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Italian Village Society Complete Streets Implementing Committee

Submitted by Andy Klein
January/February 2108 Issue (includes November and December 2017 meetings)

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MEETING MINUTES: September 28, 2017 at St. James Tavern, 1057 N. Fourth St.

Thurs., November 30, 2017, 5:30 pm
Present: Andy Klein (Chair), Robert Barksdale, Rex Hagerling, Sherrill Massey, Stephanie Harris, Amber Woodburn

Andy called the Streets Committee to order at 5:35 pm in the front corner of the bar, asking everyone to introduce themselves and say if they’d had any trick or treaters in the neighborhood this year.

Sidewalk and Curbs Survey Andy distributed email correspondence initiated by Evelyn Van Til with OSU Professor Amber Woodburn describing our survey project and asking for assistance. He noted Evelyn, Stephanie and Andy also met with Amber at Fox in the Snow this summer and she has returned today with details on our proposed collaboration. Amber reported she has 23 undergraduate students enrolled for the Spring Semester (January 9 through April 23, 2018) “Introduction to Land Use and Transportation Planning” class, meeting Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. She has a developed a syllabus for that class around our survey, and working with Knowlton School of Architecture, has gained permission to fly their drone on 3 mid-February clear days to create aerial views of our neighborhood that will be better and more recent than Google Maps. Because drones are only subject to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) jurisdiction if within 5 miles of an airport, Amber reported that all of Weinland Park, Italian Village and the Short North lie just outside that crucial radius. Milo-Grogan, however, is within that radius, making drone use there problematic. Meanwhile, her students will conduct ground surveys describing the “complete streets” infrastructure present using criteria yet to be determined. Together, this will constitute the beginning of an inventory compiled into an Excel spreadsheet. Because this is a lecture-based class, there will be no end of the semester big team report, but the students will analyze their findings and make recommendations, the best of which Amber will share with us. This could also form the basis of a future, higher level studio class. Amber asked our assistance in compiling the survey questions and determining the boundaries of the project, and invited our attendance in class and on survey days in the field to provide context and background for the students. Stephanie asked if all of Milo-Grogan was within the 5 mile FAA radius, and Robert noted that a drone survey of the western portion of Milo (between Italian Village and I-71) would be very useful. Amber thought this could be achieved since that area’s outside the 5 mile radius, but would likely add an extra day to the 3 day schedule. Stephanie suggested an end-of-spring semester pizza party as a thank you to the class. Amber suggested she could print out large scale visuals for display in Knowlton Hall for such an event. Andy asked that Evelyn be the committee contact with Amber for developing the boundaries, survey questions, and our role in the project. Amber said she’d be available after this semester ends in two weeks. Andy expressed his appreciation for Amber’s efforts.

Fifth Avenue Visioning Process Following last month’s meeting, Andy asked city planner Mark Dravillas whether a new plan for E. Fifth Avenue is feasible, and distributed Mark’s response suggesting we rely on the existing plans for Milo, Weinland Park, and Italian Village East. Andy proposed that Robert and Rory Krupp meet with Andy to work through the language in these three documents to create a clear picture of the standards already in place. Robert reported on 33 Homeport “lease to own” houses under construction by Rockford in the eastern part of Milo between St. Clair and I-71 using land bank vacant lots, with support from 5/3 Bank, Columbus Foundation and City Council’s Jaiza Paige. This type of subsidized housing acts to stabilize the neighborhood, so that new market rate housing becomes feasible, a real balancing act. He noted significant interest already in market rate houses for land bank lots in Milo between Italian Village and I-71, in the $250-300,000 range, citing the successful sale of land bank lots in Weinland Park for houses in that price range. Sherrill asked about impact of brownfields in Milo, Robert noted the Republic trash transfer station on Reynolds Avenue, which somehow evaded the requirement that such sites not be located within 600 feet of residents; the Republic site is within 600 feet of the Milo Rec Center. Robert reported the commission has been working with Councilperson Elizabeth Brown on this issue. Andy noted that the Rumpke recycling operations on Fields could also be considered a brownfield site in Milo. Robert agreed its smell in summer will adversely impact Weinland Park residents across the tracks.

Short North Parking Study Update Stephanie said there’d been no further discussion to her knowledge of the plan for a daytime exemption in Parking Zone I for Short North patrons.

Infrastructure Improvement Hunter W Kelly, the Project Manager in Sewer Systems Engineering Systems from the City of Columbus, did not attend today’s meeting and hopefully can reschedule.

Meeting Adjourned at 6:37 pm.

Andy Klein, Chair, Streets Committee (12/01/17)

MEETING MINUTES: December 28, 2017 at Seventh Son Brewing Co., 1101 N. Fourth Street.

Present: Andy Klein (Chair), Hunter Kelly, Sherrill Massey, Evelyn Van Til, Rory Krupp, Laura Bidwa, David Cooke

Andy called the Streets Committee to order at 5:32 pm in the backroom at the brewery asking everyone to introduce themselves, state their affiliation and what they like about cold weather.

Green Infrastructure and Blueprint Columbus Andy circulated the latest issue of Ravinia, the Friends of the Ravines newsletter, with Sherrill’s cover story on Mirror Lake and the ravines that once crossed High Street to feed it. He noted these natural drainage systems had been plowed over in the past, and then introduced Hunter Kelly, project manager for Sewer Systems and Engineering, who promised the city will not plow over any ravines on his watch. He briefly reviewed early wastewater treatment methods (send it untreated to the river), leading to combined sewers in the 1870’s and separate sanitary and stormwater sewers starting a hundred years ago. The legacy of combined sewer overflows (extending from Hudson south to Merion Village) resulted in consent agreements with the federal EPA in 2003. One project, a 65 million gallon storage reservoir under downtown, is complete. Now, Hunter is tasked to address the Third Avenue Combined Sewer Overflow, named for the sewer collector in the Olentangy River near the Third Avenue bridge. Two green infrastructure projects on Euclid b/w Pearl and High, and on Clark b/w Dennison and Wall, will reduce overflow and raise the level that triggers an overflow. Both will feature pervious clay pavers and small rain gardens, creating storage systems for stormwater. Based on residents’ concerns with loss of historic pavement, the city eliminated a similar proposal for McMillen, and reconsidered a project on Hunter Avenue due to recent resurfacing of that block for The King apartment development. We viewed the pervious clay paver and photos of these pavers in use in New Albany over a span of years. Sherrill asked about city incentives not to pave over backyards in dense neighborhoods like the university and IV. Hunter believes it’s been discussed but never implemented. For the next twenty years, Blueprint Columbus will focus on two initiatives to get “clean” water out of the sanitary system: by disconnecting residences from the stormwater sewers in the newer city outside our neighborhood, and by lining the main stormwater sewers to seal the joints, extend their lifespan and reduce spillage. Sherrill asked if the city’s pursuing tree planting aggressively, Andy noted that’s part of the Urban Infrastructure Recovery Fund (UIRF) discussion later in the meeting.

Sidewalks and Curbs Survey Evelyn reported on an upcoming meeting to discuss flight planning for the drone, and another to discuss the spreadsheet of information to be collected. Andy emphasized the need to expand the drone’s coverage to Milo-Grogan. David asked how the information will be disseminated, Evelyn noted that’s an issue to be determined, perhaps using Excel or a more robust database, with the information then hosted on an accessible site, perhaps using the city’s preservation office. She will check with German Village to see how their data’s shared with its commission. David also noted the problem of corner lots with multiple addresses and street names attached. Evelyn expects these issues can be worked out in the next month.

Fifth Avenue Visioning Process Andy handed out a summary of the Italian Village East plan recommendations from 2000 for East Fifth Avenue, noting it calls for mixed use residential and, commercial, streetlights and sidewalks improvements, and establishing parks and open space throughout the planning area. Rory suggested the Weinland Park plan has similar goals. David noted that street trees rather than parks may be appropriate. Andy noted a potential pocket park opportunity at the southeast corner of Fifth and N. Fourth Street. Rory noted that the University Area Impact Review board only covers one parcel on Fifth (Out of the Closet). Andy distributed an email from Mark Dravillas citing existing plans, and asked Rory to review the Weinland Park Mobility Plan for its specific recommendations. Robert Barksdale has been asked to summarize the Milo-Grogan plan so we can find the common ground.

College Alley Improvements Andy distributed minutes from December, 2016 showing IVS sent a letter November 18 to the commission advocating brick and sandstone on College Alley and that the commission had in turn written a letter to the city advocating the alley and a portion of the service lot be bricked. David reported that although the developer was not opposed at the time, the city said no, due to objections from the fire department. He suggested that we should ask the commission’s preservation officer James Goodman to revisit the issue. David raised concern about destruction of the unnamed north-south alley adjoining College by Danis Construction, the contractor for the redevelopment of the Exile Bar site. It’s not a subject within commission jurisdiction, so the society needs to raise the issue with Public Service, as well as through code enforcement, and city council (Elizabeth Brown and/or Michael Stinziano). This is an issue affecting many areas undergoing intense redevelopment, and one we’ve dealt with recently (and unsuccessfully) when The Joseph construction cut down trees at Pearl and Eden Alleys. Sherrill made a motion that the Streets Committee would like the city to clarify its policy on damage to city infrastructure from ongoing development. Motion passed, and David agreed to contact Elizabeth Brown, Andy agreed to contact Amanda Ford at Public Service on this subject as well as to get an update on Eden Alley, and the Warren Street traffic review requested by IVS.

Urban Infrastructure Recovery Fund Update Andy distributed a print out from the city’s website showing the current status of UIRF projects in IV. He noted that streetlights on E. Fifth Avenue and street trees are not on the list despite previous requests that they be added. He agreed that we should get these addressed with UIRF and will report at an upcoming meeting. Evelyn noted that too often street trees die from lack of watering, and has arbitrary standards for planting in tree lawns.

Upcoming Meetings Andy noted his concern that IVS has become moribund and that the work of the committee may be better achieved with another sponsor. He noted Godman Guild’s historic role with our neighborhood, and speculated on their hosting the committee. Evelyn suggested the new Northside meeting rooms are available at no charge and can be reserved in advance. Andy will check if the last Thursday of the month is available there.

Meeting adjourned at 6:59 pm.

NOTE: 5:30 pm, January 25, 2018 will be our final meeting at Seventh Son, we’ve got a room reserved at Northside Library starting February 22 and going forward we will meet there the last Thursday of the month.

Respectfully submitted, Andy Klein, Chair, Streets Committee (12/31/17)


The Streets Committee meets monthly to discuss issues surrounding the public use of our streets and sidewalks. Our goal is to make our neighborhood streets “complete streets” in the sense they should unite our neighborhood, not divide it, and safely accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit riders and adjoining residents as well as vehicular traffic. We address such issues as parking, cross-walks, lighting, street trees, promoting storm water management and Blueprint Columbus, sidewalk amenities, signal timing, one-way vehicular traffic and development as it affects our neighborhood’s streets and sidewalks and their safe use.

Some meeting minutes, as well as those of the IVS general meetings, are available online in PDF format at

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