Meeting notes – WPCCA Housing Committee 6:00, Tuesday, January 7, 2020

  • Godman Guild
    • Resident co-chairs Laura Bidwa and Matt Adair;
    • Residents Michael Nelligan, Chris Micciche, Danielle Garson, John Gifford;
    • Guests Erin Prosser of OSU Campus Partners, Kara and Davide Cugini (property owners), Colin Carter (property owner), Sheila Carter, Tom Carter.

1475 N 6th Street – Proposal for new single-family house that will require zoning variances. Property owner Colin Carter presented. Intends to be owner-occupied. Dwelling unit above garage. Four bedrooms in house not including finish-able attic space; 1 bedroom in garage dwelling unit. One surface parking spot next to (not behind) the 2-car garage. Anticipated variance requests:

  1. §3312.49 – Minimum numbers of parking spaces required – To reduce the required number of parking spaces from four to three.
  2. §3325.801 – Maximum Lot Coverage – To increase the permitted lot coverage from 25% to 46%.
  3. §3325.805 – Maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR) – To increase the permitted FAR from .40 to .80.
  4. §3332.039(A)(3) – R-4 Residential District – To permit two single-unit dwellings on one lot.
  5. §3332.05(A)(4) – Area district lot width requirements – To permit erecting a building on a lot with a width measured at the front line of no less than 35 feet.
  6. §3332.15 – R-4 area district requirements – Requires a lot of 5,000 square feet as a single unit dwelling. The applicant proposes to reduce the minimum lot area of 5,000 per dwelling unit to 4,375 square feet for two dwelling units.
  7. §3332.19 – Fronting – To permit a dwelling unit to not front on a public street.
  8. §3332.27 – Rear yard – To provide no rear yard for the carriage house dwelling.
  9. §3332.26 -Carriage House side lot setback of 3′ off southern lot line.

(Potential additional variance needed for height of garage exceeding 15 feet.)

The variances mirror those of several projects that have been reviewed by the committee in recent months. Discussion was generally supportive, including appreciation for the 7-foot depth of the front porch of the house. Lot coverage figure in #2 includes the surface parking space and the garage apron. Setback is consistent with the property to the south; property to the north will be demolished this spring for replacement by Columbus Land Trust. Suggestion to plant at least one tree that will be long-lived and attain large size at maturity, given that a large tree was removed from the lot. Matt Adair moved to support the requested variances, including the potential additional variance for the height of the garage. Michael Nelligan seconded the motion. 6 approved, 0 opposed. The motion passed.

Campus Partners update.

  • Doubles at 1424-1424 1/2 N 4th St and 1243-1245 N 6th St have been appraised at about $100,000 each and will be offered for sale in the next few weeks. The civic association’s voted desire for these properties to be rehabbed as condos and sold for homeownership will be taken into consideration by Campus Partners in evaluating potential buyers, but the civic association will have no direct input on the selection of a buyer. The sales prices will not be discounted; priority of Campus Partners leadership is to “recoup value” for other projects. Erin Prosser says that Campus Partners intends to avoid selling to landlords. Erin will forward the link to info regarding the sale of the properties, so committee members can share with those who have previously indicated interest.
  • Other four doubles owned by Campus Partners have been conveyed to the community land trust for redevelopment into long-term affordable home-ownership opportunities. Demolition permits have been filed; demo expected to take place in March. Using state funds for the demolition.
  • Leslie Passmore Bird Sanctuary. Due to inadequate resources (both financial and human) to maintain the Bird Sanctuary, the civic association voted in 2019 to convey it to the community land trust. Erin Prosser told the land trust this, and Campus Partners will facilitate the transfer.
  • 4th Street Farms. Campus Partners will continue to be a fiscal agent for 4SF, although the lot itself has been transferred to the city land bank’s community garden program.
  • Homes being built by Lykens Development on former Campus Partners-owned lots on NW corner of N 4th and E 8th are being offered for sale. Campus Partners declined Lykens’ request to release the deed restriction requiring buyers to live in the homes.
  • Former Kelly’s Corner Store (SW corner of E 11th and N 4th). Campus Partners sold this property to North Steppe Realty, which also owns the property on the NW corner of the intersection. North Steppe is a property harvester, not a developer, so is likely to work with another entity to develop the properties.

Update on new development proposed for SW corner of King & High. Developer is now saying they won’t tear everything down; 11-story tower is back as a component of the new development. If you’re interested in continuing to follow this, developers will continue appearing at University Impact District Review Board (UIDRB) and University Area Commission (UAC) zoning committee meetings in coming months – these meetings are open to public attendance and comment.

Update on University Area Commission. WP resident Brian Williams is assuming chairmanship of UAC zoning committee.

Uncommon (1400 N High St) – Update on a proposal to change first-floor use to allow restaurants, which would require a parking variance. The committee voted against this in December, but negotiations have continued with building owners. Goal is to create a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to say what property owner will do to make conditions better for the neighborhood in exchange for support of variance request. First conference call was Dec 17 to talk through list of priorities with WPCCA, Dennison Place Neighbors Association, Uncommon’s attorney David Hodge, and the Uncommon owners. Second call Jan 7; sticking point is provision to allow parking for Seventh Avenue Community Missionary Baptist Church (next door to Uncommon on 7th Ave) on Sunday mornings as long as Uncommon commercial tenants don’t need the space. Next call scheduled for Jan 22. To supplement the MOU, David Hodge is drafting a detailed “revocable license” agreement to lay out the terms of the parking agreement for churchgoers so all parties understand what they’re getting into. Thanks to Kathy Fox and Tim Sublette of DPNA for all their time and effort with negotiations.

Should it be possible to participate in WPCCA Housing Committee meetings remotely? Discussion centered first on whether a remote participant could vote effectively if presentation included oversized print materials like the architectural plans commonly presented. Committee chairs, who are volunteers, anticipated it would be burdensome to solicit and distribute digital versions of materials earlier than has typically been required for meetings—the packet of detailed, oversized-sheet construction plans for the meeting’s first agenda item were pointed out as an example. Laura Bidwa also shared her concern that groups of residents might choose to participate remotely with the sole intention of voting in a predetermined bloc against various proposals. Others worried that remote participation would mitigate the value of face-to-face community discussion of priorities and concerns, which has been a central focus of the committee. However, it was recognized that encouraging participation is another central goal of the civic association, and Matt Adair said he can easily contact remote participants from his laptop at the start of meetings if he is provided their phone numbers beforehand.

The committee reached consensus that although voting remotely will not be allowed, we will experiment with remote participation and evaluate its value and challenges after a few months. Those who are interested in participating remotely should send their name and phone number to [email protected] or to one of the committee co-chairs at least 24 hours before a scheduled meeting.