On the evening of Monday, October 22, Staff received an update from the City of Columbus Recreation & Parks Director, Tony Collins. Columbus is no longer interested in selling 34 acres of the Case Road property to the City of Upper Arlington.
Upper Arlington City Council was in the process of exploring this opportunity and actively seeking community input when we received this news. Since the proposal represented a rare opportunity for the City to address a long-recognized need for additional sports fields, it is disappointing that Columbus’ decision has brought this review process to an early end.
That said, the City understands that Columbus’ priority is to serve its residents to the best of its ability, and its leadership has every right to adjust its long-term goals for the property.
When Upper Arlington began these discussions with Columbus, it was noted that collaborations between municipalities are notoriously difficult, despite the obvious benefits that can be realized. Challenges that must be worked through can include differences in priorities, budgetary needs, timing, political considerations, constituent concerns and more.
That doesn’t mean that we should not pursue opportunities like this in the future, as they may come available. Recognizing that Upper Arlington’s recreational needs are significant but limited by the available parkland, the City will continue in its good faith efforts to address these needs in a creative but cost effective manner.
The City wishes to thank all in the community who provided input as this opportunity was under review. As the Parks & Recreation Comprehensive Plan nears its end, we encourage you to attend the upcoming public meetings on the resulting findings and recommendations. Let us know your thoughts about the report and the community’s recreation needs. Click here for details of meeting dates.