Council approves annexation and rezoning legislation

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By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor

Grove City Council approved rezoning and annexation legislation that would clear a path for future development.

At the Jan. 3 meeting, the council accepted the annexation of about 10 acres located north of White Road and east of McDowell Road. This moves the property from Jackson Township into Grove City. Council members also approved an ordinance to rezone those 10 acres, along with an additional 13 acres from single family and residential to planned unit development.

These moves laid the groundwork for Epcon Communities to move forward with its plan to build 74 single-family residential units. This proposed development is broken into two sections. The northern section would consist of 40 units and the section to the south would include 34 housing units. This proposal also includes four acres of open space, a multi-purpose trail, and amenities like a clubhouse, pool, and pickleball court. The community would cater to empty nesters.

In October 2022, the council approved the preliminary development plan for this community, called Courtyards at Mulberry Run. Council members Christine Houk and Mark Sigrist voted against the conceptual plan citing density, traffic, and safety concerns.

Several residents attended the meeting to share their concerns about the proposal.

“The last remaining bit of green space along White Road is going to disappear because it wasn’t valuable enough to the city to preserve,” said Jason Wolfe.

Wolfe said that property would be an ideal addition to an already-existing park and a terrible location for further development.

Council president Ted Berry said he would have supported a park at the property, but said the city does not control who people sell their land to.

Kelly Wolfe also addressed the council and said White Road is already overburdened with traffic from the Buckeye Parkway development.

“We are going to have a nightmare,” she said.

Residents said drivers use White Road to avoid the more travelled Stringtown Road. They also said during peak driving times, Stringtown Road, Hoover Road, and White Road are usually backed up.

“Adding 75 homes to that is not a good idea,” said resident Ted Basinger.

Basinger said he enjoys living in Grove City, but the pace of development is giving him pause. He said city leaders make it too easy on developers.

“Back off and see what is right for the area,” he said. “Be careful. It (the city) is going to turn into something none of us want.”

The council voted to approve the rezoning with a 3-1 vote. Sigrist voted against the legislation, still citing density and safety concerns. Houk was not present at the Jan. 3 meeting to cast a vote, but she did submit comments that were read publicly by the clerk of council.

Houk said White Road serves as an alternative to Stringtown Road and adding 74 residential units would be ill-advised as it would add to the traffic congestion. She also shared her concerns regarding safety for pedestrians.

Councilman Roby Schottke said council members would have a lot to address when the final development plan comes before council, which should be in late February.

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