Council Advances New and Renovated Housing, Job Creation, Neighborhood Safety and Public Infrastructure Investments
meeting of summer session includes major economic development plans with OSU,
the FOP contract, increased penalties for reckless use of ATVs, $7M in small
business grants and more
[COLUMBUS, OH] During the final meeting before the annual August
recess, Columbus City Council will consider a huge agenda that continues its
focus on building strong neighborhoods, pathways out of poverty, jobs and
safety. The collection of ordinances invests nearly $7 million in small
businesses and entrepreneur support organizations, brings more than 13,000 new
jobs, over 4,000 housing units and $2.9 million in parks and playground
upgrades. The vote also solidifies the three-year police union contract with
additional provisions for the Civilian Police Review Board, the office of the
Inspector General and updates to officer accountability.
“Council has continued to demonstrate a commitment to affordable
housing, high-quality jobs, strengthening our neighborhoods and safety
reforms,” said Council President Shannon G. Hardin. “We
are closing out our first half of the year with a real focus on these
Support for Small and Minority-Owned Businesses
Small and minority-owned businesses continue to be the backbone
of Columbus’ local economy and the soul of the community. Deeply impacted by
the pandemic, Council intends to authorize nearly $7 million to provide
training, grants, low-interest loans, incubator space and technical assistance
to local entrepreneurs.
“Investing in entrepreneurship is investing in our economic
future,” said Council President Hardin. “This
legislation in combination with the implementation of the disparity study will
make a big impact for Columbus’ small business community.”
- Ordinances 2087-2021 and Ordinance 2096-2021
- Ordinance 2029-2021
- Ordinance 2030-2021
- Ordinance 2032-2021
- Ordinance 2033-2021
- Ordinance 2078-2021
The Birth of the Innovation
In a memorandum of understanding with The Ohio State University,
the City’s Northwest sector is poised to evolve into the next generation of
innovation. The proposed “Innovation District” is an expansion of OSU’s west
campus between Kenny Road to the east, North Star Road to the west, Lane Avenue
to the north, and the southern boundary of the parcels lining the south side of
This innovation collaborative will create an additional 1,500 to
2,000 residential units - 20% of which will be dedicated affordable housing -
100,000 to 200,000 square feet of retail, a 180 to 220-bed hotel, up to 500,000
square feet of medical facilities and 4 to 6 million square feet of lab and
commercial office space.
Additionally, the University will implement good faith efforts
to employ minority and women-owned business enterprises for the performance of
the work totaling a minimum of 30%.
Considering the City’s economic development incentive
commitments, OSU will create up to 12,000 jobs with an estimated payroll of up
to $950 million annually and provide a capital investment of $3-4 billion
dollars in new infrastructure. The Innovation District will be connected to
future transit and mobility options via the LinkUS Northwest Corridor.
Bringing Quality Jobs to the City
Council will vote on ordinance 1987-2021 to create a dual-rate
Jobs Growth Incentive Agreement with FlightSafety International, Inc., which
will result in 113 net new full-time permanent positions with an annual payroll
of $10,130,000 and retain 32 full-time permanent positions with an annual payroll
“As Columbus continues to grow and attract new residents, we
must be strategic in bringing new, good-paying jobs to our City,” said
Councilmember Emmanuel V. Remy. “With
113 new jobs, all paying over $37 an hour, this is certainly a gain for the
residents of Columbus.”
This incentive encourages the specific employment of Columbus
residents by adding a slight increase of City of Columbus income tax withheld
on the Columbus payroll of employees for a term of up to five consecutive
FlightSafety International Inc. is one of the world’s leading
aviation training companies, training more than 75,000 pilots, technicians and
other aviation professions each year via a worldwide network of 40 learning
centers. The company also manufactures and operates advanced technology flight
simulators. This project would relocate the company’s headquarters operations
from New York to Columbus.
Council is committed to taking a comprehensive approach to
promote the wellbeing of neighborhoods, including prioritizing investments in
safe and accessible parks and green spaces for families to enjoy.
In partnership with the Recreation and Parks Department, Council
approved $1.65 million in playground improvements and $1.32 million in shelter
house and lighting improvements in parks throughout the City.
“The ability to gather outdoors is critical for the health of
families in every community,” said President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown.
“Whether you are taking your kids to the playground, playing sports, or
gathering with friends and family, these investments help us provide essential
opportunities in our neighborhoods.”
Ordinances 1943-2021, 1946-2021, 1950-2021, 1951-2021 and
1960-2021 support the Department’s park lighting program, shelter improvement
project, sports court lighting project, and playground improvements.
Increasing the Affordable Housing Stock
Council’s work to increase the number of affordable housing
units in the City with the passage of 1680-2021 and a collective of zoning
The passage of 1680-2021 will accept the 2021 HOME Investment
Partnership Program grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban
Development. Under the program, 15 rental units reserved for those families
making less than around 60,000 a year (80% area median income) will be
constructed at an investment of $1.23 million.
“Each and every additional affordable housing unit is critical
to providing a needed home in our community,” said Councilmember Shayla Favor. “These
Cape Cod-style homes will blend with the existing fabric of the community and
give residents access to a variety of supportive services and advocacy
Healthy Rental Homes recently hired a full-time Tenant Services
Coordinator to link between residents and health/social service providers and
Nationwide Children’s Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families programming.
The Tenant Services Coordinator will work to increase health knowledge and
self-sufficiency of tenant families through outreach, community education, and
referrals to community resources, social supports, and advocacy. Service
engagement will not be a requirement for the families that Healthy Homes
serves, but it will be available to all households as needed.
Council is also committed to updating the zoning code to reflect
the need to increase density in the City. With passage of the zoning
ordinances, 2,670 units, including 495 of which are designated affordable units
and 100 affordable units allocated for Seniors.
"Our City is transforming and we have to update the zoning
code to reflect the density and equity required for the growth we are
experiencing, so I look forward to reviewing the phase one zoning code update
report within the next few weeks,” said Councilmember Priscilla Tyson.
“Currently, we know we are need of mixed-income housing options including
affordable, workforce, and market rate housing," said Councilmember Priscilla Tyson.
Council passed ordinance 2060-2021, modeled after ordinances in
Philadelphia, New York, and New Haven, CT, which have all seen an increase in
reckless ATV and dirt bike activity over the summer. The legislation creates an
offense for reckless operation of an ATV or dirt bike, carrying a minimum
penalty of $500 and a maximum penalty of $1,000. While the attached language
reads that this offense can also carry a maximum sentence of 30 days, this is
to ensure that the new provision is consistent with the current penalty for the
reckless operation of a motor vehicle which carries a maximum $150 fine and up
to 30 days in jail. In other communities, increased fines and risk of
impoundment have reduced the number of individuals willing to engage in this
“Since the beginning of 2021, I have heard from residents from
all over the city about how illegal operation of ATVs and dirt bikes are
causing havoc in their neighborhoods, driving recklessly down their streets,
and destroying our public parks,” said Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown.
“These penalties along with the efforts of law enforcement to impound these
vehicles will go a long way in curbing the willingness of riders to take these
Councilmembers have heard from many residents across the City to
come up with solutions to this growing problem. The Columbus Division of Police
has reported over 700 calls for service in response to these reckless
Lastly, Council will vote on the new contract between the City
of Columbus and the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge #9. This new
contract is a big step in the right direction, as it allows for the full
implementation of the Civilian Police Review Board, requires that officers be
drug tested after using their firearm and ends leave forfeiture -- a practice
that let officers trade vacation days for suspension days after potentially
being disciplined for profiling or use of force.
"As with any collective bargaining agreement (CBA), both
parties give and take," said Councilmember Rob Dorans. "No
party is going to get everything they want in a CBA. However, I am very pleased
that the CBA we will vote on tonight between the City of Columbus and Fraternal
Order of Police Capital City Lodge #9 will enshrine in the contract the newly
created Civilian Review Board as an important piece of accountability and
transparency for the community and our officers."
Following this July 26, 2021, meeting, Council will next convene
on September 13, 2021.