Commission approves plan for homes on Hilltop


By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Staff Writer

More housing opportunities could be on the horizon in the Hilltop.

At the Jan. 3 meeting, the Greater Hilltop Area Commission voted on Homeport’s plan to build 76 homes in the area.

Dave Perry, a representative of Homeport, addressed the commissioners, asking for zoning variance at 2180 Eakin Road.

According to Perry, Homeport has plans to redevelop this location and is seeking a variance in the maximum number of homes permitted. Currently, this location is zoned for 93 housing units. Homeport’s request is to reduce that number to 76, which would amount to four units per acre. Homeport’s initial project plan foresees 40 homes to be ready by the end of 2017.

Homeport, formally known as the Columbus Housing Partnership, is a non-profit real-estate development company.

The Eakin Road location was chosen by Homeport for its size and because it meets several requirements, such as proximity to retail space and access to transportation, necessary to obtain government funding for development.

Perry said, the proposed development would provide a mix of rental and ownership opportunities.

Some members of the commission expressed concern regarding the potential affordability of the houses, questioning whether enough income studies had been done.

Commissioners also sought assurances that community organizations, such as Homes on the Hill, would be consulted and actively involved as the project moved forward.

The rezoning application was approved by commissioners.

In other news, Columbus City councilman Michael Stinziano attended the meeting and shared changes to look for in 2017.

According to the councilman, the water tower demolition and replacement in Westgate are on schedule. The tower is the oldest one in the city, having been built in 1930. Bids are still out on the replacement tower, which is expected to be in place by 2019.

Stinziano ended by thanking all of those who have brought concerns to him and urged patience among commissioners and Hilltop residents. He noted that the current Columbus administration and council had been in place for a relatively short period of time and that while they recognized there was work to be done, particularly in the Hilltop, it was going to take time. He invited any member of the community to contact him or attend any of his open community hours to discuss any issues or concern. His next community hours will be Jan. 28 at Tim Hortons in the Great Western Shopping Center, 60 N. Wilson Road, from 1  to 2:30 p.m.


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