Category Archives: Franklin County

Olentangy school district has LOTS of kids

The U.S. Census Bureau data is interesting, but not always that surprising. The Dispatch published a map that shows the percentage of kids under age 18 according to the school district area in which they live. The caveat is that the child may or may not attend the schools in the district where they live (perhaps they attend a private school).

Statewide, 23.7% of Ohio residents are younger than 18. In Central Ohio …

Four school districts exceed 30%: Olentangy 32.8%; New Albany 31.9%; Pickerington 31.1%; and Canal Winchester 30.9%.

central ohio school map of students under 18

Click to enlarge, then click again

Young families typically seek to live in a district that meets their needs/wants for their offspring yet is affordable for their home budget. Too many or too few students has implications on the district’s budget. A high ratio of kids, like Olentangy, can put pressure on needing to pass levies to build new schools. A low ratio, like Columbus, can cause lack of support to pass levies if residents don’t have school-age children.

Read other articles I’ve written similar to this subject:


O-H-I-O, GO BUCKS, It's Buckeye Country

We cheered on the traffic on Rt 315 as fellow Buckeyes traveled to THE GAME against that state up north.


Why did southern Delaware County grow so fast?

newspaperA local newspaper reporter called me this morning to discuss the housing growth that has occurred in southern Delaware County this decade. I’m usually nervous about talking with the media for fear of being mis-quoted. I hope he doesn’t do that.

After our conversation was over, I thought more about why the growth has occurred into southern Delaware County. I think there are several events that occurred that set the stage for it.

  • I-270 made it easy to go from one suburb to another. Businesses (jobs) built up around the various interchanges. Suburbs located inside 270 were land-locked with limited room to expand further housing.
  • Suburbs, like Dublin or Powell close to the freeway, had room to expand their borders. They also had easy access to the freeway with major roads such as Rt 315, Sawmill Rd and Rt 33 already in place.
  • Lewis Center’s growth was impacted when Banc One (now Chase) built the huge employment center and the nearby Polaris Mall was added, both outside of I-270. Old State Rd provided access to that employment so many housing subdivisions were built off of that road.
  • Golf Courses have played an important part to the housing growth as well. Dublin already had Jack Nicklaus’ huge Muirfield Village but then Arnie’s Tartan Fields was built north of Muirfield. Powell began with Wedgewood, then added Scioto Reserve and Kinsale (Golf Village). Shamrock and Safari are nearby, but they are not lined with homes the way the other courses are.
  • The southwest part of the county contains both the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. I’m not a geologist but it seems there is more variance to the terrain between the rivers, providing more opportunity for the wooded, ravine lots that many home buyers like.
  • The southeast part of the county has the big water reservoirs with Alum Creek and Hoover. Both offer boating opportunities, albeit they have different motor restrictions.
  • Dublin and Powell already had groceries and retail, but those types of commercial buildings have expanded to keep pace with the housing. Dublin added Perimeter Mall and Powell added the shopping at Powell Rd and Sawmill Pkwy.
  • Some of the northern most housing developments in the Lewis Center area were several miles from groceries, gas stations, and fast-food eateries, but with the recent addition of some new stores along Rt 23 at Lewis Center Rd, that is changing.
  • Columbus State Community college recently opened along Rt 23 and Ohio Health is at a certain stage of providing convenient health care for the area.
  • More growth along Rt 23 between Powell Rd and Cheshire Rd was on the drawing board but it has been put on hold due to the economic downturn.
  • Southern Delaware County is primarily served with four school districts: Dublin, Olentangy, Westerville and Big Walnut. Olentangy covers the largest geographical part of the southern part of the county.

Like thousands of others, I’ve found the county to be a great place to live and work. If you would like to join us, give me a call and we’ll go house shopping.

2010 BIA Parade of Homes in New Albany – a Realtor’s® view

Yesterday morning was Realtor® Day at the 2010 BIA Parade of Homes at Ackerly Park in New Albany. Eight builders have homes in this year’s Parade. All of the homes have been built to conform with New Albany’s strict design style. This year’s builders are:

I was short on time but did manage to visit 7 of the 8 homes. I missed the Knight home and I didn’t visit the second floor of any of the homes. I did manage to take some photos for you.

Some of the differences that I noticed this year were the darker wall & wood colors and extensive use of decorating textures, mainly stone. Ceilings have become fancier and the flooring on the main level was mostly wood or very interesting tile. Countertops were either granite or the new concrete, which according to one of the builders, is similar in cost to granite. And yes, that IS a wood floor in that shower photo.

The Parade lasts until August 8. Visit for more details.

Red, White & BOOM! in downtown Columbus

Some members of my family and I went down to see Red, White & Boom! in person last night. The event was celebrating its 30th year. I hadn’t been down there since year 2 & 3. Since then, I’ve watched it on TV. I must say there is nothing like seeing AND hearing it in person.  The reverberations that impact your body are simply awesome.

Some people stake out their “ideal” space early in the day. We didn’t leave to go there until 6:30 pm which at that time of night, we expected to be stuck in traffic. However, my daughter decided to take High St all the way down from southern Delaware County and surprisingly it proved to be a good way to go. My granddaughters, who live in a small rural town, were treated to some of the more “colorful” parts of Columbus between OSU and downtown. At one stop light, a unique odor infiltrated the car. (I was glad to learn they didn’t know what it was.) Needless to say the people’s actions and manner of dress were different than found in their town.

My daughter had purchased space in one of the parking lots, which can be done online. We were just north of the arena district, so it was very handy. As we walked closer to the final event, we were treated to LOTS of good smelling food vendors and various bands. I tried taking videos of the bands on my Blackberry, but the sound volume proved too much for the little microphone.

It took awhile but we finally found a place to sit. I took some video with my Nikon CoolPix, but you have to overlook the street lamp and the vendor tent. 🙂 The prettiest display is about 4 minutes into the display. It seemed to be the crowd favorite, even moreso than the finale.

As an aside, I was disappointed at the number of people who didn’t stand for the National Anthem. Shame on those people. Need to beef-up the patriotism.

Mistakes I’ve made in landscaping

I’ve made several mistakes when adding plants to my yards. In the first home I bought on my own 23 yrs ago – a new build in Worthington – I wanted to install plants to attract birds, butterflies, etc. I especially wanted to attract hummingbirds. I learned that these tiny hummers really like the tube flowers on a trumpet vine.

trumpet vine

I went to Anderson’s off Sawmill Rd and PURCHASED the vine (mistake #1). I planted it in a CORNER OF THE HOUSE between the kitchen and my bedroom window (mistake #2) so I could watch the little guys while having morning coffee.

Being a vine, it grew quickly and began producing the nectar-laden flowers. Just like the movie, “Plant it & they will come” works for humming birds and trumpet vines. I had quite a few regulars to the vine all summer long until they migrated south for the winter. I really enjoyed watching them from my bedroom or the deck.

You might be wondering why planting this vine was a mistake. Silly you!

Over the years, the vine grew aggressively and needed frequent (as in weekly) pruning. Eventually I noticed it had sent roots under the block foundation of the crawl space and was trying to grow new plants there. It also grew tendrils to attach itself to the siding and cedar trim (see red arrows). That’s never a good thing. Jack – as in Jack & the Beanstalk – would have been proud.

After about 5 years, new start-up plants were growing 10-15 ft away in other landscape beds. I assumed the roots had spread out that far.

The vine had become a monster … taking over my home. I was living in a Grade B movie. Eventually I had to rip it out and nuke it with heavy-duty herbicide.

MY ADVICE: If you read a landscaping book and it says “aggressive” or “can grow to 30 ft” … believe it!