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City targets Refugee Road corridor for potential development
The city of Pickerington has targeted Refugee Road as an area for potential development and redevelopment and is creating a corridor study and plan to identify its possible future uses.
Susan Crotty, director of development, explained that a comprehensive land use plan for the city was created in 2001, which showed how property throughout the city would develop.
However, the plan had become slightly outdated and therefore council expressed an interest in targeting specific areas, especially toward those areas most likely to develop, and creating an updated future land use plan for each area rather than updating the plan for the entire city.
Council approved a similar plan for Diley Road last April.
The Refugee Road plan would identify what properties are available for development and which are vacant and could be developed in the future, Crotty explained.
It would also identify areas where infrastructure improvements may be needed to encourage new development as well as to determine the highest and best uses for the developable property along the corridor, she said.
According to a draft presented during a June 8 work session, there are two areas along the corridor that are the focus. The eastern portion spans approximately one-third of a mile and is located northeast of the intersection of Refugee Road and Milnor Road.
The western portion spans approximately 1.3 miles and is centered at the Refugee Road and S.R. 256 intersection.
It indicates several key factors as influencing the future of the corridor including compliance with the city’s thoroughfare and access management plans, the results of the proposed S.R. 256 safety study, environmental features such as flood planes, stream corridors and natural ponds, and the issue of congestion at S.R. 256 and Refugee Road-the city’s busiest intersection, among other factors.
Currently the draft identifies eight types of existing land use in the target areas. The areas are primarily commercial with some single family uses on large lots and two multi-family developments.
The plan identifies specifically large lot single family homes and agricultural/unbuilt uses as potential areas for redevelopment citing the changing character of the corridor and the potential pressure for intensification of uses in the corridor.
It also sets forth 10 goals to be achieved by the plan, including economic development, regional partnership, a land use and capital facility plan, assessing the cost of growth, the rate of growth, focused land use planning, zoning, design quality, identifying potential parks and recreation areas, and identifying changing demographics, specifically future housing needs for empty nesters and seniors.
Unlike the Diley Road Corridor Study and Plan, which was prepared by an external agency, the Refugee Road Study and Plan is being prepared by city staff in response to a tight 2010 budget.
Staff from the planning and zoning, engineering and development departments, as well as the city manager, have all contributed input to the plan.
Future sections of the plan are still being drafted, including a land use plan, a concept plan and guidelines for each area, said Lance Schultz, director of planning and zoning.
The staff still anticipates two more work sessions and has an anticipated completion date of February 2011, although that could change, he said.
Once a final draft of the plan is complete, council would have to approve the plan for it to take effect.
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