Moving to Sunbury, Ohio? Here’s What You Need to Know!

What you can expect when you move to this lovely little Columbus suburb.

welcome to sunbury sign

By

Jean Linder

on

Jan 21, 2021

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Main image courtesy of the Village of Sunbury.  

Sunbury, Ohio is located near the middle of the state, nestled inside Delaware County.  If you’re thinking of moving here, we’ve gathered all of the need-to-know information about this village’s lifestyle, the kind of people who live here, and the services they have to offer.  

Sunbury is in Central Ohio and is well connected to the rest of the state.  Image courtesy of The Comfort Works.


Where is Sunbury and what’s around it?

Sunbury is located near Centerville, the center of Ohio state.  New land acquisitions will expand the village’s borders to Interstate 71, which connects Sunbury to Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.  It’s northern neighbor is Galena, and Delaware, Ohio is to its east.  

Other nearby towns include posh Dublin, Powell and Westerville.  Neighboring villages include Ashley, Galena (to the north), Ostrander and Sawnee Hills.  

siblings

The village of Sunbury is a little over three square miles, and only around 971 miles above sea level.  It's in the Eastern Standard Time zone and follows Daylight Savings Time-- if you’re moving here from a time zone that doesn’t recognize DST, you’ll turn the clocks back an hour in the fall and forward an hour (to normal time) in the spring.  

Sunbury may have Ohio weather, but it’s a very safe place to live.  Image courtesy of Reddit.  

How safe is Sunbury?  

According to City-Data.com, Sunbury, Ohio is a very safe place to live and raise a family.  The majority of crimes are related to theft-- violent crimes are very rare and appear to be in decline.  The latest crime rating overall is 48.6, much lower than the national average of 274.  

In the event that emergency services are needed, Sunbury’s Emergency Medical Services are provided by Delaware County via two units: Medic 2 and EMS Caption 461.  Response time is between 4 and 8 minutes.  Doctor Khanh Thai of Grady Memorial Hospital is the board certified emergency medicine physician who is medical director.  Physician’s Assistant Scott Kravitz operates as the EMS Liaison to the medical director.  DCEMS offers several training programs and classes-- often partnering with the Delaware General Health District and their Community Awareness Programs-- including CPR, Car Seat Safety Checks, Stroke Prevention, and more to community organizations.

Tree Houses

 Sunbury’s Fire Department has a slightly unique structure-- it’s part of a “fire district” instead of being dedicated to the tiny village.  BST&G Fire District was founded in 1953 to serve Sunbury along with Berkshire and Trenton Townships and Galena.  The fire department covers 53 square miles, and the single station is manned by three full-time firefighters and one part-time firefighter each and every day of the year, 24/7.  There are currently 11 full-time and 14 part-time employees, but expect that number to increase as Sunbury’s population continues to grow.  

The Sunbury Police Department is comprised of 10 full-time and 5 part-time police officers.  They use and maintain a fleet of 7 cruisers and are equipped with Getac F110 tablets and body cameras to streamline reporting and generate more accuracy.  

The local government is fairly typical of suburban Ohio.  Image courtesy of sandymcgill.com.  

What local government does Sunbury have?

Sunbury operates under a village council-style of government. The mayor is elected by popular vote and serves a four-year term.  The council is comprised of six members, who serve staggered four-year terms.  The mayor elects the President of the Council, who appoints the standing committees.  

The Village Administrator is the primary contact.  They oversee the day-to-day operations of the village and manages all departments.  They also take the meeting minutes-- the Village Council meets every first and third Wednesday of each month-- which can be read online.  

The boards and standing committees overseen and appointed by the President of the Council include: Finance, Planning and Zoning, Services (building maintenance, etc.), and Parks & Recreation.  

The Village of Sunbury departments include: the Cemetery, Police, Street, Utilities, Wastewater Treatment Plant, and Zoning.  The difference between the boards and the departments is the boards are panels of representatives who make decisions about the departments’ services and roles in the community, while the departments include the workers and all employees.  Each department answers is directed by one of the boards.  

women wearing mask

The Street Department maintains the roadways and much of the city landscaping.  In fact, they’re responsible for over 40 miles of roadway and 60 acres of landscaping.  They have 5 full-time and one part-time crew members and a fleet of three snowplows.  This department is also responsible for decorating the town with flowers, banners, and lights for parades and seasonal celebrations.  They also run a leaf vac truck in the fall to reduce buildup and back up of sewers and drains.  

Most folks in Sunbury are homeowners-- the owners of New Leaf Wellness Retreat have turned this home into a gorgeous sanctuary.  Image courtesy of New Leaf Wellness Retreat.  

What about housing and schools?  

According to Niche.com the housing market in Sunbury is healthy.  Most people own their own homes and the average value of a home is $203,300.  The average rent is $963.  Both of these numbers are slightly above the national average.  The area feel is called “sparse suburban,” with a population of a bit over 5,000 and growing.  In fact, the population has almost doubled since the 2010 census.  

Residents in Sunbury tent to be not racially diverse, with the majority-- around 91%-- of residents being white.  There is a fairly even split between those who identify as male and female, and 27% of the population has college experience.  Around 11% have a Master’s Degree.  The average household income is just under $73,000 and the average individual income is around $32,500.  Residents tend to be gainfully employed-- the unemployment rate is only 1.9% and the poverty rate is 8.6%.  

There is no information on how open Sunbury is to the LGTBQ+ community, though residents tend to be conservative.  The average Sunbury citizen is in their 30s, though it is ranked well for retirees, too.  

The public schools are above average, receiving a B+ rating from Niche.com.  Sunbury shares the Big Walnut School District, which has 4 elementary schools.  They also have one intermediate school, a middle school and a high school.  Student-to-Teacher ratios are approximately 20:1.  The elementary schools have an average of 350 students each, while the middle school and high school have more.  Big Walnut High School serves over 900 students and is the largest of the schools.  In all, Big Walnut School District serves over 3600 students and employs over 400 staff.  They consistently exceed state averages on the Ohio testing model, and the curriculum for both the regular programs and the Special Education & Gifted Programs meet or exceed state and federal minimums requirements.

Don’t let the calm facade fool you-- there’s a lot going on at the Glass Rooster Cannery!  Image courtesy of OWU Transcript.  


What do people do for fun around here?

To start off our section on fun things to do in Sunbury, allow us to quote Guns n’ Roses: “Welcome to the Jungle!”  No really-- Fun In the Jungle even has it on their homepage!  A locally-owned and operated play center, they pride themselves on being a very clean play center for children. They wisely have seperated the play areas for toddlers from that of the older children (up to age 10).  They have an arcade, bowling area, and their namesake Play Jungle.  They also have roller skating!  What’s even better is that you can rent out three different rooms for private parties!  General Admission and the prices for the Arcade, bowling, and skating are very reasonable, making Fun In The Jungle a smart and delightful way to spend the day with your kiddos.  

Glass Rooster Cannery is a unique experience.  It’s a local, sustainable farm and licensed cannery with catering and classes.  Not only do they grow and use their own produce, they also take the “ugly” produce from other local farms and convert it into something useful.  Anything that can be reused either finds a new purpose in art-- such as their glass bottle glass house and yard ornaments-- or is tossed into the compost pile to provide nutrients to future plants.  What little they cannot reuse themselves is recycled responsibly.  Classes offered include the obvious canning and preserving, as well as skincare, cooking, and classes for kids.  Have a wedding coming up or loads of company coming to town?  Rent the property!  They even have a guest house with three bedrooms, wifi, free on-premise parking, and safety features.  The guest house can handle up to eight guests and are welcome to order meals from the chefs staffed at Glass Rooster Cannery.  For those who simply want tours, the chefs also provide a lunch buffet with food grown and created on the farm.  Tours are about two hours, and you can conclude with time meandering around the Artisan Food Shop and Arts and Antiques Barns.  As we mentioned earlier, they also provide farm-to-fork catering for special events.  

In the mood to shop?  Try Reclaimology, a boutique in Sunbury dedicated to furniture and home decor.  They offer custom furniture refinishing, crafting and artisan classes, and furniture upcycling.  They also offer kids’ classes!  For a truly beautiful touch to your new home in Sunbury, why not have them install Shiplap paneling, a pallet wall, or a floating mantel beam?  

The Town Hall in Sunbury stands proudly with its citizens.  Image courtesy of the Village of Sunbury.  

If you’re REALLY in the mood to shop until you drop, it’s worth it to drive over to the Tanger Outlets just outside of Columbus on the edge of Sunbury.  Food options are a tad limited according to reviews on TripAdvisor, but it has a reputation for being clean and friendly and there is a play area for the kiddos to blow off some steam after a few hours of shopping.  Be sure to stop at Shopper Services when you arrive to pick up your Little Red Book of Big Savings before you shop to help you maximize savings.  

If you’re more of an outdoorsy person, Hogback Ridge Preserve may just be the ticket to making your day.  (Do keep in mind that in winter, the park closes two hours early.)  Hogback Ridge Preserve has hiking trails through woods and ravines, with a bridge spanning a particularly scenic one.  You can find the typical wildlife-- such as deer and turkeys-- and there’s plenty of great bird-watching!  The geography was formed during the Ice Age-- glaciers carved the ridges and melting glacial water the stream beds.  Bring your pet and enjoy the 41 acre park with the whole family-- but please remember to keep pets on a leash and clean up after everyone (including Sparky).  Or stop into the Mary Barber McCoy Nature Center-- named after the park’s benefactor-- for some education.  Hogback Ridge Preserve is adjacent to Alum Creek Reservoir, where you can also view the osprey population.  

Sunbury is also home to several other parks, maintained by the Parks & Recreation Department.  It’s not exaggerating to say that Sunbury truly values its natural areas and does a beautiful job of preserving them for public enjoyment.  Freedom Park features the Anthony Kinslow Disc Golf Course and the Shannon Smith Memorial Shelter House as well as a grill and picnic area.  The Town Square park boasts a traditional New England-style Town Hall that’s rentable for an extremely reasonable rate, and the park offers lots of holiday activities.  There are many other parks, but we’d also like to point out Evening Street Park, as it resides next to the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial.  It’s a small picnic area with grills and a walking track, plus off-street parking off Evening Street.  Across the street is Old Orchard Park, rumoured to have been planted by Johnny Appleseed himself!  

couple with the dogs

The Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial-- adjacent to the Evening Street Park-- is dedicated to all of the state’s fallen heroes since 9/11.  It’s a newer memorial-- founded only in 2005 by local veterans-- and Sunbury was chosen for the site due to its central location and easy access by the rest of the state.  They are a registered non-profit.  A lovely tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep their country safe and made their home state proud.  

Finally, how would you like to walk into a building that can take you anywhere in the world-- or out of it to uncharted outer space-- or back in time?  One that can show you how to make anything or use makeup to change your whole look?  Great!  May we humbly present the Community Library in Sunbury, Ohio.  It services six townships and two villages in the Big Walnut School District.  Thousands of books, e-books, cd’s, movies, and more are housed within the library’s walls-- but what’s really cool is their after-hours pickup!  If you can’t make it while the library’s open, they’ll give you access to an external locker where your picks will be placed once they’ve been checked out by a librarian!  They also offer birding backpacks for outdoor adventures and-- get this-- jumper cables complete with a how-to guide!  Be sure to check out their events, as the library is a great meeting place for loads of local clubs.  

Moving to Sunbury, Ohio is one smart choice!  Multiple schools from which to choose for your family, that cozy small-town feel and security, and beautiful houses all create a great place to live-- but only you can make it more than that.  

So move on over here, and make it a home.

December 3, 2020
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