Highland West Neighbors Association

"Building community ... working together."

Wheatland Crossing -New Development on Wheatland Ave

Tonight there was a meeting of the Greater Hilltop Area Commission Zoning Committee at the Hilltop Library about a new development for the large plot of city land available on N Wheatland.  The WODA Group LLC is looking to purchase the land from the city and was looking for a zoning change recommendation from the GHAC Zoning Committee. They are requesting a change from NE(Neighborhood Edge)/NG(Neighborhood General) to a PUD-8.  PUD-8 means a Planned Urban Developement at 8 units per acre.  A total of 135 units are planned for this 3 phase, 20 acre development.

Phase 1 is a 3 story senior complex with 60 units that would be built beginning in the spring of 2013.  The building would be for folks age 55 and over with an income of 50% or less of the median income for our area.  There would be 1 and 2 bedroom units available.

The plans for the second and third phases seem to be more uncertain.  The zoning committee needs some additional information and no decisions were made tonight.  Folks, this is the largest undeveloped piece of property in our area and  what happens here is important to everyone. Several members of the HWNA were there tonight asking questions and raising concerns.  I hope everyone will get involved in the process and help make sure the land is used for the benefit of the neighborhood. 

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Comment by John R on January 30, 2012 at 9:02pm

Rene,
The meeting at the Hillcrest Baptist Church is for the Greater Columbus Growing Coalition!  Hillcrest is going to have a garden on the Hilltop this year!   The zoning committee meeting is at Homes on the Hill.

Unfortunately, both meetings are on the same night!  I'm going to the church at 6:00 for the meal and some gardening chit-chat and then to the GHAC Zoning Committee meeting at 7:00 at Homes on the Hill!  Everyone is welcome to stop by and join us for a meal before the zoning meeting!

Comment by Rick M. on January 30, 2012 at 8:04pm

Rene,

Two meetings, one this Thursday at:Thursday, Feb. 2 at  7:00PM at Homes on the Hill which is the store front between Chuck E Cheese’s and Feast of the Dragon at Consumer’s Square in front of Kroger and behind McDonalds, off W. Broad, just across Wilson Road.  The address is 3659 Soldano Blvd.

Second and final meeting will be at the GHAC:

Time: February 7, 2012 from 7pm to 9pm
Location: Hilltop Library
Street: 511 S. Hague Avenue
City/Town: Columbus, OH
Event Type: meeting

Comment by Rene Schultz on January 30, 2012 at 6:07pm
Where issuppose to be. One message says the church the other at homes on the hil
Comment by John R on January 29, 2012 at 12:15am

I hope everyone that's concerned about this new development will come to the Hilltop Commission zoning meeting on Thursday, Feb. 2 at  7:00PM at Homes on the Hill which is the store front between Chuck E Cheese’s and Feast of the Dragon at Consumer’s Square in front of Kroger and behind McDonalds, off W. Broad, just across Wilson Road.  The address is 3659 Soldano Blvd.

If you have questions or concerns, now is the time to voice them!

Comment by Andrew Hulvey on January 26, 2012 at 5:31pm

Just finished reading through your piece John. As to a coffee shop, coffee tends to be very neighborhood centric. While it can draw outside guests, there is always room for more. Especially in neighborhoods like ours were there is nothing to begin with. 

Comment by Andrew Hulvey on January 26, 2012 at 5:29pm

RE S. Oakley, I just had 3 that were occupied within the last 6 or so months go vacant and boarded up. 

Comment by Rick M. on January 26, 2012 at 12:53pm

I like Kellys idea. We would need to get together and figure out how to do this

Comment by John R on January 26, 2012 at 10:38am

There doesn't seem to be any comprehensive plan for the Wheatland, Oakley, Wayne area and it's getting more run down each year.  Adding more housing while we have so many vacant houses is what leaves me scratching my head and one reason I'm wondering how this new project on Wheatland makes any sense!  

Kelly's got a good idea!  Matt, you compared these developers to yourself and to the house you bought and fixed up.  The big difference between your investment home and WODA's investment home(s) is that we all know you'll care about what happens with your new investment.  You have a persoanal committment to this area and there will be consequences for you if your rental house has problems.  

The WODA Group has no personal committment to our area and you can bet there won't be any personal consequences to anyone at WODA no matter what happens to their development on Wheatland.  No one at WODA will lose any sleep.  Not a one of them will lose their job and not a one of them will lose a penny.  That's how it works for large connected corporations.  That's the difference.

Along with Kelly's rehab idea, I'd like to see about half of the houses on Wheatland, Oakley, and Wayne torn down and used as sites for for-profit urban agriculture and the rest can be rehabed.  This could all be done as part of a sustainable green city project and a lot of it could be done by community members and maintained by folks in the neighborhood.

Large cities like Detroit and Cleveland are already working on large scale urban agriculture projects for some of their blighted neighborhoods.  According to the OHIO AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER at OSU, urban farmers can gross up to $90,000 per acre by selecting the right crops and growing techniques.

$90,000 an Acre? See How Polyculture Plots Work

One advantage of this idea is it is new to Columbus.  Some of the other ideas I've heard for Highland West sound like the same thing that's already been done in other parts of Columbus.  Maybe I'm getting too old and am out of touch, but how many artists and coffee drinkers are there in Columbus?  How many more neighborhoods in Columbus need a coffee shop and artist lofts as a starting point for redevelopment?

Comment by kelly krause on January 26, 2012 at 8:45am

Since there are so many vacant homes here on the Hilltop, I think my idea is the way to go. If we could form a co-op and purchase some of  these homes, rehab them, sell or rent them... put the money back into the co-op to pay those who helped on the rehab and help out the community . There are so many of us that are skilled and can do the rehab. The main thing would be to get the back property tax abated. I know the property we purchased had $5K back taxes and sewer leans so that was a bummer. But all in all, It was still worth it. Now to get the rest of Wayne Ave vacant houses dealt with. there are about 15 just from Broad to Steel. One is a dbl owned by someone in Dublin 93-95, it burned and  he has no intent to rehab it. Told me  " it is not my neighborhood why should I care" LOOKS LIKE CRAP!!  99 is a bank owned house drug house, 105 is a burn out owned by Green County ACE Task force, 127 is vacant, 129 is vacant, 165 vacant, 128 vacant  76 vacant, that;s just from Violet to Steel. N Oakley is just as bad.. Some really nice houses there, just need some TLC

Comment by Rick M. on January 24, 2012 at 11:44pm

Just to add some things into the mix

*Downtown grows up. Among skyscraper and asphalt, a real neighborhood takes root:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2011/10/29/downt...

*Grocery's plan seen as another step for Downtown:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2011/10/21/grocery...

*City hopes for private development:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2011/07/07/city-ho...

*Whiney condominiums. City staff knew loan would fail:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/12/25/city-staff...

*New urbanism: Kroger designs store to blen with Short North streetscape:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2011/07/24/new-urb...

*Franklinton redevelopment kicks of with demolition:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/05/16/franklinto...

*Historic Franklinton factory torn down to make way for art, living spaces:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/05/17/work-begin...

*New park stands out like an emeral in the City:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/05/26/new-columb...

Lets face it. It's obvious at the point that the City has designated the Hilltop as it's dumping grounds. It appears that they are not fighting on our behalf to make things better. Why can't we have mixed income? They are even using some of the future casino tax money to bail out the Blue Jackets: "The casino dollars come into play in 2013, when the revenue begins...

I think it's time that people start speaking out. After all, its YOUR tax money and Your representatives. Maybe John was right. Maybe we need to go to a ward system and get fair representation.

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