Developer asks Reynoldsburg council to reconsider proposal
The developer of the Taylor Chase Condominiums has asked the Reynoldsburg City Council to reconsider a proposal that would effectively halt the construction of new apartments and condos in the city.
Mike Murphy, president of the Murphy Development Company of Groveport, said the council promised the ordinance would not affect current developments, but his project would be harmed.
The ordinance would implement higher design standards for new condos, Councilman Mel Clemens said.
The higher standards would make the units more expensive to build, therefore the homes would be too pricey to rent, Clemens said.
The ordinance would only affect new site plans, Clemens said.
"What we have already approved will not be affected," Clemens said.
Murphy argued that his project would be affected because he must change his site plans to adjust to the market.
With 140 units left to sell, the Taylor condos may not be completed for 10 years, Murphy said.
To create homes that reflect the changing needs of buyers, the existing site plan will need changed, Murphy said.
The proposed ordinance "would always be a wall that I can't get around," Murphy said.
Council President William Hills said the reason for the ordinance was that condo builders have rented their homes as apartments during the down economy.
People purchased condos expecting to become part of a homeowners association and instead are surrounded by renters, Clemens said.
"The economy sucks right now and it's difficult for everyone," Hills said.
Murphy said he plans to build affordable condos that he will not rent.
Clemens said developers have made similar promises in the past and have not kept their word.
"The best way to protect condo owners is to give the developers the flexibility to sell more condos," Murphy said.
Hills said the courts have upheld the rights of developers to rent their buildings, but the city must protect the residents.
"Why is it always what the developer wants?" Hills said.
"It's not what the developer wants," Murphy said. "It's what the market demands."
A public hearing has been set for Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers to discuss the proposal.
"What I really would like is for the ordinance to have language that wouldn't apply to me," Murphy said.