Big developments planned for Obetz

By Katelyn Sattler
Staff Writer

The city of Obetz continues to grow.

Developer Joe Ciminello, of Ciminello’s Inc., who has upscale developments in Grove City and New Albany, presented the Preliminary Development Plan of the Younkin Farm (located near the intersection of Lockbourne and Rathmell roads) to Obetz’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 10. This property has been through Planning and Zoning before, as in 2007 there was preliminary approval and then, in 2008, it was updated to include the Leave A Mark Church site.

Tentatively named “Inspiration Obetz,” the development will consist of 242 single-family houses, including 170 houses on 50-foot lots, 158 houses on 60-foot lots, and 96 houses on 70-foot lots, all of which will be 120-foot depths.

Ciminello has designated 25 percent open space, or 14-15 acres, which is above the 20 percent open space requirement, which will include a playground area and the Obetz Swim Club.

“We always want to be able to look back and be proud that the community appreciated (in value) and aged well,” said Ciminello.

The Obetz city administration has already approved the plan.

Obetz Community Services Director Stacey Boumis said they want to create interconnected neighborhoods with walkable paths, not subdivisions.

Terry Andrews of Lennar Homes, the builder for “Inspiration Obetz”, said the price ranges for the three different selections of houses will be low to mid $300,000 for Cottage level, mid $300,000 to $400,000 for Venture level, and $375,000 to $500,000 for Cornerstone level. He said they will be comparable to Butler Farms or better. The houses will be centered on the lots to avoid the houses being too close to each other.

Andrews said, because the cost of the lumber packages have gone up by $25,000 to $30,000, the house style and size will be pre-programmed to streamline the process. Buyers can then pick a lot of the style and size house they want to buy.

“Everybody’s gone to this new model, which may stop in the near future once commodities prices come back down,” said Andrews.

Obetz continues to have discussions with Hamilton Township Schools so they will be well aware of what’s coming. The development is expected to bring up to 1,000 students to the schools over the five- to seven-year build-out period.

According to officials, the existing schools have been built to allow add ons to accommodate growth in student numbers.

Lennar Homes has committed to $1,500 per lot to amenities such as a Swim Club and a park. The Swim Club will have a country club type of atmosphere with a swim team so that other swim teams will come to Obetz to compete. The pool will be available to all Obetz residents, not just the residents of the development.

“The community has been asking for that for years,” said Obetz Mayor Angela Kirk.
When asked how the city will continue to pay for services like police, fire, and snow removal, Obetz Law Director Gene Hollins said, “Growth is driven by the good work that’s been done for the last 25 years here to create the commercial tax base. And we will continue to create a commercial tax base for us and the school district.”

The development passed Planning and Zoning with only one commissioner voting “no” because of the 50-foot lot size. Commissioner Dan Raver believes that’s too small.

If Obetz City Council approves the preliminary plan at its next meeting, it will then go through engineering plans (administratively through the Engineering Department), and then the final plan will be presented to council. As the plan is conceptual, it could look different in the end.

The Big Walnut Run Subarea B Preliminary Development Plan was also discussed. It will consist of 66 houses on 60-foot, 70-foot, and 80-foot lots for a density of 1.6 dwelling units per acre. The closest intersection is Groveport and Bixby roads. An open space occupies the northwest corner of the development, which is wooded and acts as a floodway.

Phase 1, on the other side of Bixby Road, is more dense and connects to the Fairchild Estates subdivision.

The children in Subarea B will attend Groveport Madison schools. Stavroff Interests, LTD, is the developer and Ryan Homes will build the houses.

The Preliminary Development Plan passed Planning and Zoning unanimously and will go before council for approval at its next meeting.

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