Moving to Patalaska, Ohio? Here’s Everything You Need to Know!
Living in Pataskala will change the way you think about suburban living in the most welcome way possible
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Patalaska, Ohio is one of those places where the local atmosphere doesn’t seem to match the population numbers. It has a sparse suburban-- almost country-like-- feel because the population is so spread out. Moving to Patalaska will give you all of the charm of a small town while still giving you access to the busy city and culture offered by Columbus.
How was Patalaska founded?
The city of Pataskala, Ohio was originally a small village in Licking County. The first settlers in the area were David Heron and Richard Conine, respectively, in the early 1800’s. Conine permanently settled in the area in 1821 after purchasing 2,000 acres of land. He named the area the Village of Conine, and is hailed as the “Father of Pataskala.” In 1851, the village was re-named “Pataskala” in honor of the Delaware Indian term for the nearby Licking River. It was also laid out at this point, because the railroad companies extended their reach to the area.
The Post Office opened in 1852. In 1891, the village was incorporated. In 1996, Pataskala merged with Lima Township, increasing its area and population.
Located at the South Fork of the Licking River, Pataskala has a total area of 28.72 square miles, of which .10 square miles is water.
Notable people from Pataskala include New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost, professional bowler Robert Smith, politician Chalmers Wylie, and Christian rap artist John Reuban.
Useful & practical local information
The City of Pataskala has a charter that manifests the form of government as mayor-council-administrator. The City Council has 7 members. Three of these members are elected “at-large” by voters of the whole city, while the other four are elected by their wards. The Mayor appoints the Administrator, who oversees the city and its departments by order of the Charter. The Police remain under the Mayor’s authority, who only votes in meetings if there is a tie amongst Council members.
The Police Department has-- as of January 2019-- fifteen patrol officers, three detectives, one part-time officer, and a K-9 unit. They offer vacation house checks, solicitor’s permits, and prescription drop-off. They enforce traffic law, curfew, general offense laws, and run a Citizen’s Police Academy. The Citizen’s Police Academy is a unique opportunity for regular men and women to learn the daily life of police officers and the topics relative to them. The intention of the program is not to recruit or convert anyone into becoming a police officer, but to offer the community direct insight and education related to the police department. These citizens then influence future community decisions, as well as serve as extra pairs of eyes keeping their homes under watch. The Academy is absolutely free, and looks very good on a resume!
Pataskala’s fire department is actually the West Licking Joint Fire District, who protects both Pataskala and Kirkersville.
If you’re an entrepreneur-- or already have an established business and are looking to expand or relocate-- Pataskala is a prime choice! The city’s Economic Development offers a range of incentives to businesses, plus connectivity with State Route 161, Interstate 70, State Route 16, and State Route 310 nearby. Plus, there’s the Job Ready Site and Pataskala Corporate Park in the area. The Job Ready Site is 300 plus acres for manufacturing and industrial development, and the Pataskala Corporate Park is an additional 200 acres adjacent to the site with similar amenities.
What is like to live here?
Living in Pataskala is very safe, and considered the #2 place to raise a family in Licking County. Schools, housing, and diversity are all above average, and the area is primarily populated by young professionals and families.
Crime in Pataskala is primarily theft-oriented and non-violent. On a scale of 1 to 100 (low to high), theft in Pataskala is a 28-- which is close to but still lower than the National Average of 35.4. There is no force or threat of force involved in these types of crimes. The National Average for violent crime is 22.7 while the Pataskala average is 7. What this translates to is that while you should be smart about locking doors and windows, stashing valuables out of sight in the car and such, you can feel perfectly safe walking around your neighborhood and the downtown area.
23 public schools serve Pataskala, and all rank above average. 9 of these schools are in Pataskala itself. The top three are Summit Road Elementary School, Taylor Road Elementary School, and Reynoldsburg High School eSTEM. Pataskala public schools spend an average of $9,458 on each student and has a mean student-to-teach ratio of 19:1. Each counselor is assigned an average of 459 students. There is a 91.7% high school graduation rate.
Pataskala has one private school-- Eagle Academy of Columbus. As of January 2019, there were 34 students in grades 3-12 with a student-to-teacher ratio of 7:1. It is a Christian school.
The cost of living is much cheaper than the national average in Pataskala, at 89.4% of the national average of 100. Groceries are about the same as the national average, while the cost of Health, Housing and Transportation are all a bit lower. Utilities cost .2% more.
The median home value is $166,900, compared to the cost of the average home at $184,700. Rent is slightly higher than the national average, at $979/month (a $30 jump on the national average). Home appreciation in the last 10 years is 7.2%.
Most of Pataskala’s 15,312 residents are homeowners who make about $31,693 each for a combined household income average of $71,469. Most individuals make between $15K and $64K each year. Those who identify as male or female are equally divided. 19% of the population as a bachelor’s degree and 8% have a masters or higher. Racial diversity is above average, with 85% identifying as white, 9% as African American, 2% Hispanic and 3% identifying as two or more races. Most of the residents are 25-54 years old, with14% between 25 and 34 years of age.
There is currently not enough data to determine if Pataskala is welcoming to the LGTBQ+ community. It may be worth noting that the area primarily voted Republican in the last 5 elections and in general is politically conservative.
According to the neighborhood-building site Nextdoor, the top ten things that residents love about living here are: the quiet, it’s family-friendly, their neighbors, friendly, welcoming, peaceful, beautiful, safe, good atmosphere, and it’s clean. These elements fit the area’s feel-- sparse suburban-- and geographic location. Pataskala may only be a half hour’s drive to bustling Columbus, but it’s worlds away in terms of safety, aesthetic, and feel.
This is further emphasized by the top ten “topics of interest” on Nextdoor’s Pataskala page: Home Improvement & DIY, Dogs, Gardening & Landscaping, Walking, Local & Regional Issues, Cooking, Seeing Live Music, Camping, Crafts & Sewing, and BBQ & Grilling. If you examine these topics in conjunction with the data and what residents love about Pataskala, you can see that this a community that tries to create a true sense of home and connection. There seems to be a healthy balance between encouraging a family life and an active community. It’s worth noting that the City of Pataskala has a webpage of useful links for New Residents and Good Neighbor Guidelines.
In terms of places to worship, Pataskala has over twenty Christian churches ranging from non-denominational to Baptist and more. As January 2019, there do not appear to be any other places of worship in or around the Patalaska area.
Finally, the local newspaper is called the Pataskala Standard. It’s part of the USA Today network, and serves Pataskala, Etna and the surrounding area. National and local stories, garage sale information, and more.
What is there to do around Patalaska?
One of the other things that emphasizes the focus on creating community in Pataskala is the plethora of parks available to the public. There are six community parks, each with great amenities!
Thomas J. Evans Foundation Park is the largest of the parks. 78 acres-- 22 of which are wooded and perfect for forest bathing-- fully encompassed by a mulch-topped walking trail of 1.4 miles. There are three entrances, so it’s easily accessible. Amenities include: a few softball diamonds, several soccer fields, two basketball courts, two playgrounds, 2 concession stands (during sports seasons), and Conway Shelter House. Conway Shelter House is located in the wooded area. Thomas J. Evans Foundation Park also hosts the Pataskala Antique Power Show, featuring shows and competitions with antique tractors, equipment, cars, and more. The Pataskala Fourth of July Fireworks are also based here, featuring events, crafts, food, and more!
It’s worth noting that this is also the newest park to the community, and is still under some development. In the future, the park will have much more to offer!
Municipal Park is a 15-acre activity zone: sports fields and courts, a playground, a shelter house with a grill, and a pool! The Community Pool is not including in renting the shelter house, by the way. The pool is run by volunteers, and is home to the local swimming team, the Pataskala Porpoise Swim Team.
The other parks include: William V. Karr Park, Freedom Park, Citizens Park, and Liberty Park. For information about community sports and recreation-- such as softball teams-- contact the City’s Park and Recreation Manager at 740-927-3512.
Pataskala offers a balanced variety of restaurants and bars. From family-friendly to date night, there’s a suitable location for all of your food cravings.
The Nutcracker Family Restaurant has won outstanding service awards, and is the perfect place to eat out with the kids for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Originally an ice cream parlor, The Nutcracker offers so much more-- Amish desserts, nuts, specialty candies, all-you-can-eat pasta nights, steak, seafood-- your pickiest eater should find something to love here. They also offer a room for rent and can handle parties of up to 50 guests. Did we mention that the diner is 50’s-themed? The owners-- Steve and Nancy Butcher-- wanted to open a place that captured this special era in their lives. So they collected a jukebox and era-appropriate candies-- and the nutcrackers from whence came the name-- and opened a restaurant.
Here’s where the community aspect really shines in Pataskala-- there’s a twist to this story. In 2005, a fire gutted the diner. The only thing left-- according to the website-- was a Winnie the Pooh nutcracker and the determination to re-build. Pataskala chipped in, helping with demolishing and cleaning, even holding fundraisers to help support the restaurant workers who were (temporarily) out of work. And the collected nutcrackers! With community support, the Butchers and their son reopened with new nutcrackers-- and that smokey Winnie the Pooh-- and a seriously bright future!
Looking for the local version of soft-serve ice cream and sweet treats? Check out the Dairy Hut, which has served the area for over 40 years.
Ziggy’s is a family-friendly sports-bar type of joint. 18 large screen TVs and sports memorabilia proclaim the owners’ love of football, and you simply must try the hamburgers and wings! And neighbors Hot Head Burritos offers both delivery and eat-in options for Mexican food lovers. There’s also coffeehouses and pizzarias, too.
Craving more adventure and the open road? Check out Centennial Park Harley Davidson shop. You can search the inventory here, but nothing beats checking out the bikes in person! Take one for a test drive or ask about learning how to ride if you’re a newbie. Whatever your hog-loving fancy, Pataskala’s Harley Davidson shop has you revved, leather-clad, and ready for the road ahead.
Moving the Pataskala means that not only will you get a safe, family-oriented, diverse place to live-- you’ll also get a welcoming community looking to connect and grow. Contact a realtor today and find your new home right here, where the suburbs stop being a stereotype and start being a dream home come true.
We’ve probably missed a few gems, but that’s just an opportunity for you to tell us when you move there! Or maybe you already live in Pataskala, and want to share your secrets? Comment below!