By Linda Dillman
Bungalow or ranch? The name does not matter as much to the developer of Canal Cove as does the ability to answer the demand for more of the one-floor home design in the development’s next phase.
Canal Winchester was asked by Westport Homes to raise the percentage of ranch style structures due to an uptick in requests as reported by President Jack Mautino, a former leader of Dominion Homes—the original developer of Canal Cove.
“The demographics of our buyer and constituents have changed,” Mautino told the city’s finance and economic development committee. “We now have more of a demand for ranch-style homes.”
City Councilwoman Bobbie Mershon said she had no problem increasing the number of allowable ranch homes, but she emphasized she did not want to see a street filled with ranch homes.
“I want to see it mixed up,” said Mershon.
According to Mautino, the development restricts construction of homes of the same color/design from being built across, diagonal or next to each other.
Also at question by committee members was a desire for full front porches on all homes. Mautino said his company “can certainly look at full front porches or larger porches,” but pointed out, “in the section we’re currently building, full front porches are not required.”
City Development Director Lucas Haire said the majority of homes in Canal Cove have full front porches because it is what Dominion was building at the time. He said front porches are an important design element, but he was not sure if a full front porch requirement is necessary.
In addition, the company is considering exchanging vinyl siding for hearty planking, minimizing the amount of stone and/or brick on the front of their home designs in Canal Cove and eliminating stamped concrete driveways.
“What we were trying to get at is keeping architecture similar to Old Town as it is now,” said Mershon, “to keep it true to the Old Town look. That was the intention.”
City Councilman Joe Abbott added, “When you walk through that development right now, you are pretty hard pressed to get an Old Town feel.”
According to Haire, there are 30 lots in the current phase of Canal Cove and another 43 in the next phase. Proposed amendments to administrative standards for new home designs in Canal Cove are expected to be presented for approval at the next council meeting this month.