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Sep 17

The Tuesday Top 5: September 17th 2019

Posted on September 17, 2019 at 10:37 AM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: September 17th, 2019


Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info on what is going on in Grandview Heights.

1. Parks Board gets look at McKinley Field Concepts

The central area of the McKinley Field Park may get a more natural feel under concepts unveiled to the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board during its September 11th meeting.

McKinley Option A

POD Design Principal Steve Kolwicz showed board members variations of a plan to create elevated and ground-level play areas between the ballpark’s concession stand and the shelter house. Those play areas would get built with a focus on natural materials such as boulders, vegetation and logs. Other ideas shared included netted ropes for climbing, a bridge connecting the elevated play areas and covering metal frames with vegetation to create tunnels.

McKinley Ropes Elevated Play

A planned walking path would surround the McKinley play area so parents can keep an eye on their children while enjoying a walk around the park. The proposal also included adding storage and water to the concession stand by the ballpark.

The current proposal builds on 2016 planning efforts that explored updating both the park and adjacent Wallace Gardens that included renovations throughout the park and gardens. That effort stalled for budget reasons. This time, we are looking closer at how to phase in the improvements and, of course, the costs.

The more we looked at the primary users in the park, the more it became apparent that our first stage of improvements should be the play area.  The proposal appears to have support to continue to move forward beyond concept design.

Board member Steve McIntosh suggested the park could use better restroom accommodations as the revamped park likely will attract more visitors. Other board members agreed, prompting the board to direct POD Design to incorporate that idea into a further expansion of the concessions stand as part of a more fleshed out conceptual plan that includes construction budget estimates.

The expectation is that budget will come back to the board for further consideration. I plan to request funding in the 2020 City Budget to keep this project moving forward. 

If you are interested in seeing a natural play park, Kolwicz mentioned that Upper Arlington incorporated many of these concepts in a section of Northam Park between the UA library and swimming pool which is similar to the size of McKinley Field.

McKinley UA Case Study

2. First Avenue Fall Fest set for September 26th

The Grandview Heights Parks & Recreation Department will host its inaugural First Avenue Fall Fest next week as the City continues to energize our newest park.

First Fall Fest logo

Parks & Rec has a family game area set for the duration of the festival’s 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. run time on Thursday, September 26th with games such as pumpkin bowling, fall crafts and sack races among the activities planned. The talents of Grandview artisan and a festival sponsor Dustin Weatherby of Sculpt Décor will get displayed near the entertainment stage.

First Avenue Park Hot Tonic

Many of the Grandview area businesses will have their own booths and tables at the festivals, with anticipation face painting, a hay bale obstacle course and pumpkin painting will be among the activities offered.

Two inflatables will anchor the fun at the Yard Street end of the park.

On the musical entertainment side, The Shazzbots – a family-friendly rock band based here in Columbus – will provide musical entertainment throughout the two-hour festival.

Park & Rec has featured the wedged-shaped park between Bobcat Avenue and Yard Street this year to spotlight the park not only as a passive park in the middle of Grandview Yard, but as a community gathering place for fun and entertainment.

The park served as a cinematic venue in late June for the second of three summer Flicks in the Heights as well as  the site of three Music at the Yard in August.

First Avenue Park Flicks

3. Police Offer Prescription Drug Disposal Bags

The Grandview Heights Department of Police have a limited number of pharmaceutical disposal pouches available to help residents to safely dispose of expired or unwanted prescription drugs in their household.

The 100 Deterra drug deactivation system pouches the Division received through the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board of Franklin County are part of an effort to reduce substance abuse and keep medications off the streets and out of area streams and rivers.


Pills, liquids or patches get placed in the pouch with the activated carbon pods provided and mixed with half a bag of warm tap water for 30 seconds. The sealed bag is then gently shaken to deactivate the medications. Residents can then put the sealed biodegradable pouch in the normal trash.

Each pouch can deactivate 45 pills, 6 ounces of liquid or six medicinal patches.
Those interested in the safe disposal of potentially harmful medications should contact Division of Police secretary Beth Sisinger at 614-340-5484, or, to arrange pickup of a pouch at the Municipal Building, 1016 Grandview Ave.

4. Commission to Review Grandview Crossing Projects

Three commercial buildings within Wagenbrenner Development’s Grandview Crossing mixed-used project will go before the Grandview Heights Planning Commission this week.  Wagenbrenner and their Gallas Zadeh Development partners will bring three retail/office buildings – a combined 27,109 square feet – to the commission on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. -in Council Chambers, 1016 Grandview Ave. 

Grandview Crossing Retail Snip

The developers will seek final development plan approval for the proposed a 10,964-square-foot building and 7,257-square-foot building along the Dublin Road edge of the development plus a 8,888-square-foot building along the Grandview Avenue edge. The projects size and location are consistent with the zoning and preliminary plan City Council approved earlier this year.

The three retail/office properties mark the first significant projects to come back to the City for final approvals for construction. Wagenbrenner Development received Planning Commission approval in late June for a small building to shelter the water meter station serving the entire development.

The Planning Commission members also will receive amplifications to the environment and sustainability section of the City’s Growing on Tradition community planning document from Director of Administration and Planning Patrik Bowman before a likely commission vote on the policy statement. If approved, the community planning document will get referred to City Council for consideration.

5. Rotary Club Hosts Candidate Forum September 25th

Candidates for Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff elected office will square off Wednesday, September 25th to pitch their qualifications.

The event set for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Grandview Heights auditorium, 1587 W. Third Ave., will feature contested races for Grandview Heights Mayor and Marble Cliff Village Council on the November 5th ballot.


Grandview Heights City Council President Greta Kearns and Councilman Steve Reynolds are vying for mayor after my decision not to seek a fifth, four-year term.

Reynolds’ decision to run for mayor coupled with the August 10th resignation of Steve Gladman from Council opened up two council seats.  First Avenue residents Rebekah Hatzifotinos and Ryan Edwards join City Council incumbent Emily Keeler on the ballot for the three seats in the uncontested race.

(Council chose Hatzifotinos at a special September 9th meeting to fill Gladman’s unexpired term through December 31st.)

Similarly, Emily Gephart and Kevin Guse are running unopposed for two Grandview Heights school board seats after incumbents Melissa Palmisciano and Debbie Brannan decided against running again.

Marble Cliff Council President Matt Cincione also is running unopposed to replace current Mayor Ken Studebaker, who served two, four-year terms as the village’s chief executive. Incumbent members of village council Kendy Troiano and Joanne Taylor face a challenge from Jeff Smith for the two seats up for grabs.

I urge residents to attend the forum. Even in the uncontested races, the candidates still will give positions on vital community issues. Understanding their perspective allows residents to hold them accountable at the ballot box and during their term of office.

Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit 

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