Weinland Park Community Civic Association

Housing Committee

Summary of meeting of June 5, 2018

Laura Bidwa, co-chair of the Housing Committee, called the meeting to order at 6 p.m. at Godman Guild Association.

New house designs. David Blair of Shremshock Architects, Inc., explained his firm’s design of new single-family homes on the vacant lots at 1386 Hamlet Street and 1370 N. Fifth Street. The design is for the Lykens/Skaff development team. Campus Partners formerly owned the lots. Both houses would have garages. Lykens/Skaff is seeking a variance for each parcel because the construction of finished basements would exceed the city’s regulation for the floor area ratio. Ms. Bidwa noted that the design follows the guidelines the Housing Committee has suggested for housing renovation and construction, except there is not a small porch over the back door. Mr. Blair said Shremshock will add the small porch to the back. He responded to questions about the houses not centered on the lots and an aluminum railing on the front of the house. Matt Adair moved to support the requested zoning variance. Sean Storey seconded the motion. The motion was adopted with 8 in favor and no opposed. Mr. Blair said the owner’s intent is to break ground this year.

Shremshock Architects also is designing the four houses for the lots on North Fourth Street just north of East Eighth Avenue for Lykens/Skaff. Susan Eard of Shremshock Architects said she will send the site plan for the four houses to Ms. Bidwa.

Short-term rentals. Mr. Adair distributed a summary of proposed regulations for short-term rental properties in Columbus. Airbnb, Inc., is an example of a company that promotes short-term rentals. Cities across the nation are beginning to regulate the short-term rentals, and Columbus City Council is considering such a proposal. Mr. Adair said a potential problem may be that short-term rentals turn a house into a small hotel. He would like the Housing Committee to make recommendations to City Council. Committee members discussed the situation with a variety of viewpoints. While most committee members appeared to favor regulating short-term rentals, there wasn’t a consensus on key points, such as the number of days per year that a property owner could lease a short-term rental. After discussion, Mr. Adair suggested the discussion continue at the next committee meeting.

Rice Paddy. Steve Bollinger of Wagenbrenner Development said the company now owns the Rice Paddy property, which is zoned manufacturing. Wagenbrenner will likely seek variances and is looking at a variety of potential users. At this point, Wagenbrenner has no plans for the property. Wagenbrenner is assessing the conditions of the structures. Each building likely will need a new roof, tuckpointing and some structural framing. Some buildings along the railroad tracks have a water issue. Mr. Bollinger said Wagenbrenner has a real opportunity to create a space that can be a real community asset and bring people to the area throughout the day.

New housing. On behalf of Wagenbrenner Development, Mr. Bollinger reported that renovation has started on the four-unit building at 1444-1450 N. Sixth Street. After that, renovation will start on the four-unit building at 1400 Hamlet Street. The four-unit building at 1375 N. Fifth Street has an issue with a shared sewer line that the city is requiring Wagenbrenner to replace before a lot split can be done on the site. Mr. Bollinger also reported on Wagenbrenner Development’s housing construction in the Grant Park development:

  • Wagenbrenner hopes to break ground in the next week or two on construction of seven new single-family homes on the west side of North Grant Avenue just north of East Eighth Avenue. A few utility issues remain to be resolved with the city.
  • Wagenbrenner is completing an apartment building along the east side of North Grant Avenue each month. Wagenbrenner currently has 51 leases on the 150 apartments in phase 1.
  • Wagenbrenner hopes to break ground on phase 2 of 96 units at the end of July or beginning of August.
  • Wagenbrenner hopes to break ground on construction of 50 townhomes on the site of the large mound of dirt early this fall.

Park. In response to a question, Mr. Bollinger said Wagenbrenner hopes to lay sod for the small park along North Grant Avenue next spring. The committee had questions about the ownership, maintenance and access to the park. Ms. Bidwa would like to have the neighborhood involved in planning for the park. The committee also discussed increased parking along North Sixth Street and North Grant Avenue with more residents and visitors to the area.

The business the committee being concluded, Ms. Bidwa adjourned the meeting at 7:39 p.m.

Summary prepared by Steve Sterrett.