Commissioners discuss pools, parking, and development

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By Katelyn Sattler
Staff Writer

At the December Greater Hilltop Area Commission meeting, representatives from Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and Williams Architects Aquatics presented a zoning variance request to reduce the required parking spaces for the Glenwood swimming pool at 1888 Fairmont Ave.

The pool, bathhouse, and filtration systems were constructed in the 1970s and are being replaced. The recreation center was renovated in 2016, at which time the parking lot was expanded. They are requesting to maintain the number of parking spaces at 108, which is a reduction from the 302 currently required.

The pool includes a six-lane lap pool, two diving boards, a kiddie pool, and a child’s area with spray features and slides.

Planning and Economic Development Chair Geoffrey Phillips mentioned Windsor pool to the north of the city, Dodge Park pool in Franklinton, and that a pool is needed in the middle.

“A lot of areas need pools. Underserved kids should have the greatest priority because these facilities provide them safe environments and they can’t afford to join private,” said Phillips.

The commissioners approved the variance request.

In other news, Michael Rodriguez of Ascent Development Group presented the preliminary design for the Retreat at Scioto Creek, a multi-family development community at 4646 Hall Road, which is currently vacant farmland.

It will consist of one, two, three, and four bedroom units, starting at $825 to $860 for a one bedroom unit, going up to $1,240 to $1,275 for a four bedroom unit. There will be 12 residential buildings and one detached clubhouse with on-site management and leasing offices.

Phillips expressed concern about the affordability of the units.

“Columbus housing is too high,” said Phillips. “Will the units be eligible for voucher same as cash?”

Only 40 percent of the site will be developed. The rest is in a stream corridor protection zone.

Zoning chairman Patrick Barnacle suggested that sidewalks be placed outside the parking lot.

“The reason why it’s important is to minimize the number of times you have to cross the area with a kid or a dog. It’s stressful,” said Barnacle.

Barnacle also suggested a multi-use path on Hall Road.

With large area of grass, native plants will be planted to reduce mowing and encourage Monarch butterflies.

Since the design is preliminary, the commission did not hold a vote.

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