By Josh Jordan
The May 14 Greater Hilltop Area Commission meeting was filled with visitors and presenters from the city of Columbus.
Alex Sauersmith, senior planner for the city of Columbus, came to discuss and update the commission and community on the Hilltop Land Use Plan.
The process began in the summer of 2018 and has included many meetings and online surveys with the community. The plan that the Hilltop commission will vote on was presented to the commissioners.
“Along West Broad Street, we were showing that as a mixed-use one, which is a lower density mixed-use,” said Sauersmith. “From some of the input we have received, we decided to raise that to a higher density of mixed use. Now you’ll have a higher density of mixed-use on West Broad, what we call a mixed-use three and a step down from that, a mixed-use two along Sullivant.”
The mixed-use designations are based upon how many dwelling units per acre are recommended. Mixed-use three recommends 45 or more dwelling units per acre and mixed-use two recommends 24 to 45 dwelling units per acre. For example, much of the Short North is considered mixed-use three.
Sauersmith was quick to point out that these policies “are not code and are not law.” That means that these policies are guides for future development, but are generally determined by the market.
The newest member of Columbus City Council, Rob Dorans, addressed commissioners and the community at the meeting.
“I know I have big shoes to fill of former councilmember (Michael) Stinziano, especially here on the westside,” said Dorans. “But I wanted to come out to introduce myself appropriately to those who have not met me before and also to say thanks to the people on this commission and the people in this room.”
He asked that all community members continue to give their opinions and advice to the city council since the members of the community are the experts on their community.
Dorans has a background in labor law and is hoping to bring his experience from his career into his new role.
“We’ve seen the city have tremendous amount of growth, but we know that growth hasn’t always been equally shared across all of our neighborhoods,” said Dorans. “Careers have lots to do with that. I always say careers rather than jobs because a job is something that can be here today and gone tomorrow. A career is something that comes with living wage, retirement benefits and healthcare.”