By Sandi Latimer
The Westland Area Commission approved a modified version of the rezoning request for Blauser Farm on the far west side.
A 7-5 vote at the March 20 meeting drew applause from about 100 Summerlyn residents and sent the proposed plans to the city. It will first go to the development commission for consideration.
This vote, which came after more than 90 minutes of presentations and discussion, supports all the proposed zoning of a portion of the 200-acres of land except for allowing apartments to be built. The apartment issue was forefront in Summerlyn residents’ testimony at the meeting and a zoning committee meeting a week earlier where about 125 people crowded into a classroom in the Osteopathic Heritage Center of Doctors Hospital.
“Apartment (dwellers) are not always that great about maintaining the area around them,” said Janet Cahill, president of the Summerlyn Homeowners Association, “Apartments lower the value of single-family housing.”
Annie Mitchell agreed.
“I’ve worked at Doctors Hospital and I’ve seen what apartments have done around Lincoln Village North.”
Cahill said when she returned to Columbus in 2014 after a 17-year absence from her native Westside, she was told that the Westside should not expect nice homes in the area.
The Blauser property lies west of the Prairie Township Community Center and abuts the Summerlyn single-family housing development.
“We’ve been working with the city on this since 2000,” said applicant Jeff Brown of Smith and Hale in his summation of the current plans.
Those plans call for as many as 451 housing units on 29 acres near Summerlyn. Two areas are to be rezoned for limited residential and apartments.
“I don’t need anyone from apartments looking down on me,” said Cahill, who lives in the southwest corner of Summerlyn, adjacent to an area where apartments are planned.
She was also concerned about the proposed walking trail that would bring pedestrian traffic into Summerlyn.
“Why can’t you make that a circular trail?”
An area along West Broad Street would be zoned commercial planned development for businesses such as restaurants, office space and retail, Brown said.
The Blauser proposal came up after a request to rezone the corner of Hall and Galloway roads to allow for the construction of up to 138 housing units and a variance for an improved access road. Both issues were approved on a voice vote and sent to the city.