Commissioners discuss rezoning case that could brings more apartments to the westside

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By Hannah Poling
Staff Writer

Commissioners discussed a rezoning proposal that would add apartments and possibly result in a land donation to the city of Columbus.

The issues was debated at the Jan. 18 Westland Area Commission meeting.

The owners of the property at 795 Galloway Road, located at the northwest corner of Galloway and Hall roads, are looking to rezone the current farmland to make way for multi-family housing and commercial use. According to Mike McKay, this month’s zoning committee meeting was packed with about 50 individuals who wanted to discuss the proposal.

According to McKay, the owners want to place 552 apartments on the property plus a commercial aspect which may be either a gas station or a carry-out.

“It was a good discussion. A lot of neighbors showed up and expressed their concerns and gave their feedback,” McKay said.

The proposal calls for more than 500 apartment units on 35 acres, which has caused concerns about density and traffic.

According to McKay, if the rezoning request is approved, the property owner would donate 123 acres of current farmland to the city parks and recreation department. Under the park plan, most of it is buildable land but there are a lot of restrictions to building as the land is located within the Big Darby Accord.

The Big Darby Accord was developed to provide a proactive approach to managing development and ensuring the protection and improvement of water quality and aquatic habitat in the Big Darby Creek watershed.

“What the city does with it is up in the air. It is unclear what will go on,” McKay said.

Parks and recreation committee chair Janet Cahill questioned if the donated property could be utilized to build a long-desired recreation center on the westside.

“We have this carrot that they are dangling here in 123 acres. But would they give us a guarantee that if we approve this, they will promise that they will use it for something to better the community?” asked Cahill.

McKay said the temptation of the donated property is not worth approving the proposal due to the density and traffic issues the building could cause.

The property owners declined to ask for a vote at this time and it will be acted on at a future meeting.

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