Hilliard by Design project updates city growth plans

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Throughout 2022, residents and community leaders have been working on Hilliard by Design, a project that will shape the future of this community for years to come.

Hilliard by Design is the process by which we update our city’s comprehensive community plan.

In short, the overall plan ‒ being developed through the Hilliard by Design process ‒ will set the direction for the city’s growth and development for years to come. It will inform, for example, potential zoning changes that govern how different parts of our community can develop and re-develop.

From the start, the city knew it would be crucial to build the plan around community values, needs and aspirations, and we worked diligently to ensure that feedback from residents and stakeholders shaped this document.

There were many opportunities for the community to provide feedback on the priorities this plan will set for the community. A community steering committee has been meeting actively for over a year. We conducted surveys and community meetings to gather feedback and suggestions, and committee members set up displays at community events to talk about possible priorities.

As we near the end of this process, and with elements of the plan now in draft form, it seems like the perfect time to update our community on its status ‒ and what’s to come in the next months.

In October, the city council got a first look at the priorities that should be included in the plan. There’s a lot of information included in this presentation ‒ which residents can watch on our website by clicking “Watch” during the October 24 Full Council meeting at hilliardohio.gov/meetings/.

Five key priority areas were identified, along with an overall theme for turning growth inwards rather than continuing to expand through western annexation.

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Cemetery path: What future for this important gateway to our community? The corridor has enormous potential, and there has been considerable interest in transforming the road into a more attractive entrance to our city. Draft concept plans for this area include residential and commercial buildings that could be located closer to the street with parking behind the structures, as well as a multi-use pathway on the south side of Cemetery Road.

Old Hilliard: How should we continue to build on the progress we have made to revitalize the heart of our community while retaining the elements of its character that make it such a beloved part of Hilliard?

Big Darby area: How should we preserve, protect and develop the western part of our community, which includes the Big Darby watershed? A greenbelt with connecting trails is part of the draft vision for this area. Also discussed is the idea that any future development should balance the existing residential aspects of this area with ‘conservation commercial’ development that respects the environmentally sensitive nature of this area.

The I-270 corridor: This area is crucial to the future economic vitality of our community, but the market for office space is moving away from free-standing buildings surrounded by a sea of ​​parking lots. Instead, businesses are choosing to locate in areas with a wide range of amenities, where employees can take advantage of nearby restaurants, and where residential living options are mixed with office and retail space at the detail.

The Retired Rail Corridor: This major corridor begins at Old Hilliard and extends southeast to Leap Road. This is a potential linear walkway that can extend our regional trail network and connect neighborhoods to downtown. Eventually, this corridor could connect Hilliard to the new Quarry Trails metro park in the south of the city.

Dan Ralley is Deputy City Manager of Hilliard and Director of the Community Development Department.

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