Westside Messenger - April 21st, 2024

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<strong>Messenger</strong><br />

FREE<br />

<strong>Westside</strong><br />

<strong>April</strong> 21 - May 4, <strong>2024</strong> www.columbusmessenger.com Vol. L, No. 19<br />

4220 W. Broad St.<br />

(Across from Westland Mall)<br />

614 272-6485 open 7 days a week<br />

Featuring<br />

our<br />

famous<br />

STEAK<br />

COMBO!!<br />

Green<br />

Teens<br />

By Christine Bryant<br />

Staff Writer<br />

A local organization is offering teens<br />

looking for a summer job the opportunity<br />

to spend some time outdoors while earning<br />

some cash.<br />

The Highland Youth Garden has<br />

opened applications for the Green Teens<br />

program, a paid, summer work program<br />

at the garden for youth in the Hilltop<br />

area ages 14 to 18. Teens who live or go to<br />

school in Franklinton or in the Hilltop<br />

areas are invited to apply for the program<br />

that runs from mid-June through mid-<br />

August.<br />

Teens will work approximately 20<br />

hours per week and help maintain the<br />

garden by planting, weeding, fertilizing<br />

and using hand tools.<br />

The Highland Youth Garden is a halfacre<br />

plot of land that sits at 67 S.<br />

Highland Ave. just south of West Broad<br />

Street and is home to a wide variety of<br />

fresh fruits and vegetables. In 2023, the<br />

garden produced 3,800 pounds of fresh<br />

produce that was distributed to neighbors<br />

and residents in need.<br />

“At Highland Youth Garden, we are<br />

interested in supporting our immediate<br />

community: the Hilltop and<br />

Franklinton,” executive director Shelly<br />

Casto said. “We want to grow ‘the good<br />

stuff’ right here, where so much good<br />

already exists. We want teens to feel<br />

pride in their neighborhood and play a<br />

role in helping to build it up further.”<br />

The Green Teens program began in<br />

2019 and has employed 51 youth, Casto<br />

says. This year, the organization aims to<br />

hire 15 youth.<br />

“We want teens to feel pride in their<br />

neighborhood and play a role in helping<br />

to build it up further,” she said. “We<br />

believe that’s the way that all our communities<br />

will thrive - by tapping into all<br />

the talents and positive energy that<br />

exists in a place and encouraging it to<br />

thrive.”<br />

See GREEN TEENS page 3<br />

The Highland Youth Garden has opened applications for the Green Teens program, a<br />

paid, summer work program for youth in the Hilltop area ages 14 to 18. Teens who<br />

live or go to school in Franklinton or in the Hilltop areas are invited to apply for the<br />

program that runs from mid-June through mid-August.<br />

Input sought on<br />

zoning changes<br />

By Dedra Cordle<br />

Staff Writer<br />

Should the construction of buildings<br />

that are four to seven stories high be allowable<br />

on portions of West Broad Street? Is<br />

the area around Great Western and<br />

Interstate-270 an ideal location for a seven<br />

to 10 story mixed-use building? Should<br />

members of area commissions continue to<br />

have a role in approving or denying zoning<br />

variances on properties in the community?<br />

These are just a few of the questions westside<br />

advocates want residents to consider<br />

as city officials mull changes to the zoning<br />

code.<br />

The Columbus City Council voted earlier<br />

this month to declare its intention to<br />

amend the city’s current zoning code. It is<br />

part of a multi-phased plan to modernize<br />

the 70-year-old zoning code in order to<br />

meet the demand for anticipated population<br />

growth and to combat the rising housing<br />

crisis.<br />

The council did not vote to amend the<br />

current zoning code at its meeting on <strong>April</strong><br />

8. Instead, the motion opened up a 60-day<br />

comment period for the public to provide<br />

feedback on the proposal. It also kick-started<br />

an engagement campaign with local<br />

area commissions to discuss how the zoning<br />

changes could impact their community.<br />

Inside<br />

See ZONING page 2<br />

Pets of the Week ................. 10<br />

Traffic Enforcement<br />

Franklin Township uses grant funding to<br />

tackle ongoing traffic issues Page 5

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