In the May 13 meeting of the Blue Ash City Council, members moved to direct city staff to draft legislation that, if passed, would allow “low-speed” and “under-speed” vehicles on city roads with speed limits of 35 MPH or lower. Additionally, they set a hearing on a request to allow a mixed use development on the site of the former P&G east campus, moved forward the HAM Plainfield Roundabout, and other routine business. Read on for details.
“Golf” Carts on Public Roads
In apparent response to a request made by Bob Wittenberg at the April 8th council meeting, Mayor Marc Sirkin moved to direct city staff to draft legislation that would allow “low-speed” and “under-speed” vehicles on roads in the City of Blue Ash with speed limits set at 35 miles per hour or less.
In the discussion about this motion, the mayor noted that this would apply to what many people would recognize as golf carts that would be equipped with lights, seatbelts, and other safety equipment that would make them road legal under the Ohio Revised Code. He reported that he had visited Cincy Custom Carts in Montgomery where he found that a vehicle meeting these requirements could be purchased for around $9000. He explained that these vehicles had to have a maximum speed of 25 MPH or less. If approved, individual vehicles would need to be inspected by the Blue Ash Police Department.
Members discussed limiting vehicles to roads with a speed limit of 25 MPH or less but it was noted that such a requirement would prevent these from accessing Summit Park. The discussion made clear that these vehicles would be treated in all other ways as any other car, would not be permitted to drive across fields or on sidewalks, and would be required to park just as any car would. Though most would recognize these vehicles as “golf” carts, they would not be allowed on the Blue Ash Golf Course.
Listen to the full discussion on the City of Blue Ash Youtube page’s video of the meeting.
Council Approves Construction Contract for HAM Plainfield Roundabout
City Council voted to award an $8.8 million contract to R.B. Jergens Contractors, Inc to construct the HAM Plainfield Roundabout. More information about the project can be found on the city website. The Ohio Department of Transportation website still shows the project on track to begin construction on July 1. This work is partially paid for by the state or federal government because the intersection of Hunt and Plainfiled Roads is one of the most dangerous/crash prone in Ohio.
Council Approves Contract for Design Services for Towne Square Redevelopment
Council also passed legislation approving an approximately $500,000 contract to BHDP Architecture and Human Nature, Inc. to create a detailed design for the Towne Square Redevelopment. City Manager Mark Waltz said that preliminary designs would be brought in front of council before the design was finalized. The project was subject of extensive public input earlier this year. Learn more about that process and see the results on the city website.
Public Hearing Set for Consideration of Mixed Use Development on Site of Former P&G East Campus
Council set a public hearing for July 8, at 7:05 PM to consider approval of a Concept Planned Unit Development for a 48.9 acre mixed use development on the former east campus of the P&G site in the Blue Ash North Zoning District. This proposal was considered by the Planning Commission on May 6 and was denied. In their memo to council, city staff stated, “The proposed site includes four industrial buildings on the east side of the property and areas along the Reed Hartman Highway frontage where the specific uses are undefined, but that would be either commercial or mixed-use residential. A proposed new public road would connect Grooms Road and Reed Hartman Highway.”
More details about the proposal will be found on the Planning Commission section of the city website after minutes from the May 6th meeting are approved during their next meeting expected on June 3.
Council Meetings Back on YouTube
In response to a unanimous motion from the council, a regular city council meeting was live streamed on the city’s YouTube page for the first time. Before the pandemic efforts by some members to make videos available were voted down by a majority of council. During the pandemic, when the council was forced to meet through zoom meetings, the videos were livestreamed to meet public meeting requirements.