By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester is looking to expand its downtown entertainment and dining options by creating a community entertainment district in an area surrounding the intersection at Waterloo and High streets.
On June 21, Canal Winchester City Council heard the first reading of an ordinance establishing boundaries within the historic district around the center of town in providing the city with another tool for economic development and business revitalization by increasing the number of available liquor permits.
The ordinance limits the district to no less than 20 acres and is accordance with guidelines provided by the Ohio Revised Code. Similar districts were created by the city on Gender and Diley roads.
According to the document, “…it is in the best interest of the city to establish a Community Entertainment District…to improve and provide entertainment, retail, education, sporting, cultural and arts opportunities.”
City Development Director Lucas Haire said the city is seeing a lot of demand in the old town area for liquor permits for restaurants interested in moving to the area. At the present time, all permits are owned and there are none available to new establishments.
“If we have a new restaurant open in old town, there’s no chance (currently) for a liquor permit,” said Haire. “Where liquor licenses can be granted, once they’re granted, they stay in that area.”
According to a map accompanying the legislation, the 30-plus acre district is bordered approximately by Columbus Street to the south, Oak Street to the north, Trine Street to the east and along West Waterloo on the north side of the street near the railroad crossing.
Haire said with a ratio of one permit per five acres, the new entertainment district—which could be modified by council at any time—would allow six additional liquor licenses.
“The entertainment district will open up opportunities,” said Councilwoman Jill Amos, who also felt it was time for the city to create a DORA, which is a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area—a specified area of land that a local legislative authority designated as exempt from certain open container provisions. “A lot of people are interested are interested (in a DORA) and this helps us.”
Councilman Mike Coolman said as the city grows, citizens ask why Canal Winchester cannot attract certain restaurants to its borders.
“This (CED) is a huge steppingstone,” said Coolman. “It is a move that’s necessary.”
Haire said, if the entertainment district ordinance is approved, additional liquor permits could be granted as early as September.
Other CW news
•Council approved setting the salary and benefit package for the mayor and council salaries effective Jan. 1, 2022. There are no changes in salary and benefits levels and they remain the same as last year.
The council president is paid $7,251 annually, the vice president is paid $6,921 per year and council members are paid $6,592 on an annual basis.
Members are eligible to enroll in or opt-out of single medical/hospitalization coverage and purchase dental and vision coverage.
The mayor’s salary is set at $100,842. The mayor is also entitled to medical/hospitalization coverage—single or family—and dental, vision and insurance benefits on the same terms, conditions and requirements as city employees, in addition to a $500 monthly travel allowance for using a privately owned vehicle for city business.
•Council heard the second reading for placing proposed charter amendments on the November ballot and the July 6 meeting will be the last regular meeting before the council goes on hiatus for the month.