Meeting notes – WPCCA Housing Committee 6:00 pm, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, Godman Guild Library

Resident co-chairs:

  • Laura Bidwa
  • Matthew Adair
  • Sean Storey

Residents:

  • Matthew Martin (and kids)
  • Elizabeth Kloss
  • Michael Nelligan
  • Chris Micciche

Guests:

  • Erin Prosser (Campus Partners)
  • Greg Davis (City of Columbus Code Enforcement)
  • David Hodge (Land Use Attorney representing owners of Uncommon on High St.)

PARKING VARIANCE FOR UNCOMMON

David Hodge on behalf of the building’s current owners: At the time of construction, there was an assumption that Dollar Tree would stay as a tenant in the new Uncommon building. But Dollar Tree was bought out of its lease and is not longer going to be in the building. Uncommon is OVERPARKED by 18 residential spaces per current code. The current ownership group would like to lease some of the commercial space to restaurant uses, but restaurant requires more parking than retail, for which the building was approved. So Uncommon wants a variance to provide less parking spaces than a restaurant use requires.
Elizabeth Kloss lives near Uncommon on Euclid and is upset that people are peeing by her house…and the refuse issue in the alley (dumpsters are routinely left out in the public right of way), noise, and traffic/speed around the development. She recalls that when the building was approved there was a promise that there would be no restaurants. And now they want restaurants, so she feels like it is a bait and switch.
Matt Adair thinks that parking is a ridiculous topic and shouldn’t even be discussed.
David Hodge: This variance would help move Columbus forward into the future by moving away from car culture. We have people moving here every day and need to accommodate new modes of transport.
Matt Martin wants David to present the information in a more understandable way.
The next action on this will be the UAC zoning committee meeting on June 3, followed by a full UAC vote on June 19. Because opinion in the Housing Committee is divided, the committee won’t take a vote on this topic – instead we urge those interested to participate in the UAC meetings.

BRIEF UPDATES

Illegal Hometeam parking lot on Euclid: This is in court now, prosecuted by the city against Hometeam. Next court date is 7/12/19 – the city is hoping that Hometeam will have fixed all the problems by then; if they haven’t, daily fines will begin. Recently, Hometeam built light fixtures on someone else’s property adjacent to the lot in question, and cut down trees from someone else’s property. There is a civil court case pending about the tree issue. Elizabeth Kloss (neighbor near the lot) also said they’re not taking care of the weeds in the tree lawn.

COMMUNITY GARDENS

Everyone’s going their own way now; Donna Madlener has stopped the coordinator role. We are still seeking a new co-coordinater for the IE garden.

CPO PLANS FOR THE FORMER D&J

Chad Ketler might come in June to update the housing committee. Matt Martin: sounds like all of the funding necessary for rehabbing the structure has been secured. CPO is hesitant about having a non-residential use.
Laura Bidwa will ask Chad Ketler about plans to repair the buildings at 8th and Indianola as well.

NRP

Laura Bidwa wants to pick up the topic again from a year ago of how to help NRP tenants be ready and able to buy their homes when that becomes possible. Who can pull together a conversation about NRP and transitioning people from renter to owner. Matt Martin wants to be part of the conversation, which should be city wide and not just focused on Weinland Park. Matt Martin has talked to Homeport about this type of issue most recently…Erin Prosser forwarded to Matt Martin and Laura Bidwa the list of contacts that she had pulled together last year.
Chris Micciche: would the NRP portfolio be sold as one group?
Erin Prosser: there could be a period at the end of the lease-purchase period of the NRP homes where the new city land trust could potential buy them at a reduced rate.
Erin and Matt M will think more about convening this type of conversation.

CAMPUS PARTNERS DOUBLES
Preserving vs giving to land trust was was brought up at the April full civic meeting, and Laura wants the full civic to vote on this issue in May. Does anyone want to do advocacy around this issue? Elizabeth Kloss appreciated Laura’s ability to conduct an open discussion about this topic at the April meeting without bias or pressure.
Matt Martin: I think one byproduct of this discussion is getting neighbors talking about certain issues. We’re talking about two issues: allowing people to continue living here, and preserving history. We should give ourselves some grace and acknowledge that we’re deciding between two very important things that happen to be divided into two very finite options.
Erin Prosser: CPO does not want them. Laura: Habitat for Humanity said they could not rehab them.

NEXT MEETING LOCATION?

Elizabeth invited us to have the next meeting at the IE garden. The chairs will discuss this.