6:00, Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Weinland Park Community Civic Association Housing Committee Meeting at Godman Guild

Present: Resident co-chairs Laura Bidwa and Matt Adair;

Residents Danielle Garson, John Gifford, Donna Madlener, Elizabeth Kloss, Michael Nelligan;

Guests Davide Cuigini (future WP resident), Greg Davis (Columbus Code Enforcement), Susan Keeny (Dennison Place resident and former chair of University Area Commission Zoning Committee), Rona Aragon (Dennison Place resident).

Uncommon Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Dennison Place and Weinland Park have both signed the MOU that commits the Uncommon’s owners to some neighborhood requests in return for neighborhoods supporting their request to allow restaurant uses on the Uncommon’s first floor. Seventh Avenue Community Missionary Baptist Church has not yet decided whether it will join the MOU. Update on 4/5/20: All zoning reviews have been suspended by city in response to COVID-19, so this case has not advanced.

Campus Partners.

Doubles to be offered for sale on 4th and 6th Streets: Erin Prosser expects to forward links this week for interested buyers to use to access information about how to proceed.

D&J Carryout: Campus Partners is working with CPO to evaluate a newly discovered condition problem with the former D&J carryout at 4th and 8th that may prevent CPO’s reuse plans from going forward. No one has disclosed what exactly the problem is, and CPO has not shared any plans with the community since their initial informal discussion with the Housing Committee in June 2019.

AirBnBs / Short-term rentals.

A resident concerned about a new house next to her home being used as an AirBnB sent a message to the committee asking if a map of all short-term rentals in Columbus was available. Matt Adair said there’s a website “Inside AirBnB” that compiles some not-very-new data. Greg Davis said some short-term rentals are now considered by the city to meet the definition of rooming houses (related to number of rooms and number of locked doors), which require a specific set of enhanced inspections.

Update on 4/5/20: Councilmember Rob Dorans will attend the May 28 WPCCA general membership meeting to share the city’s recent work related to short-term rentals. His email said: “My office is actually working right now with the Department of Technology to create such a map… It will allow residents to identify all short term rentals operating in their neighborhood and contact information for the operators… The [short-term rental] licenses are to be renewed annually and can be blocked if we’ve received complaints… Below is a link to the Short Term Rental website for the City. There is a link for the complaint form as well. https://www.columbus.gov/str/


Susan Keeny introduced a discussion about new doubles being built in the neighborhood (and in the rest of the University District as well). The University Area Commission is interested in knowing how WP residents feel about them, due to questions that commonly arise in UAC Zoning Committee case reviews about preferred designs and about the added density. Related to density, it’s possible that if all UAC neighborhoods agree that carriage houses above garages are generally acceptable, city council could permit them in the zoning code so council variances would no longer be needed to build them. The committee prefers entrance doors for both units in a double to face the main thoroughfare, whether the units are arranged up/down, side/side, or front/back. There is less consensus about how to relate the increased Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of new doubles to limits expressed in the existing city-council-approved land use plan for the University District. The question of FAR limits is complicated by the change in how FAR is calculated now, versus how it was calculated for the FARs shown for existing properties in the county auditor’s records – so it’s difficult to compare FAR in new construction plans against FAR of surrounding properties.