top of page


The goal of the Hilltop Community Plan’s public engagement was to let the voice of residents lead the process each step of the way. Participants gave meaningful input throughout the year-long outreach process. At regular monthly meetings, people worked independently and in groups to communicate their top priorities and vision for the future. Activities were designed to stimulate conversation, encourage group discussion, and get to the root of problems.

Residents first.

The Hilltop Community Plan public engagement process was driven by dedicated residents who met monthly to discuss problems and pursue solutions. The planning team designed exercises to solicit feedback and learn from the lived experiences of residents. The ideas represented in the plan were created either by residents themselves or in response to concerns voiced by residents over the year-long engagement period.

Thank you to stakeholders.

The Hilltop Community Plan public engagement process was facilitated by a committed group of local institutional stakeholders. The Boys & Girls Club of Central Ohio graciously offered the J. Ashburn Boys & Girls Club for each monthly Envision Hilltop event, ensuring that residents were consistently meeting at the same time and location throughout the duration of the process.


Message from Mayor Andrew J. Ginther

Dear Neighbors,

Strong and vibrant neighborhoods are the backbone of our great city. They are where we connect and live our lives. While all of our neighborhoods have changed and evolved over time, one basic fact remains the same: strong neighborhoods are places where we feel at home.

It is my pleasure to present Envision Hilltop, our comprehensive community plan for a stronger Hilltop. This plan will be our roadmap to revitalization and will set the framework for long-term transformation. Developed through a process driven by the community, it truly embodies the aspirations of Hilltop residents, provides data-driven and sustainable recommendations, and places the needs of the Hilltop front and center.

My vision is to make Columbus America’s Opportunity City, a city where residents are more likely to move from poverty to the middle class and beyond than any other city our size. We cannot achieve this goal until every family in every neighborhood shares in the success that is Columbus.

Since the beginning of my administration the Hilltop has been a priority neighborhood, and this plan charts a course for the shared success of the community in the future. The story of Columbus cannot be told without the rich history of the Hilltop, a neighborhood full of pride, determination, and resilience. I know the Hilltop’s best days are ahead.

Columbus and Central Ohio are experiencing unprecedented growth, and for that to continue we must plan accordingly for our neighborhoods. It is more important than ever to look to the future and create a vision that solidifies our success and builds on our growth. That is why this strategic and comprehensive neighborhood planning process is vital to the future of the Hilltop. This plan contains a range of metrics, strategies, and recommendations that work in an integrated way to address key issues impacting people, place, and home. I strongly believe the goals and recommendations of this plan will advance the needs of Hilltop residents and better prepare the community for the growth and changes that continue to shape neighborhoods throughout Columbus.

Each of our neighborhoods helps make up the fabric of who we are, which is what makes Columbus a special place. Strong and vibrant neighborhoods do not become great by accident, but are the result of vision, planning, leadership, and sense of community. I am proud of the work we have accomplished together in this Hilltop Rising community plan, and I’m excited about the next chapter of the Hilltop that we will write together.



Committed Residents

and Stakeholders

The following individuals donated their time, perspective, knowledge, and lived experience to the creation of the Hilltop Community Plan. The plan is based directly on their feedback and many of their responses are included in this document. This project owes much gratitude to their commitment and optimism!

Devon Abdon
Zerqa Abid
Pastor Nancy Day Achauer
Jamie Allen
Joe Argiro
Mary (Judy) Balson
Cheryl Banks
Dwight Banks
Patrick Sean Barnacle
Sheena Bary
Amy Basinger
Lisa Boggs
Debbie Breeze
Neal Bronder
Bailene Buckner
Otis Jerome Buckner
Sharry Carey
Colleen Cunningham
Shannon Custer
Danny Dahl
Stacey Diehl
Daniel Downing
Don Drennan
Josh Edwards
Nicholas Eskilson
Dan Fagan
Carolyn Furr
Jennifer Garbin
Ryan George
Shawn Gerboc
Raichal Gladman
Ayanna Grace
Geoffrey Hartnell
Rev. David Hill
William Huffman
Alex Ingley
Betty Jaynes
Alan Jazak
Garry Dean Justice

Gene Klingler

Jim Knisley

Rowena Knisley

Jim Lashbrook
Sarah Lenkay
Fabrice Ligny
David Lucas
C. Shawn Maddox
Kevin Malloy
Steven Matthews
Jay McCallister
Rev. Meredith McDougle
Chaz Mechenbier
Christopher Merkel
Susan Mossman
Peggy Murphy
Susie Parsons
Betty Peaks
Phillip Peaks
Geoffrey Phillips
Terrie Ramsey
Trevor Randall
Rick Redfern
Nadine Rinehart
Derrick Ritter
Reba Schlosser
Peter Schmitz
Pat Simakis
Anna Siriano
Dustin Sleeper
Megan Sleeper
Frances Smallwood
Steven Steward
Scott Stockman
Debra Stoner
John Tetzloff
Constance Tobes
Rachel Upton
Beth Urban
Pam Weaver
James M. White
Emily Willis
Fran Wilson
Jenna Wolfe
Autumn Yasher

Project Team

The project team for the Hilltop Community Plan included a group of consultants and partners, led by the Neighborhood Design Center. The contributions of each partner was critical to creating the document and the plan recommendations and strategies.

Neighborhood Design Center
Isabela Gould, Executive Director
Kerry Reeds, Director of Urban Design
Matthew Adair, Senior Planner
Lisa Snyder, Project Manager
Xia Hua, Interior Designer
Linghui Zhang, Landscape Arch. Intern
Annalise Bennett, Planning Intern
Rosalie Starenko, Landscape Arch. Intern
Jordan Scheuermann, Architecture Intern
Paityn Monagan, Landscape Arch. Intern
Michelle Williams, Architecture Intern

Department of Neighborhoods
City of Columbus
Carla Williams-Scott, Director
Nick Bankston, Project Manager

Development Strategies
Matt Wetli
Brian Licari
Miriam Keller

The Ohio State University
Knowlton School, City & Regional Planning
Hilltop Studio, Fall 2018 and Spring 2019
Bernadette Hanlon, Associate Professor
Jason Reece, Assistant Professor

RAMA Consulting Group
Mo Wright
Maura Maher

Kelley Design Company, LLC

Advisory Committee

Completing a strategic community plan with the Hilltop community required a team effort. To support the content creation and help guide preliminary development of recommendations, an advisory committee was formed in February 2019. Made up of key community stakeholders and subject matter experts, the committee helped inform and shape the final recommendations of the plan.

Doug Arseneault
Public Affairs Administrator

Rebecca Barbeau
Community Health Partnerships

Nick Bankston
Department of Neighborhoods
City of Columbus

Leah Evans
Senior Vice President, Real Estate

C. Gamble
Workforce Development
Board of Central Ohio

Shannon Ginther
Community Health Partnerships

Autumn Glover
Government Affairs
The Ohio State University

Henry Golatt
Dept. of Development
City of Columbus

Melissa Green
Department of Neighborhoods
City of Columbus

Brandi McCoy
Site Manager
PrimaryOne Health

Elizabeth McNally
Principal, Highland Elementary
Columbus City Schools

Brian Newsome
Community Liaison Officer
Columbus Police Department

Ed O’Reilly
Adult & Community Education
Columbus City Schools

S. Robinson
Workforce Development
Board of Central Ohio

Phil Washburn
Program Director
Habitat for Humanity—MidOhio

Theresa Whittington
Hilltop YMCA Branch Manager
YMCA of Central Ohio

Carla Williams-Scott
Director, Dept. of Neighborhoods
City of Columbus

bottom of page