Preserve Our Neighborhoods - Stop Pizzuti

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We, the residents and businesses of Schumacher Place, German Village and Merion Village, which surround the proposed Pizzuti G E LLC. (Pizzuti) development for 280 E. Whittier St. Columbus, Ohio (site of existing Giant Eagle grocery) are a part of the "Preserve Our Neighborhoods" movement opposing Pizzuti’s plans for this parcel.

Our Facebook and Nextdoor membership grow by the day and have been fielding requests from nearby Columbus, Ohio network affiliates and weekly neighborhood print publications.

We are not opposed to development, but we are vehemently opposed to the current proposed plan and any plan that exceeds current zoning ordinances and ignores Duncan Factors.  We believe that this rare, large parcel of land offers a unique opportunity for the Pizzuti to create and design a building that will be a point of pride and will be an asset to our communities.   

A formal campaign is underway to appropriately redirect the Pizzuti development; of which, this petition is part. Efforts include yard signs in the communities that surround the subject parcel, this petition, letters being sent to all building, development and zoning bodies, commissions and city council, and planned protests at the site of the parcel.

Our objections and concerns are as follows:

  • Height - Current height zoning calls for no more than 35 feet. Any variance to increase height above 35 feet should not be approved.
  • Density - Current beginning of the highest density category (Mixed Use 3) call for 45 dwelling units per acre. Any variance which would allow an increase in the number of dwelling units per acre above 45 (105 in total) should not be approved.
  • Placement – Current zoning is for a setback of 25 feet and any variance to decrease this to less than 25 feet should not be approved.
  • Parking – Current zoning calls for 1.5 parking spaces per dwelling unit. Insufficient parking allotment will burden an already strained neighborhood parking situation. Any variance to decrease parking to less than 1.5 parking spaces per dwelling unit should not be approved.

Zoning laws are a pledge and a covenant between the city and property owners.  Owners invest in property and rely on zoning to protect their investments.  Webster defines pledge as solemn promise or undertaking; and a covenant as a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action such as “conveying the land contained restrictive covenants”.

Accordingly, zoning laws are created for the simple purpose of protecting the health, safety and general welfare of the people as relates to land use. To achieve this purpose, zoning laws regulate the impacts of land use that may not be in the best interests of the people, generally including such things as:

  • Protecting the value and enjoyment of properties by separating incompatible land uses and minimizing their potentially negative impacts upon each other
  • Protecting the value and enjoyment of properties by allowing a property its most appropriate land use given its location and surrounding uses
  • Providing for the orderly development of a city, including making provisions for land uses in the best interests of its citizens, and
  • Providing adequate public infrastructure, e.g., roads, water and sewers

Egregiously ignoring current zoning ordinances, against the will of the surrounding residents, does not benefit the neighborhood and homes, on the contrary, it devalues them. It raises considerable tax revenue for the City of Columbus while burdening our neighborhood. Approval of the Pizzuti’s zoning variance requests are tantamount to “taxation without representation”.

Duncan Standards, Criteria or Factors (aka DUNCAN V. MIDDLEFIELD) - In Ohio, a set of 7 guidelines are prescribed for officials and courts to employ in fairly and equitably considering how to gauge practical difficulties.  These are informally referred to as the Duncan Criteria or Duncan Factors and are enshrined in Duncan v. Middlefield (1986), 23 Ohio St. 3d 83.  We believe these standards, criteria or factors are applicable in support of our objections. Any variance approvals would be contrary to the Ohio State Supreme Court ruling.

We ask city of Columbus, Ohio building and zoning bodies, committees and commissions and city council to deny any zoning variances for 280 E. Whittier and stand with the neighbors for responsible development by keeping their pledge and covenant with its citizens.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned, are Schumacher Place, German Village and Merion Village residents surrounding 280 E. Whittier St. Columbus, Ohio