City DORA Expanded to 7 Days A Week

Hilliard City Council voted unanimously Monday night to extend the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) to seven days a week this summer and expand the boundaries to include more businesses.

For 2021, the City will operate the DORA from noon to 9 p.m. daily from June 1 through Oct. 31. Council’s action also adds Franklin Street and five new participating establishments to the DORA boundaries. “The goal is to encourage growth and economic development in Old Hilliard,” said City Manager Michelle Crandall. “By expanding the DORA, we hope to see even more people enjoying our downtown area and safely enjoying meals and beverages outside.”

The Ohio Revised Code allows municipalities to create DORAs, establishing specific guidelines, times and boundaries in which the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages are permitted outdoors in public rights of way.

The Hilliard DORA began on Main Street in summer 2017 allowing patrons of participating Old Hilliard restaurants and bars to enjoy alcoholic beverages within specific boundaries outdoors at the Thursday night “Celebration at the Station” concerts.

To support businesses that were negatively impacted by COVID-19 in 2020, the City closed a portion of Center Street, installed temporary tables and chairs, and expanded the DORA to four days a week to create a safe and socially distanced area for families to dine and enjoy adult beverages outdoors.

Council’s decision came after the City polled residents on whether they would support a seven-day-a-week DORA. Results showed that over 93 percent of those who participated were in favor of the daily DORA.

The expanded boundaries will add Yabo’s Tacos, Makoy Center, Benito’s, Hillgarten, and the planned Junction by Westwood to participating businesses. The DORA also includes Otie’s Tavern and Grill, the Old Bag of Nails Pub, Local Cantina, Starliner Diner, Legacy Smokehouse, Abner’s Casual Dining, and Crooked Can Brewing.

“Hilliard is an amazing community, and expanding the DORA will encourage people to come out and experience it for themselves,” Crandall said. The DORA will begin on June 1. Patrons must buy alcohol from one of the 13 participating establishments and drink in a designated DORA cup.

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City Launches Sidewalk Maintenance Program to Improve Safety and Accessibility

January 30, 2023

SAFE Sidewalks are coming to Hilliard as part of the City’s new sidewalk maintenance program that provides “Safe Access for Everyone.”

Starting this spring, the City is launching the SAFE Sidewalk Program to evaluate all 200 miles of Hilliard sidewalks, identify areas for improvement, and make repairs as necessary. This program will be an ongoing effort over the next decade to improve the image and livability of Hilliard.

The process began in May 2022, when the condition of sidewalks, trails, and curb ramps were surveyed and inventoried to prioritize repair and maintenance. This information was used to help the City prioritize where repairs are most needed and to ensure all City sidewalks are kept in the best condition. The first neighborhood to benefit from the sidewalk maintenance program will be the Avery subdivision.

In Hilliard (and most other communities), property owners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks adjacent to their properties. Exceptions include when the damage causing the repairs is created by roots from City-owned trees in the public right-of-way or defects caused by manhole covers or utilities. The City also is responsible for repairs and accessibility compliance on curb ramps. When the City identifies a sidewalk in need of repair, the property owner receives written notice of the required work, along with the estimated cost.

Ohio Revised Code Chapter 729.01 describes Ohio property owner responsibilities relating to sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

Hilliard property owners have two options when it comes to repairing their sidewalks:

  • Allow the City to perform the repairs and bill them for the work. (Opt-In) Most residents will benefit from this option because allowing the City gets cost savings based on competitive bidding for the large number of annual repairs in the community. Additionally, the City handles the coordination, scheduling and quality control related to the work. Property owners may elect to have the cost spread out over a 5-year, zero interest term through a special assessment on their property taxes.
  • Make the repairs on their own. (Opt-Out) This work must meet all required City of Hilliard code and standards. Should your sidewalk be identified for repair or replacement, you will be asked to make the repairs within approximately four months. If the work has not been performed by the provided deadline the City will perform the work, with costs billed or assessed back to the property owner. Opting out does not remove the requirement that the sidewalk needs to be improved, it only means that you do not wish to have the improvements made by the City’s contractor.

Watch the video above and visit https://hilliardohio.gov/sidewalk-maintenance/ to learn more.

Choose Hilliard: IC3D Printers

January 26, 2023

On this Choose Hilliard episode, we introduce you to IC3D, one of Hilliard’s newest tech companies and a partner with Hilliard City Lab.

This full-service 3D printing manufacturer started in a basement back in 2012 and now owns the largest 3D printers in Central Ohio.

Through Hilliard City Lab, Converge Technologies (a high-tech commercialization incubator) and the City of Hilliard are partnering to promote technology growth and innovation through Hilliard City Lab.

Through this collaboration, the Hilliard becomes a lab for testing new technologies and supporting start-ups that are ready to advance their innovative ideas and products. Using the City’s infrastructure, fiber optic network, sensor technology and real-time analytics, the City and Converge have already assisted several companies in moving from prototype to commercial product.

To learn more about how Hilliard City Lab can benefit your business, visit: https://hilliardohio.gov/city-lab/

Wild Turkeys Are Hilliard Residents Too

January 25, 2023

Many of you know, there are three wild turkeys who call Hilliard home.

These popular birds are one example of wildlife Hilliard residents live alongside.

City Forester Andy Beare says the best thing humans can do with the “Hilliard Turkey Gang” birds is to leave them alone.

“Feeding or attempting to touch the three male turkeys could be dangerous, especially as we near their mating season,” Beare said.

Some members of the Hilliard community have asked if the turkeys can be relocated. That is not an option, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), which sets regulations on wild animals in the state. The methods used to trap turkeys in remote areas are often impractical or ineffective in suburban areas due to safety or disturbance. Released turkeys may also continue their inappropriate actions where they are released or may move substantial distances to other suburban sites.

“ODNR views them the same way as white-tailed deer,” Beare said. “Sometimes they can be a nuisance, but they are native to Ohio and should be allowed to do their own thing.”

So, if you encounter the Hilliard Turkey Gang on Cemetery Road or near a local business, please remember that Hilliard is their home too.

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