By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor
At the Aug. 21 meeting, Grove City Council approved legislation to rezone the Harris Farm property, though council members and citizens had concerns about the impact this would have on infrastructure.
With a 3-2 vote, the council approved a plan to rezone 96.3 acres at the northwest corner of London Groveport Road (State Route 665) and Borror Road from single-family to planned unit development. The change in zoning would clear a path for the developer, Joe Ciminello and the Ciminello Land Company, to build a mix of homes on the property that would be divided into four subareas. In total, it would put 271 homes on the property.
The site is currently used for agriculture, but the Grove City 2050 land use plan designates this area as suburban living, with medium to high density housing. The proposed development would be similar in density to the Landings at Quail Creek and the Ravine at Quail Creek.
The preliminary development plan for the proposal was approved in December 2022.
Council members Mark Sigrist and Christine Houk voted against the rezoning legislation.
Houk said there are already traffic issues in that area that would require a multi-jurisdictional effort to resolve. She said it is important to have all those infrastructure questions answered before the project moves forward.
State Route 665 is under the jurisdiction of the state of Ohio, while some parts of Borror Road fall under Franklin County control and other parts are in Jackson Township.
According to Ciminello, a traffic study was conducted, and he plans to include a turn lane at the proposed intersection of State Route 665 and the Hawthorne Road extension. The plan also includes turn lanes at State Route 665 and Borror Road.
Ciminello said he has met with city administrators about obtaining a tax increment financing (TIF) plan that could be used to make infrastructure improvements in the area.
“Working together on the public/private partnership is what is needed,” said the developer.
Ciminello is the developer of the Pinnacle property, which also has a TIF. He said funds from that TIF have been used for improvements on Buckeye Parkway, as well as other areas.
Councilman Randy Holt said he recognizes that there is a traffic problem in that area but said working with the developer is the solution.
“The way to solve the traffic problem is through development,” said Holt. “That is what gives us (the city) money to put improvements in.”
A few residents spoke at the meeting about their concerns for the proposed development.
Mike Mason said he lives next to the property and his main issue is traffic. He said he already has trouble getting in and out of his driveway and adding nearly 300 homes to the area is going to increase traffic considerably.
“You are asked to approve a plan not knowing the future of the infrastructure,” said Mason. “I like the plan, but what are you going to do about the traffic?”
Nearby resident Chris Hines said he too is concerned about the added traffic.
“The developer has said that this plan is what is best for Epcon (Communities) but is this what is best for the current residents,” asked Hines.
Holt said city leaders do not have the answers yet, but said they have the opportunity to find a solution.
“Nothing will change if the area is not developed,” he said.
Ciminello said he is ready to start final engineering on the project and hopes to break ground next year.