By Josh Jordan
Over 50 people were in attendance at the J. Ashburn Youth Center for the Hilltop Community Plan Meeting on Dec. 13. Residents and community leaders gathered to discuss how to make the Hilltop’s future successful.
“We’ve done a lot of work identifying problems,” said Matthew Adair, a senior planner at the Neighborhood Design Center which is a collaboration group between Ohio State and the city of Columbus. “We need to start being more solution-oriented.”
The first two phases of the program dealt with data collection and market studies. The first three meetings of the third phase were used to discuss the real problems people see and that are found in the data from the first two phases. This meeting helped attendees determine the real threats to the Hilltop’s future.
The threat that was most discussed was that residents feel the city leaves the Hilltop last on its priority list.
“They don’t remove the parking from the Short North, but they want to take it away from (West) Broad Street,” said Geoffrey Phillips, member of the Greater Hilltop Area Commission and president of the Highland West Civic Association. “The city has made improvements to other neighborhoods and not here. They’ve improved Linden and built up West Franklinton and the Short North and where do you think those people go? Now they want to make the Hilltop a bypass by taking away the parking.”
These types of concerns were echoed by others at the meeting and they were not falling on deaf ears. Those in the audience included members of the city of Columbus Department of Neighborhoods, many administrative members of Hilltop neighborhood organizations, and four members of the Greater Hilltop Area Commission.
Once solutions to these threats and the Hilltops worst problems are decided upon in the remaining meetings of phase three, they will be written into the final community plan in the spring. The next meetings in this phase are integral to the final plan.
The next meeting will be held on Jan. 10 at the J. Ashburn Youth Center with another meeting once per month through April. Anyone can attend. Dinner is provided at the event and a raffle takes place at the end of each meeting.
For more information, visit www.envisionhilltop.com.