Plans in motion for new development in SW area

The Southwest Columbus Area Commission (SWAC), with the help of the city of Columbus, Franklin County and Franklin Township, will create a plan for future developments within the SWAC jurisdiction.

The commission’s boundaries run south of Mound Street, north of Interstate 270, east of the CSX tracks near Harrisburg Pike and west of the Scioto River.

The challenge for creating a development plan in the SWAC area is that half of the land does not belong to the city, said Kevin Wheeler, Assistant Planning Administrator for Columbus.

In order to be successful, the city’s plan must include input from local townships and Franklin County. The county has already been on board, Wheeler said.

Franklin Township Trustee Tim Guyton said that the township “does not have a comprehensive plan for land usage and we would love to partner with the city of Columbus.”

In January, the city will begin collecting data to determine what residents would like to have added to their neighborhoods.  The final plan will be submitted to the Columbus City Council for approval by the end of 2008.

The city will invite the public to open meetings where residents may make suggestions. In addition, an advisory group will be formed of locals with a vested interest in the area’s future.

Wheeler does warn that the area plan should not address police and fire concerns. The finished document will discuss land usage over a period of 15 to 20 years. Safety concerns need to be addressed more quickly.

The completed plan will “draw attention to the priorities” of the neighborhood, however it will not address how to implement changes, Wheeler said.  

If for example, the plan includes a sidewalk along Brown Road, while Columbus could fund the city’s section of the road, Franklin Township may not be able to pay for its portion.

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