Hilltop master plan discussed at commission meeting

By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Staff Writer

A wide range of Hilltop-focused initiatives were discussed at the Aug. 14 Greater Hilltop Area Commission meeting.

Members of the city of Columbus Department of Neighborhoods and the Neighborhood Design Center shared an update on the Hilltop-focused master plan that they have been tasked with developing.

The initial draft of the plan is slated for release in September 2019.

The groups are currently on a series of fact-finding missions at public events across the Hilltop. This fall, they plan to begin talking to local businesses and residents on a more targeted basis. The two groups have invited residents to track their progress and submit their own thoughts and ideas now at www.envisionhilltop.com.

Representatives from Homes on the Hill came to the commission meeting seeking help in locating properties to purchase for inventory in their program.

While residential properties for sale do exist in the Hilltop, Homes on the Hill are often outbid for them and the new owners continue to rent the structures.

Homes on the Hill is reaching out to community organizations, and considering instituting other buyer-focused initiatives, such as a home improvement loan process to help get some of the homes in the neighborhoods back into ownership status.

In other news, Westside resident Zerqa Abid announced that she was working with the city of Columbus in securing a grant of $68,000. The money is intended to create a soccer program for at-risk youth in the Wedgewood community.

Over the next few months, one head and two assistant coaches will be contracted for the program. Additionally, the grant will help pay for uniforms and equipment for up to 200 participants.

Commission chairman Jay McCallister recognized Sharry Carey, Nancy Rhynard, and Greg Large for their years of service to the commission and the community at large. The August meeting marked the last one of their elected terms.

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