New westside park in the works


By Sandi Latimer
Staff Writer

Work is progressing on the new park off Wilson Road.

Representatives of Columbus Recreation and Parks assured members of the Greater Hilltop Area Commission at the Jan. 5 meeting that this new park will have its own identity.

Jeff Anderson, a parks development specialist with recreation and parks, said the first phase of the work is completed, which includes clearing the ground for a soccer field and a ball field.

“In late spring, we’ll begin construction work for a shelter,” Anderson said. “We’ll also have some bike amenities since this park is alongside the Camp Chase Trail.”

The Camp Chase Trail through the west side of the city is the final link in the multi-purpose trail that stretches from Cincinnati to Cleveland.

“This park will be a destination park where people can get on or off the trail,” Anderson said.
Several commission members voiced concern about the volume of traffic on North Wilson Road between West Broad and Sullivant, and the high speed limit.

This park, behind the senior complex, would be accessible only from Wilson Road.

“We need a traffic light,” said Geoff Phillips who chairs the commission’s recreation and parks committee.

Anderson assured him the public safety office was aware of such problems.

“I’m concerned that this park will replace Westgate,” Phillips said of the long-time park just a few blocks away.

“This will not replace Westgate,” Anderson said. “It will augment it.”

A question was raised about that area having a lot of wetlands and Anderson replied that the wetlands were strategic in where the fields are being placed.

The park is expected to be finished before the end of the year.

Meanwhile recreation and parks is working on its part of the Camp Chase Trail, picking up from where Metro Parks finished its section last year at Sullivant Avenue at the railroad tracks.

The trail will pass by the now closed Salvation Army Thrift Store on Georgesville Road, south of Hollywood Casino, for which architect Theresa Brown was seeking a zoning change so this property could be put to new use.

The property is now zoned rural and Brown was seeking a change to commercial use.
That request was approved as were two for the Four String Brewing Company. One was a graphics request to paint the name of the company on the building wall at 660 N. Hague, and the other was to leave an existing ground sign on the property.

All the requests will be forwarded to the city for its approval.

Brian Bainbridge chair of the commission’s planning and economic development committee, said he would be working with the Westside Coalition and the Hilltop Business Association as they strive to bring in new business to the area.

Several business groups banded together to see what could be done to bring business after the closing of Walgreen’s in Lincoln Village and Target on West Broad Street.

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