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Upper Arlington

Who deserves credit for Kingsdale?

City Council incumbent candidates Frank Ciotola's and Wade Steen's campaign flyers are proclaiming how they got Kingsdale done.

"With Linda Mauger and Don Leach both leaving Council, we need moderates to replace them --- members who will put the people's business first. We think Mike Schadek and Debbie Johnson are those two candidates."

--- UAPA Executive Cmte

But who really negotiated on behalf of Upper Arlington constituents for the best deal with developers? Who had the backbone to stand up and get the best deal for Upper Arlington?

As it turns out, Ciotola and Steen are two of the least deserving of all the praise they are heaping on themselves.

The market idealogues vs. the pragmatists

We heard it 100 times during the Kingsdale debate from Council's right-wing block --- "let the market dictate what goes in at Kingsdale". In this Columbus Dispatch story entitled 'Big-box approach OK'd for Kingsdale', Ciotola thought that UA was negotiating too aggressively on Regency's big box Target store proposal:

"I think municipalities are getting overzealous in dictating what the mix of development is instead of letting the market dictate," he said.

If UA had solely relied on market forces, as Ciotola suggests, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Regency would have "dictated" our future and we'd likely have a big box Target store or something like it at Kingsdale today.

A view of the Continental's proposed Kingsdale site from Tremont Road. Many of us breathed a sign of relief when Regency failed in their bid to build a big box Target store at Kingsdale. If Ciotola had been in charge of the negotiation, the market would have "dictated" the outcome and UA would likely have a Target store at Kingsdale!

And thanks to Council's moderate, pragmatic majority we will have something much better than Steen or Ciotola were willing to settle for.

The audacity of negotiation

Instead of the passive role of government that Ciotola recommended, the city staff and other Council members embraced their responsibility to the community to get the best deal for UA.

By effectively tempering market forces with the needs of the community as described in the Master Plan they brokered a Kingsdale compromise has been well received throughout our community.

The role of government


At the heart of the Kingsdale debate was how active and engaged City government should be in making economic development decisions.

Steen, Ciotola oppose UA Sidewalk Policy

In reality, very few children should need to be driven to school since the majority live within a 10-minute walk or a short bike ride (if facilities existed) of their neighborhood school."--- UA Transportation Plan

The right plan for Kingsdale?


by Sue Grant

[UAPA collaborated with Sue Grant to create and publish this story. Sue is a landscape architect, OSU grad and UA resident and has been doing her homework on Kingsdale.] [2023 Note: Could not find photos referenced in text boxes]

Continental has done excellent work in other communities as evidenced by this photo from their web site. Unfortunately, the proposal they made for Kingsdale does not include the pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined streets with on-street parking, widened sidewalks, or areas for street-side cafes shown here.

On January 5, 2009 the new plan for the Kingsdale Regency property was presented at the Board of Zoning and Planning meeting. There were only a handful of community members in the audience. It has been a year since the last plan was unveiled. And the plan before that? Who remembers? Talk about this property has gone on and on for so long that we are all getting tired of hearing about it. We are also getting tired of looking at it, too. And we are tired of the diminishing services that it is providing.

A pivotal point for Kingsdale

More importantly, we are now at a point at which we have never been before – a pivotal one in which we could make the difference between having just ‘something’ happen, and making something really spectacular happen. But it will take more than just a handful of people to make that a reality, more than just a handful to make it so that this is the last time we have to hear about what it is ‘going’ to be, more than just a handful to ensure that instead, in the coming years, we hear about its success.

A talented developer offers less at Kingsdale than for other communities

Make your voice heard at the Kingsdale BZAP meeting

Some very big decisions will be made soon that will impact UA and Kingsdale for many years to come. The UA Board of Zoning & Planning (BZAP) wants to hear from all citizens about Continental's Kingsdale proposal:

Special Board of Zoning & Planning for Kingsdale, Monday, February 2, 2009, 7:00 p.m., Council Chamber. This meeting will be open for public comment.

A very talented developer has come to the table to play the game of turning this crucial piece of land into something – the question is what. Although its roots are local in the Columbus area and they do work here, Continental Real Estate Companies’ expertise has been far reaching in its impact on numerous small and large communities across the country.

Continental Real Estate Companies is no normal developer. They are good and they are creative. This is evidenced on their website. The character of some of their projects is people-oriented, with tree-lined streets, wide sidewalks with sidewalk cafes, and town squares. Frank Kass, of Continental, was even voted a #1 business owner in Pittsburgh with his innovative Waterfront development in Pittsburgh years ago, at a time when others said this unique project could not be done. Upper Arlington is indeed fortunate to have them interested in Kingsdale.

So why, then, is the current proposal for Kingsdale just another version of what currently exists there: another retail strip mall? It is because, as Frank Kass put it in his presentation of the plan on January 5, this plan is all about Giant Eagle and its parking; it is the big gorilla in the room. He even admitted that it isn’t about walking or strolling. The ‘pedestrian experience’ will be walking from your car in a parking lot, to the store, then back to the your car.

Traditionally Republican Columbus suburbs trending blue

From the Columbus Dispatch: 'GOP's grip on county suburbs slipping':

Rep. Ted Celeste Earns Dispatch Endorsement

Congratulations to Ted Celeste on his endorsement by the Columbus Dispatch:

Columbus Dispatch: Obama signs are hot property

Obama yard sign theft has finally passed the threshold of press visibility, so the Columbus Dispatch did some calling around to see the extent of the problem.

As was the case in 2004 and 2006, Democratic candidate yard signs are being stolen at many times the rate as their Republican counterparts. In UA's case, it's around 100:1.

House meetings happening all over UA

While Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, along with Rudy Giuliani, openly mocked and derided the job of community organizing at the RNC convention, another 100 people got engaged through UA house meetings during those three days -- and the pace hasn't let up yet. In fact the frequency and level of interest keeps going up.

A packed house: over 50 people came to this house meeting hosted by an Obama supporter and UAPA member. It's easy and fun to host or attend a house meeting.

UA home vandalized with Obama hate graffiti. Aren't we better than this?



Hundreds more signs planted. We need your yard, too!

Your response to our sign initiative has been outstanding! Over the last several days we distributed hundreds more signs online and at the Labor Day Arts Festival.

Be a part of the movement here in UA. Planting a sign really makes a difference in ways you may not know. Your public show of support impacts people in your neighborhood who trust and value your opinion.

Missing Your UA for Obama Sign? You're Not Alone!

The sign wars begin . . . already.

We report with regret that many of the UA for Obama signs already have been stolen since their debut in the city on June 22nd. This is a problem that we expect to continue and worsen as we approach the general election.


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