Meeting notes – WPCCA Housing Committee 6:00, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

  • Godman Guild
    • Resident co-chairs Laura Bidwa and Matt Adair;
    • Residents Donna Madlener, John Gifford, Chris Micciche, Steve Bollinger, Beth Brickweg, Matt Negron, Zakee Sabree, Lauren Jones, Dan Dono, Elizabeth Kloss, Michael Nelligan, 2 additional neighbors from Hamlet Street who missed the sign-in sheet;
    • Guests Columbus Code Enforcement officer Greg Davis, property owner Ben Davis, Wagenbrenner Development staff Matt Negron, Dennison Place Civic Association rep Tim Sublette, developer Michael Mahaney, property owner Zan Ansar and his colleague.

On the agenda this month:

Zoning variance requests for 1205 Hamlet St., Michael Mahaney MM Developing LLC

—presenting plans to build a 2-unit condo building and detached 2-car garage. One unit will front Hamlet St, other unit will be positioned to the rear of the first with main entrance on south side of building.
—Variance requests for R4 new construction lot-size limits; fronting; minimum side yard; maximum lot coverage; maximum Floor Area Ratio; and minimum lot width.
—Considerable discussion about details of variances and of the project plans.
—Disagreement regarding exactly where the property line runs between 1205 Hamlet and the neighboring property to the south; potentially conflicting survey results.
—Laura Bidwa said current plans show front porch depth too shallow to allow furniture and said it would be ideal if front porch could be deeper, for consistency with surrounding homes and rest of neighborhood.
Matt Adair added that this is important to maintain vitality on street. Mahaney said deepening the porch would not be hard to do, although it might affect position of house on lot and alignment of setback with neighboring houses.
—Donna Madlener makes a motion to support the package of variances as requested. Steve Bollinger seconded. 12 for the motion, 1 against. The “no” vote was because the side porch/entry on the south side of the house would be very close to the stairway/entry of the adjacent property to the south.

Campus Partners doubles

— status update regarding the sale of 1324-1326 N. 5th and 1424-1424 1/2 N 4th

—Two doubles will be offered for sale to become condos instead of being torn down and replaced by the land trust (4th St. one in the historic district which can’t be torn down and one other one). Committee voted in
August to make the 5th St double to be the other one sold, but after onsite visits on August 30, voted in early September to request that the double on 6th Street be sold instead because 5th St double’s condition has become too deteriorated for feasible rehab. Committee has not received confirmation from Campus Partners if this has been arranged.
—Interested developers want to know the purchase prices for the doubles to be sold; first requested at end of August.
—Erin Prosser of Campus Partners was not able to attend the meeting but said via email “all things are with the attorneys at this time” and that there were no updates.

*New development proposed for SW corner of King and High

—Tim from the Dennison Place Civic Assn. shared most recent plans for the development and discussed the DP Civic’s concerns and involvement with the project up to this point. Project has been in conceptual review with University Area Impact District Review Board and University Area Commission Zoning Committee for several months. No votes anticipated soon in either body.
—Dennison Place neighbors have concerns about height, massing, preservation of the existing historic buildings (especially the one on the corner), and traffic.
—The traffic study has not yet been completed by the city. Steve Bollinger said it will likely be informative to the size of the building – potentially limiting its size. He is certain that the traffic study will show whether or not this project will happen with this number of units, and may require developers to put traffic controls in.
—Donna Madlener, Chris Micciche, and other expressed concerns about increased traffic at the intersection of King and High.
—Elizabeth Kloss suggested that the building having micro-units may be in order to meet the affordability requirements to receive tax abatements.
—John Gifford asked about negotiating the relationship between preservation and height, because in his opinion height isn’t going to be an issue forever because the height limits will fall by the wayside eventually.
—The committee did not take a vote on this proposal, but information was shared about future meetings and ways to be involved as individuals.
—It was generally agreed that communication between the Dennison Place group and the WPCCA is desirable.

Illegal Hometeam parking lot on Euclid behind the Lantern Square Apartments and illegal

Hometeam paving attempt behind the residences along Indianola Avenue between 7th Avenue and Euclid
—Lantern Square: Hometeam has been ordered by the court to bring the site into compliance and will be charged court fines if they don’t by a certain date. However, no fines yet because the site plan previously approved by the UIDRB has been taken back up for modification by various offices within the city’s Plans Department. We are now entering our THIRD YEAR of this situation remaining unremedied.
—Indianola: Greg Davis was able to stop work before paving commenced. Hometeam will be required to restore the grassy areas that were scraped to prep for paving. The 20-day notice for the offender is from the date of receipt. The code enforcement office has four types of (delivery) service for code violations; they are only required to do 2 of them. Personal service, mail, certified mail, and posting on the premises. Hometeam currently has until Oct. 8 to remedy the situation.

Wagenbrenner/Thrive Development update

—30 of the 40 homes east of Grant Ave that Wagenbrenner is marketing right now are under contract. Should be able to break ground in the next 6-8 weeks around 6th and Grant (townhomes)
—looking toward a spring dedication for the Joyce Hughes park east of Grant. Steve Bollinger will work with Michael Wilkos (ad hoc park planning committee chair) about dates for that committee to start meeting.
—Wagenbrenner purchased a “hold-out” lot on the west side of Grant between 8th and 9th, allowing them to combine properties and do lot splits for additional single-family home construction west of Grant. They don’t own the American Legion Lodge.
—Wagenbrenner’s tentative user for the Rice Paddy site isn’t going to work out. WagCo thinks the cost to rehab all the buildings is astronomical, so they are looking at keeping some of them and removing some in order to market the site better and add parking. Steve will be presenting a concept for this to Wagenbrenner partners soon. He may come back in a couple of months with more next steps for the site.
—Corner of E. 5th Ave. and N. 4th St. (3M site) Wagenbrenner is looking at retail and other options. They had a conversation with a potential grocer that appears to be deciding to go with a different developer/site.
— Wagenbrenner broke ground on phase III at Grant Park apartments at the west corner of 5th and Grant by the doggy daycare.
— Wagenbrenner is looking back at the site on the NE corner of the Grant and 5th Avenue intersection. They are going to come next month with more details about this project, need to talk to the city about right-of-way requirements.
—Four-family rehabs: 1400 Hamlet (8th and Hamlet) has had HVAC problems but solved them and is back on track. 1375 N. 5th Street (near 8th Avenue) Wagenbrenner wanted to buy land bank property and do a lot split to provide parking behind building while preserving FLOW tree nursery. City requested they get an easement, but later changed course and deeded the property to Wagenbrenner as previously requested. Lot splits to be done next. Laura B. expressed disappointment at the white windows put into the 1400 Hamlet, while acknowledging it was too late for any change to be expected.

Community Garden updates

—IE Garden: New signage is being produced and installed, is in final stages now. Committee commented it looks great.
—4th Street Farms: Had a strong season with new leadership, but some of those leaders won’t be available next year, so there’s a need for additional volunteers/leadership. Ongoing volunteer activities are scheduled throughout the fall; projects include planning for improved signage and redesigning the remaining row garden beds into a permaculture approach.
—Bird Sanctuary: Low volunteer turnout over the summer and garden leader wasn’t able to continue after August. If no new volunteers/leaders come forward, this site will be turned over to the Land Trust for affordable housing development in the coming months.
—Davenport Memorial Garden: In its third year, the perennial plants and shrubs have taken hold and withstood this season’s drought conditions remarkably well.
—Berry Patch: OSU Master Gardeners have solidified their leadership with this garden this year. Irrigation system problems seem to have been solved, and lots of great fruit was available over the spring and summer. The picnic table that the Master Gardeners got a grant to buy may be installed here instead of at the Bird Sanctuary. Wexner Center has requested civic association’s support with irrigation system expenses.
—Status of Neighborhood Partnership Grant funds: No detailed report available yet, but the project end date will be extended into 2020 to allow remaining funds to be spent early next year. IE Garden signage will be slightly over budget, but expenditures by other gardens at this point have been below expectations