Hellbranch Trail plan moving forward


By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

The Prairie Township Trustees are moving forward with the construction of a trail that would offer more walking and biking opportunities in the area.

At a recent meeting, the trustees approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the city of Columbus related to the easement of the Hellbranch Trail that crosses Columbus property.

“The MOU is a contractual agreement that lays out the terms and conditions for how the trail will be maintained, how the land will be protected and ensures no damage will be done to the land,” said Tracy Hatmaker, township administrator. “Less than a mile of the trail will be on their property, however Columbus wants to ensure the property will be protected.”

The trail, which will start at the Camp Chase Trail in Galloway and end at Alton Hall Elementary School, is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

In other news, the board approved the adoption of the limited home rule (LHR) citation, as well as the transient vendor and do not knock resolution.

“We have had the LHR citation since 2005, but we needed to update it,” Hatmaker said. “We also needed to combine the transient vendor and do not knock resolutions into one.”

The updated limited home rule citation resolution now gives the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office the authority to write citations to individuals for the township. The transient vendor and do not knock resolution gives the township the authority to have transient vendors register with the township before engaging with residents, as well as gives township residents the opportunity to request that door-to-door vendors do not approach their home.

If vendors do not register or contact a home that is on the do not knock registry, they will be fined $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for three or more offenses. Also, vendors must pay a $150 registration fee with the township.

The trustees also approved a right-of-way regulations and guidelines resolution, giving the township authority to regulate what items are put in the township’s easements.

“This resolution will give us authority to regulate small cellphone towers, telephone poles, how parking pads are constructed in residential neighborhoods, developers and advertisements on parking benches,” Hatmaker said. “We want to protect our streetscape and this resolution will ensure we can do that.”

Hatmaker said violators will receive a $500 fine for the first offense, $750 for the second offense and $1,000 for the third offense.

The trustees also approved a resolution banning parking on the grass in residential areas in the township zoned R6.

“Where the houses are close together, parking on the grass won’t be permitted,” said Stephen Kennedy, township trustee. “This would apply to neighborhoods like Lincoln Village North and South, Lake Darby and Westpoint.”
Kennedy said that areas in the township that are more rural can still park on their grass.

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