Bowling Green City Council – 1st Ward

Name: Mark Hollenbaugh
Address: 315 Parkview Drive Lot 92, Bowling Green, Ohio, 43402
E-Mail Address: [email protected]
OCCUPATION: High school history/government teacher.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Bowling Green High School and earned both a bachelor and master’s degree from
Bowling Green State University.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE: Previously represented 1st Ward, on the city’s planning commission for six
years, and eight years on the executive committee for the Eastside Residential Neighborhood Group.
QUESTION #1: How would you address downtown parking so more people are satisfied?
Bowling Green’s downtown parking situation has been exacerbated over the past year due to the necessary
but lengthy and extensive infrastructure upgrades. The downtown area is reaching a point where
additional parking cannot be created without tearing down existing buildings or the construction of an
expensive and cost ineffective parking structure. This year the city acquired over 30 parking spaces
previously owned by Huntington Bank and these spaces will be developed for public use in 2021. Currently
there are a total of 496 parking spaces in the immediate downtown area of which 94 are free. The
remaining spaces are metered in some way, those funds being necessary for the maintenance of existing
parking lots. Some residents have expressed concerns about the movement towards parking kiosks rather
than traditional metered lots. I will admit that I, too, have been reluctant to make this change having
yet to park in a lot that requires me to interact with a kiosk. Moving forward it will continue to be
necessary for the city to work in concert with the Special Improvement District to help meet the parking
needs of our downtown businesses.
QUESTION #2: What can be done to make the East Wooster Street entrance to the city more attractive?
There are a number of recommendations that have been made, both in the Community Action Plan finalized in
February 2018, and the East Wooster Development Plan submitted in December 2018. Improving the gateway
from Interstate 75 is in the best interest of both the city and university and will require
collaboration. Although there was initial concern expressed by some about the new roundabouts, I believe
they have greatly improved the ease of travel to and from the interstate. The area immediately off I-75
will undergo a beautification effort with more trees and shrubs, improved signage, and higher design
standards which are automobile friendly but esthetically pleasing. Between the interstate and Mercer
Road will be businesses primarily catering to visitors such as restaurants and hotels. The area between
Mercer and Manville Avenue will be pedestrian friendly, with quality housing for young professionals
possibly including townhomes. The initial major project being considered will be at the corner of
Thurstin Avenue and East Wooster. This will be a mixed-use building that will include shops on the lower
level and apartments up above. The blocks between Thurstin and downtown will see a mixed use of housing,
retail and office spaces that are creative, vibrant, and welcoming.
QUESTION #3: How can the city ensure that rental housing is safe?
The inspection of rental properties has been a topic of discussion in Bowling Green for over a decade,
and, in my opinion, it is the only way to guarantee that all rental properties are in compliance with
current health and safety regulations. Inspections have been a priority for members of the East Side
Group and have ranked first of 15 items in their 3-5 year survey. A city-wide rental property
registration and certification process was listed as a priority in the recent Community Action Plan as
well. As long as a process which respects individual property owner’s rights is adopted, inspections are
lawful and enforceable. At the very least, inspections should be mandatory for rental properties that
were not originally designed to be multi-unit rental properties. Bowling Green has many aging properties
which have been converted to multiple unit rentals. Some of these homes are over one hundred years old
and may not be in compliance with modern safety standards. Inspections are the only way to ensure the
safety of our residents.