Short North Residents Raise Concerns About Proposed Development


UPDATED: Sunday July 13, 2014 7:52 PM

Columbus City Council will decide if a proposed plan to build new townhomes and flats near the Short North will proceed.

The development would be built on the site of the Church of the Nazarene on King Avenue between Highland and Hunter Avenues.

Some neighborhood groups are fighting to keep the project from happening.

People who live along King Avenue said the area is the northern boundary of the Short North and the neighborhood has a strong community feel.
They say what's being proposed just doesn't fit in with the neighborhood.

"Our house used to be a rooming house and someone bought it in the early 2000's and converted it back to single family and really rehabilitated a blighted property and that story has repeated itself through the neighborhood,” said Ethan Hansen, who lives near the development site.

He said those efforts brought in people who want to take root, start a family and create a community.

Neighbors said the proposed development project would reverse those gains.

"It is clearly campus style housing and while we have many students who live in the neighborhood and contribute to the diversity of the neighborhood, that style of housing is geared toward campus living and really not conducive to the neighborhood,” said Short North Civic Association President Jeffrey Smith.

JDS Companies has applied for a variance which would grant the company permission to develop a property that deviates from the set of rules for land use and development in that area.  

The proposed plan would build a 48-unit property geared toward undergraduate and graduate Ohio State students.

10TV contacted the company's president who was unable to give us a statement.

But in the variance application he filed with the city, he states the project would not "unreasonably diminish or impair" the property values, comfort or welfare of the surrounding community.

Hansen said he and his neighbors aren't convinced.

"We want development that works with the neighborhood and improves the neighborhood and, as proposed, we don't think this project is it,” said Hansen.

Columbus City Council will make its final decision at Monday's zoning committee meeting.

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