City officials are surveying residents in selected neighborhoods about how they feel about allowing commercial ventures in residential pockets.
The City of Columbus-Bartholomew County Planning Department sent out surveys earlier this month to areas of the city that already include commercial development to obtain feedback.
Three of the five study areas are located in the city’s central areas between 25th Street and 11th Street. Additionally, one is located at Gladstone and McKinley Street and the other is at Stratton Court and Talley Road.
Columbus’ Carol Gross lives near a small collection of commercial properties near 16th and Union Streets, one of the sites included in the study.
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While she has lived in her current house for only about a year, she has lived in the neighborhood for 27 years.
Gross said she doesn’t have a great deal of interaction with the businesses, but recently purchased her daughter’s birthday cake at a bakery in the neighborhood.
And not long ago, she tried some of the craft beers at nearby Zwanzigz Pizza at 1038 Lafayette Ave.
Rose Wright owns Sweet Rose Bakehouse, 1604 Home Ave., a shop where Gross said she stops in occasionally. It is one of the longest running businesses on the block at about five years.
“I guess I fell in love with the building,” Wright said.
“This area had a lot of potential. I hoped someone could do something nice here,” Wright said nodding towards a string of other business nestled in a half block strip across the street.
“And, that did happen.”
Her neighbors form a mix of services which have homes around them. Along with a cake shop, there are insurance offices, a yarn store and a sign-making shop.
Planning Director Bergman said the planning department’s study is not tied to any specific proposed project.
“There is no pending development. Nothing proposed,” said Bergman.
“We’re just trying to get out in front of this idea.”
The Columbus Plan Commission had requested the study during one of its meetings during the summer to try to learn the pros and cons of having businesses in residential areas, he said.