CW parks plan pondered

More than 10 years ago, Canal Winchester commissioned a master plan for parks and recreation, but with the village facing city status in the next U.S. Census, village council members say it is time to take another look at it.

Canal Winchester Village Council President Rick Deeds said park planning is one of the issues he would like to see addressed, considering the escalating loss of sites by the village’s joint recreation district.

"The rec board tries to have their events, but they’ve lost some venues," said Deeds during council’s March 24 committee of the whole meeting. "I think there is an urgent need for fields. We beg, borrow, and steal to get things done."

Development Director Chris Strayer told council he is not aware of a lot of developable vacant park land within village limits and said Canal Winchester is quickly running out of land.

"As you go into the census and turn into a city, you need to look into that," advised Strayer. "We certainly need to look into the comprehensive plan as well. You start out with the bigger picture-what we have, where we’re going-and it takes a long time. It’s a six to eight month endeavor."

Finance Director Nanisa Osborn said the process has to be comprehensive, if it is to be done correctly.

"We have attempted in recent years to tie the CIP to all of these plans, but until we’re capable of doing that, it is going to be a plan here and a plan there," Osborn said.

Councilman Victor Paini feels the village should investigate the option of incorporating the recreation board into the Canal Winchester administration by having a paid director take the burden off of the all-volunteer run organization and fill an age gap he feels exists for adult activities.

"It would be nice to have someone steering the ship that is full time," said Paini. "The rec board does a nice job for the children and the community center does a nice job for seniors, but there’s nothing in between."

Other Canal Winchester news

Council was updated on the job description for a building official, addressing the 2010 census, a KCDG development at Diley and Busey roads, and proposed changes for commercial development standards.

"We’ve been working on this for quite a while," said Planning and Zoning Administrator Allan Neimayer, regarding development standards. "We finished residential and this is working its way through Planning and Zoning."

Proposed changes include requiring businesses with less than 10,000 square feet to have a pitched roof; more flexibility in setbacks with increased green space or patio seating, but not to accommodate parking; limiting parking areas within bays and bays separated by landscaping; and more specific language regarding lighting.

During the discussion on the KCDG development-a mixture of two parcels with over 120,000 square feet and other outlots varying in size from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet-Strayer said the U.S. 33 and Hill/Diley area was voted the second best corridor in the central Ohio region for 2008. He told council there should be no problem in finding tenants for the area, which includes a new Meijer store and will be home to a Mount Carmel/Fairfield Medical Center joint emergency complex.

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