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FT officials discuss development near Whim's Ditch
Franklin Township trustees discussed their thoughts on the possible development of 50-plus single-family dwellings at an area located in close proximity to Whim’s Ditch at their Feb. 19 meeting. The land in question is located off of Richmond, east of Brown Road but west of Whim’s Ditch.
Trustee Chairman Timothy Guyton said because of how the floodwall was engineered in that area, even though the area was annexed by the city of Columbus, it will have a profound affect on people that live in the township on certain roads, such as Avis, Hart and lower Little Ave.
“On the Whim’s Ditch issue, there were rumors circulating about possible buyouts of the homes in the Whim’s Ditch affected area. I asked Tom Shockley (director of Franklin County Sanitary Engineering) again what he knew of that and he had no knowledge, and I e-mailed the Franklin County prosecuting attorney and he hasn’t gotten back to me yet to see if there’s any truth to those rumors,” said Guyton.
Guyton said other options discussed at meetings in the past with city and county representatives over the Whim’s Ditch issue was to elevate the homes or to install a pond but the cost to do that through the Army Core Engineers would be $8 million.
Township resident Larry Neemyer said flooding is a problem he deals with all the time.
“That buildup on Frank Road is almost 50 feet above the road. The only place it can go is to the homes around there. Every time it rains, we’ve got water in our basement. Standing water all the time, we never used to have standing water,” said Neemyer.
Resident Mary Neemyer had other concerns about the development.
“In 15 years, those places will probably be trash. We’re trying to get away from that,” said Neemyer. “The commission is trying to improve our area. You bring something like that in, well, yes, it’ll be nice for ‘x’ amount of years. But in less than 15 years those places are going to be dumps.”
Trustee Paul Johnson admitted he had concerns as well.
“This sort of concerns me. I don’t have any data to back this up but it seems like Franklin Township may have their share of rental property already,” said Johnson.
Southwest Area Commission Chairman Ralph Horne said even the developer did not seem to be aware of several issues with that property at the last SWAC meeting, such as the fact that the property adjoins a flood plain and the lack of infrastructure.
“I think even if they grab the money to subsidize these things, a lot of the plan going forward would be contingent on community support so they’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Horn.
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