WSA Leader Speaks Before Columbus City Council at Zone In Columbus Hearing

June 28, 2024 • Sam Cejda

WSA President, Tim Hawk, FAIA, speaks at the June 27th Columbus City Council hearing.

On June 27, the Columbus City Council held their third hearing on the Zone In Columbus initiative to update the city’s zoning code. The first hearing was an overview of the proposed code update and map of prioritized areas. The second hearing focused on impacts of the potential code updates on housing and parking. This third and most recent hearing was a summary of public comment. Columbus City Council President Pro Tempore, Rob Dorans, said this has been the longest and most engaged initiative feedback period he has seen during his time with the council.

The hearing began with a presentation from Zone In initiative leader, Kevin Wheeler, Assistant Director for Growth Policy at the Columbus Department of Development. Wheeler reviewed the timeline of the initiative that stretches back to fall of2022, and the different forms of engagement and public listening that have taken place since then, including the recent Zone In gallery.

Following the presentation and a short question and answer session from Wheeler and other initiative representatives, the Council opened the floor for public comment. Residents, community group representatives, and architects appeared before the council to give their feedback which ranged from support and excitement for the code updates, to concerns, to outlook and suggestions for successful implementation of code changes.

Among the speakers giving public testimony at the hearing was WSA President, Tim Hawk, FAIA. Hawk’s testimony expressed that while the new code is a step in the right direction, there is a need for coordinated efforts to support the successful growth and development in the city.

Hawk expressed the need for public transport to avoid the congestion that is likely to accompany greater density. He also shared thoughts on one of Columbus’s most storied and controversial features parking. Hawk testified to how policy can incentivize development of public improvement projects rather than parking solutions, and how this combined with a concerted effort for greater public transport can provide greater economic and social returns for communities and developers alike.

Watch Tim Hawk’s public testimony at the Columbus City Council’s third Zone In Columbus hearing using the link below.

Forward to 1:09:45 – 1:13:35 to hear his comments.

Zone In Columbus Hearing #3: Summary of Public Comment


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