Commissioners concerned about parking plan

By Josh Jordan
Staff Writer

The changing landscape of two of the busiest corridors on the Hilltop have some in the community concerned.

The issue was discussed at the Dec. 4 Greater Hilltop Area Commission meeting.

Many of the commission members and citizens in attendance at the commission meeting attended the Hilltop West Broad Streetscape meeting on Nov. 29. They were upset about a proposed plan to remove street parking from the West Broad Street corridor between Demorest Road and South Terrace Ave.

“It’s the same argument they gave us (in 2010), there’s plenty of parking for what we have there now,”said Geoffrey Phillips, president of the Highland West Civic Association. “Which tells me that what is there now is what they want. And obviously it doesn’t go with what we want.”

Phillips said he wanted the street restored as a business district. He said that would help with economic growth and deter crime.

“When you take away parking and people having a reason to stop, you only increase the drug and human trafficking in the entire neighborhood,” he said.

While Phillips is worried that the West Broad corridor could be passed over by the city’s residents with the installation of the new streetscape, commission member J.D. Groves is optimistic about growth on the Sullivant Avenue corridor after a market analysis was released during a meeting at Haydocy Automotive on Nov. 29.

The consultants hired by the city to do a market analysis of the Hilltop had a recommendation that a business and international district be built on Sullivant Avenue east of South Hague Avenue.

“I think it’s time that we look to support and push for a business district in the West Broad corridor and also along the Sullivant Avenue corridor,” said Groves. “The opportunity to lift height restrictions and increase the mixed use density along these corridors gives us the opportunity for future development and is enticing to developers looking to come into these areas.”

Groves and Phillips will continue lobbying those in the city and community to make decisions to help the Hilltop community.

In other news, the commission voted to have Dan Fagen fill a vacant seat. Fagen recently graduated from Ohio State University with a master’s degree in public administration and now works for the state of Ohio in the Department of Aging.

“I think the desire for Hilltop residents to age in place, I think I have something to offer there,” said Fagen during his final remarks to the commission before the vote took place.

He also explained that his whole family lives within the Hilltop and expressed his desire to better the area for current and future residents.

Fagen will receive full voting rights as a member of the commission in time for the January meeting.

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