By Matt Clevenger
For Miami Valley Today
TIPP CITY — Events hosted by the non-profit Downtown Tipp City Partnership have drawn almost 5,000 visitors to downtown Tipp City this year, according to figures presented to city council during their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Oct. 21.
“The events that are hosted by the Downtown Tipp City Partnership (DTC) have drawn thousands of consumers to our downtown each year,” DTC vice president Lisa Santucci said, delivering the group’s quarterly report to city council. “We’ve had nearly 5,000 people so far this year attend our events, excluding things that our other community organizations host like the Mum Festival, the car show and Canal Music Fest.”
“Merchants have reported there’s been a 95 percent increase during special events hosted downtown such as the beer crawl, the Wine Vine and the putt-putt, which have been our most popular events that we have had,” Santucci said.
In addition to planning events, the DTC has also awarded $2,400 in façade improvement grants to downtown businesses this year.
“We have a design committee that works exclusively with the merchants as they apply for this,” Santucci said, “helping them with improving the front façade, and now we’re making sure that they understand that this could be the entire building; the back, the side, the whole thing.”
The DTC is funded mainly by the city, which usually awards the group $25,000 per year. For 2020, the DTC is requesting an additional $5,000 to help cover educational costs and the increasing cost of mailing the group’s well-known event schedule cards to every household in the 45371 zip code.
“This year DTP would like to ask for $30,000 from the city to help us create our educational program for our downtown businesses,” Santucci said. “There’s a lot of training involved with façade improvement, insurance issues and some of the other needs that businesses would like to talk about.”
“Downtown is thriving; it is in a transition state at this time,” she said. “We are hoping to encourage more people and different businesses.”
“One of the things that’s very important to the DTC is these events are a mix of our community; they are for families, they are for singles, they are for couples,” Santucci said. “We are very aware of making sure that we offer something that is for a broad spectrum.”
In other business, council members also approved an ordinance modifying regulations for the storage of RVs, boats and other vehicles. The new ordinance allows for the storage of such vehicles as an accessory use permitted with standards.
“The city has been approached over the last year by the proprietors of the Tipp Storage facility on Southbend Drive,” finance director John Green said, “requesting changes to the zoning code to be a little less restrictive on the amount of screening required to shield those boats, campers and RVs from public view.”
“The planning commission has met, held a public hearing and did recommend changes to the language of the zoning code,” he said.
The new ordinance will allow RVs, boats and campers to be stored behind chain link fencing, where the original regulations would have also required additional screening. The new ordinance will not affect properties in residential areas, and only applies to vehicles in functional condition.
The ordinance passed unanimously except for council member Frank Scenna, who voted against the changes.
“I’m just wondering about the rest of the city having the same problem of RVs and boats not being screened,” he said.
“It has to be an accessory use, which means that it can’t be a primary use of the property,” community development director Matt Spring said. “This is not a salvage or junkyard; that is a completely separate use.”
“Nobody seems to have an issue with seeing those types of vehicles,” Spring said, “and that’s the line of thought behind it; those RVs, boats and vehicles at Dave Arbogast are operable, and the ones being stored would be operable as well.”
Council’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held Monday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m., and council will also meet for an operating budget meeting on Monday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m. Beggars’ night will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31.