Council hears downtown revitalization plans


SIDNEY — Sidney’s downtown district is actively being planned to become a “revitalization district.”

Sidney city staff and Sidney Alive have been working together to finalize the district boundary map of the area that would include a combination of entertainment, restaurants, hotels, retail, social, cultural, educational, arts and/or sports establishments.

Monday evening, Sidney City Council heard a presentation from Sidney Alive Executive Director Amy Breinich about downtown revitalization districts and how one could be developed downtown Sidney.

“A revitalization district,” Breinich said, “is a definite tool empowered under the ORC to provide for more liquor permits within the designated district.” She noted that currently there are a limited number of liquor permits granted by the state.

Because of this, she said often small entrepreneurs who want open a new restaurant downtown, that serves alcohol, find it to be difficult and/or expensive. Developing a revitalization district downtown would be a way to attract new restaurants, that earn 75 percent of sales from food, to provide an option to obtain a D-5 liquor permit.

Sidney would be one of the first 10 or 12 communities in Ohio to establish a revitalization district, Breinich said. They expect the district to yield 15 new liquor permits. One liquor permit is allowable per five acres of land, up to a maximum of 15 permits. Breinich showed council the current proposed district area, which is still a work in progress, to be 83.5 bounded acres, and explained a bit of the thought process for including or excluding certain properties.

“The revitalization and community entertainment district options are fairly recent additions to the state liquor laws and involve a designated are in which businesses can apply for a quota exempt permit,” Breinich said.

The next steps are to finalize the boundary map, continue to work with city staff to draft proposed legislation for the district, then for council to review the presented information and decide whether to move forward.

In other business, there was a review of the upcoming Planning Commission Agenda for Monday, May 21, 2018, and the prospective City Council Agenda items for the next 30 days. The Zoning Board of Appeals meeting was reported to have been canceled, as no business is on the agenda.

City Manager Mark Cundiff announced that South Vandemark Road will be closed between Fair Road and Industrial Drive at Schlater Drive, Thursday, May 10, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Vorst Paving, the subcontractor for CSX Railroad, will be repairing and paving the railroad crossing.

In addition, council held an executive session to discuss the discipline of a public employee. No action was taken by council when members emerged from the session.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

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