"We have a crown jewel in the Town Center and we need to protect that jewel," said Grove City Councilman Richard "Ike" Stage at a special council meeting on June 9 to discuss a broad spectrum downtown planning process.
According to Stage, the city developed a downtown development plan approximately 21 years ago that is now about 60 percent complete. Council would like to finish the rest of that plan, which would include developing the old lumberyard site, within the next decade.
Before they proceed with developing the area, city leaders say they need a comprehensive plan.
"An important part in the development is having a comprehensive plan," said Mayor Cheryl Grossman. "We are hoping to have that plan presented in the last quarter of the year."
Councilman Ted Berry explained that there is currently a comprehensive planning group that has already come up with several ideas for downtown Grove City.
"What we really need is for the planning group to focus on issues such as infrastructure and land use," said Berry. "Now the question is how will we get this done so it doesn’t drag on?"
After some debate, council decided the formation of the plan should take approximately six to nine months so there is ample time for public opinion.
"Input from the community is the number one priority," said Grossman.
That six to nine months will begin after the city awards a contract to a planning consultant firm. Chuck Boso, from the city’s development department, has begun the process to gather information on what city leaders are looking for. He will give that information to consultant firms then decide which company is on path with the plans.
Once a consultant is chosen, that company will likely hold public forums on what residents would like to see in the Town Center. Residents can also e-mail ideas to the city at www.grovecityohio.gov or just send a standard letter to a council member or the mayor.