Commercial development along U.S. 33 in CW moving ahead


By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Development of farm land owned by the Schacht family at the intersection of Bixby and Rager roads and U.S. Route 33 is a step closer to fruition with the approval of agreements with the city of Canal Winchester.

On Sept. 7, with updated options for the site and amidst continued opposition from a citizens group, Canal Winchester City Council approved a pre-annexation agreement along with an economic development agreement relative to the same property.

The Schacht’s plan to sell their property to NorthPoint, which intends to rezone the site to limited manufacturing in order to develop and build a commercial and/or industrial development with two 550,000-plus square-foot structures.

According to NorthPoint Development manager Marc Gloyeske and Montrose Group Economic Development Director Nate Green, the company increased the height of a landscaping berm by two feet and proposed installing five-foot fencing on top of the berm, obscuring more of the line-of-site of two proposed structures.

Results of a traffic study were released by the developers on Sept. 7 and Gloyeske said the company plans to donate a significant amount of right-of-way along with evaluating the retention of large oak trees on-site.

Green said they require the annexation into the city from Madison Township.

“We hope the annexation protects the boundary from Columbus,” he said.

Councilman Pat Lynch pointed out city of Columbus property abuts the Schacht land and if Canal Winchester does not approve the annexation request, there’s nothing to stop the owners from asking Columbus for the same thing.

When the floor opened to public comment, Cori Rowley said she did not want people coming into Canal Winchester along U.S. 33 and all they see are warehouses.

Resident Mike Redmon questioned council’s vision for the city, but added the commercial and industrial development along Canal Pointe was well thought out.

“We’re going to have another Brice Road,” said Redmon. “If we could have growth that doesn’t affect the quality of life is one thing. Don’t get too far ahead.”

Michael Barr owns farm land within the same area as the proposed development and said the right-of-way discussed by the developers is on his land and that Canal Winchester needs to embrace the land and the community.

“Warehouses should be out of sight and out of mind,” said Barr. “Obetz is a train wreck along Alum Creek. Think about your legacy to this community and slow down.”

Ann Bennett called the annexation and development agreements the first phase in a “two-step debacle.”

“Residents despise these testaments to greed,” said Bennett. “The majority of residents in Canal Winchester have warehouse fatigue. I will continue to do everything possible to stop this malignancy.”

Council unanimously approved the pre-annexation agreement. Councilwoman Jill Amos was the lone “no” vote on the economic development agreement.

Councilman Will Bennett said council’s decisions are not the final straw and that residents can file a petition within 30 days to have the vote on the ordinances put on the ballot for the public to decide.


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