business has been in Grandview Heights since 1927 and is very proud of its long relationship with the Grandview Heights community. The family intends to plan and construct a very high quality mixed use development on the land it owns. The balance of the property would be developed by NRI. NRI recognizes the development potential of the properties and has great interest, like the Administration, in seeing that the street grid developed within Grandview Yard gets extended south to manage traffic in the years to come. NRI will also bring its very high development values to the new development.

To the community, the street grid and the streetscape are likely not to be the issues of concern so much as the potential land uses. In this case, the City will rely on its zoning process and building code. The 14 acres will be submitted for a rezoning to change the current M-1 Light Industrial District to the Grandview Commerce Mixed Use District. Some of the Guiding Principles of GCMX District are listed below. The remaining Guiding Principles may be found in the Grandview Heights Planning and Zoning Code:

• The District should be an energized urban mixed-use district consisting of a mix of land uses, diverse development, a grid of streets and pedestrian connections, attractive development and public spaces;
• The District should always permit a diverse mix of land uses and development; and
• Compatible, high-quality development will be signature of the District.
Each project within the 14 acres must demonstrate how each of these and other principles will be achieved.

In conclusion, the City is in a good position to continue to pursue this development opportunity, to negotiate positive fiscal changes to the existing development agreement and to review an application for rezoning.

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