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Downtown Getting Updates to Design Guidelines

Walker Evans Walker Evans Downtown Getting Updates to Design Guidelines
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The City of Columbus is currently in the process of revising the design guidelines for the Downtown area for the first time in 16 years. The Downtown Commission is the group that oversees development projects large and small, and the new code and guideline updates aim to make their jobs easier.

“The updates should be effective in providing guidance and clarity to property owners and developers,” said Columbus Planning Administrator Vince Papsidero. “The design guideline updates will help to provide more flexibility while at the same time establish clear direction and expectations for all involved.”

The Downtown Commission has reviewed hundreds of projects since its inception, including the construction of new apartment buildings, retail redevelopment, wallscape signage and other private and public infrastructure projects. One notable update to the guidelines gives the Commission new parameters for the appropriate approval of demolitions.

“The new guidelines give the Commission the ability to condition the demo based upon the application and approval of a building permit,” explained Papsidero. “This means that a better building will have to replaces the demolisded structure, so that demolition can’t be speculative. It’s a way to help protect our building stock.”

Tonight, the City of Columbus is hosting a public meeting to discuss the code and guideline updates. Additionally, Downtown property owners have been contacted directly about the updates, and many large stakeholders have been met with one-on-one.

“We’re being very transparent, but it’s actually been pretty quiet so far,” said Papsidero. “Not a lot of questions or concerns have been raised at this point.”

More information can be found online at development.columbus.gov/planning/downtown.aspx.

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