Turn restrictions in Powell could be permanent

By Brandon Klein - bklein@aimmedianetwork.com

Powell City Council will consider making left turn restrictions permanent at an intersection in downtown at its next meeting.

In June, council unanimously approved temporarily prohibiting drivers from making left turns from Liberty Street to Olentangy Street between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m. Monday thru Friday as one of the measures to help traffic move more safely and timely during the closure of State Route 315. The roadway reopened on Aug. 1.

“I was here last time when you voted off no left turn — really good decision,” said resident Lori Kipfer during the citizen participation session of the council meeting on Tuesday.

The city’s Operations Committee discussed left turns in depth right before council convened Tuesday.

“The great majority of the feedback we received has been positive,” Powell City Manager Steve Lutz said at the meeting. City officials said some local business owners were in favor of the restrictions, but opposed expanding the hours.

Councilman Tom Counts said drivers have good options to make left turns in both directions on Liberty Street at Murphy Parkway and Grace Drive before arriving at the Olentangy Street intersection.

“I’m definitely in favor of making that temporary restriction, making it permanent,” he said.

Lutz said enforcement will be an ongoing issue with the city’s police department. Police will skip warnings and issue tickets if violations occur.

“There were several occasions where individuals chose to make a left turn even though the police officer was directing them to go straight,” he said.

Powell City Council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

In other business, council:

• Approved an amendment to the zoning code pertaining to a planned residence conservation district, which is an alternative land use type for residents. The revision of codified ordinance section 1143.31 requires at least half of the overall new developments to be a preserved interconnected green-way system.

Councilman Jon Bennehoof was the only dissenting vote because the ordinance’s permitted uses for the common open space to include farm animals. He said it would create “slippery slope” of having farm animals in the city.

• Rejected all bids for a park on Seldom Seen Road. The three bids exceeded or did not meet the specifications for the city’s budget 0f $3.4 million for the park, Lutz said. The bids ranged from $3.34 million to $4.4 million.

The city is considering a negotiated contract to have the site work conducted in the fall with the structures to be built in the spring. Voters approved a bond levy to develop the 23-acre park located on the north side of Seldom Seen Road between Liberty Street and Sawmill Parkway.

By Brandon Klein


Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.