Future of Second Avenue in Columbus discussed at meeting

This plot of unused land at Second Avenue and 18th Street will become a landscaped entrance to downtown.
This plot of unused land at Second Avenue and 18th Street will become a landscaped entrance to downtown. Columbus

It was billed as a discussion about the future of Second Avenue, but Columbus Planning Director Rick Jones found out what some citizens want to see there.

Jones addressed a group of 84 residents at the Comer Center Monday about the possibility of an overlay district between 18th Street and Manchester Expressway, which would place certain zoning restrictions on new development.

“It would be a way of making sure we are headed in the right direction,” he said. “We can protect the corridor, which is a major gateway to Columbus. We can assure the overall appearance.”

An overlay district provides design guidelines that create a particular look and feel of an area. It would not affect buildings already present.

Jones promised those gathered that there will be major development along the street where an average of 18,000 to 20,000 vehicles travel daily, but he added there are no plans to widen or make major changes to the road.

Jones and his staff polled those in attendance on everything from signage to the style of sidewalk they would like to have on Second Avenue.

Asked what elements they would like to see in residential areas, 54 percent said trees. Asked why, one woman said shade and cleaner air.

When asked about the height of trees, the majority said 10 feet to 20 feet. The group also preferred 10 to 20 feet between trees. Because of utility lines, trees can’t be higher than 30 feet.

As far as street furniture, 54 percent said they did not want it on Second Avenue.

The people were polled about the types of materials they would prefer to see in new building construction. Brick won with 85 percent of the vote, ahead of glass, metal or wood.

And 92 percent of the people believed the height of buildings should be varied rather than uniformed.

Overlay districts see that the goals and objectives of the community are met.

“It is important that we get this kind of information so the people get what they want,” Jones said.

Larry Gierer: 706-571-8581, @lagierer