The grey areas above are some of these "No City" lands. 100,000 people live on or surrounded by these sites, that their leaders ignore. Thousands of people who live on these sites, do not get to vote for which city leader will be ignoring them next.

These dead or dying buildings, and dozens more are within 7 miles of city hall, yet most are not in Columbus, so the huge incentives to bring or keep large employers to Columbus are not offered on most of the large underdeveloped sites inside the outer belt, only on this side of town. 


But after 65 years of acting as if the west side is "sold out" of large sites, they did nothing to replace its large employers that 5 recessions killed off.  


Large employers are too their area like anchor stores are to shopping malls, their economies collapse after they leave. Until the West-SW area has exclusive representation, this area will never be able to flourish like the rest of Central Ohio. 

IGNORE  M.....1950-Present: 

Columbus has the 2nd Largest Disparity between Low and High Incomes of all Large American Cities. 

Mid 1950's political acts expose why:


In the late 1940s, Columbus began taxing the income people earned while working on its lands. This created an important new job for mayors, it gave them immensely more money to spend, so they took on the role of salespeople, providing incentives to potential large employers, to only build on 'official' city land. 


In the mid-1950s, Mayor M. E. Sensenbrenner started annexing almost every “No City” site within 10-15 miles of city hall downtown. His announced that his reason was to prevent the suburbs from annexing the land first.


This is not a legitimate reason. Why? Before any Ohio city can annex more land, the state requires them to prove they can provide clean water and sanitary sewage for the annexed area.  Columbus did and still does provide both clean water and sewage treatment to its suburban cities, so Columbus would have to agree to provide these services first. Sensenbrenner could have just said "no". 


But, during his land grab, Sensenbrenner did not annex any land West-SW of city hall even if only one mile away (big white holes on the city map inside I-270).


A decade earlier Mayor (future Ohio governor) James A. Rhodes convinced General Motors and Westinghouse that two sites, about 6 miles west of city hall, would work well for their newest factories. He even annexed their sites to ensure they would have enough water, instead of convincing them to use sites on the other sides of Columbus, where this infrastructure was already in place.  


Anyways, even though about 8-10 square miles of "No city"  industrial-commercial land sat (and still sits) 1-7 miles West-SW of his office, Sensenbrenner obviously decided that the west side had all the prosperity that he wanted it to have. 

Most of 'official' West Columbus (tan in the circle) was already developed with urban neighborhoods with many small businesses along the main roads. So his excuse that ignoring these sites provided, "West Columbus is already developed",  was ideal for keeping only this side of town out of his, and future mayor's incentives that they offer potential large developers. 

Over 60 years later, long dead Sensenbrenner is still keeping most underdeveloped W-SW lands out of city negotiations with potential large "desirable" developers, so these "No City" sites might as well be on the Moon. 


His plan has caused every mayor since, even those with good intentions, to also ignore the westside's economy because these sites are still not on Columbus's (or any city's) spreadsheets, yet these lands are 100% surrounded by Columbus.


This area is politically represented by leaders that spend virtually no time here, or even want too, which causes the opposite of prosperity.  People that can influence where 'desirable' developments go will naturally direct them toward areas they like while directing "undesirable" projects to the areas they avoid.  


I only found 2 Columbus mayors since Franklinton was annexed in 1870, that seemed to have any connections to the west side.    


By keeping most of these industrial/commercial sites off of Columbus's books, Sensenbrenner also prevented thousands of voters, who also live completely inside Columbus's borders, from being allowed to vote for Columbus mayors or city issues, further adding to the lack of representation in about 20 w-sw communities.


This is actually the opposite of representation, as this exposes why the economy of West Columbus continues collapsing while all other large districts in Central Ohio are growing faster then they have in decades. 


Ignoring the economic issues of an entire side of Columbus explains why it has the 2nd largest disparity between low and high incomes, of all large American cities.  


Keeping 'upscale' developers away from the west side started long before Mayor Sensenbrenner. The first-day land west of the Scioto River was annexed in 1870, the brand new mayor George Meeks, made sure that for the next lifetime, all "upscale" developers run away from the finest west side land. Check out:




This area is the only large Central Ohio area that is not represented by elected officials or business chamber members that spend most of their time in it.  

Westside Craig

  ©2018 Upper Columbus, LLC  

 By Craig Wise