Work sessions covers Code Piqua, golf course


By Haylee Pence

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PIQUA – Following the Piqua City Commission’s general meeting this week, the Piqua City Commissioners and other city officials participated in a public work session where they heard information about a Code Piqua update and the golf course study that was recently completed.

The Code Piqua update was to provide information on a new draft of zoning codes and building codes for Piqua. The update was provided by Kyrsten French, city planner. In 2017, the city of Piqua wanted to focus on developing the downtown and riverfront area. At that time, the zoning code didn’t support the view that citizens had for that area. In order to accommodate that, Code Piqua has undergone a complete coding change to reflect the view that citizens have. The draft of the new code was sent to the Piqua Planning Commission in Dec. 2021. The next steps are to continue editing the draft, rescinding it to the Planning Commission, providing the document to the stakeholder groups, then publishing the document, and finally, enacting changes.

Some of the changes that will be seen are rezoning to accommodate various density residential areas, older industrial areas, adaptive uses for mall area, and cottage court overlays. The document would also bring changes to use lists of zones to accommodate food trucks, live/work areas, accessory dwelling units, short term rentals (AirBnBs), and outdoor dining. There will also be changes to code involving fencing standards and parking lot quality, specifically looking at greenery.

French stated, “We think businesses will be very responsive to this.”

Mayor Thomas Fogt encourages residents who have questions or concerns to reach out to the commissioners.

Following the Code Piqua update, the commissioners heard information on the Piqua Golf Course Study. The city-owned golf course, Echo Hills Golf Course, underwent an inspection by an expert in the golf field to determine the quality and efficiency of the golf course. Before discussing the results of the study, Amy Welker, director of Environmental and Recreation Services, discussed the financial review of the golf course over the past couple years. Over the past two years, the revenue has increased. The overall expenses have decreased over the years until 2021, which was almost $758,000. Welker stated, “The golf course always loses money.” The consultant sited several things, which include that the landscaping and appearance of the entrance was poor, along with issues inside with efficiency and marketing of products. The consultant recommended upgrading systems and increasing operational standards and efficiency, as well as repairing cart pathways. According to the consultant, the grounds were well maintained.

The next steps are to utilize new software to increase efficiency, some equipment changes, changes to food/beverage and merchandise, and to create a more inviting area for golfers to spend time after or before playing. The golf course also plans to increase their marketing by engaging the entire community and increasing their digital presence.

Welker stated, “Our golfing community is great and has had a great turn-out.”

Many audience members were avid golfers who came to listen and air concerns about the changes and the current course. They brought up concerns about senior tees. A couple members discussed how difficult the course is for senior citizens. Another concern was water on the course after inclement weather. Welker, the consultant, and a golf course worker addressed the concerns.

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