Council denies rezoning request from housing developer

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By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor

Several residents attended the last Grove City council meeting in December to speak out against a zoning change that would pave the way for another large housing development in the city.

Council voted on legislation to rezone 145 acres of land (the Huggett property), located north of State Route 665 and east of State Route 104, from single family to planned unit development. According to Kyle Rauch, the development director for the city of Grove City, the single-family zoning code would allow for 180 units on the land. Pulte Homes requested the change in zoning to build 366 units, including a mixture of single-family homes and free-standing condominiums.

“Your community has a lot of momentum,” said Thomas Hart, an attorney representing Pulte Homes, to council members.

He said Grove City has a growing economy and people want to live near their place of employment.

“Housing is needed,” said Hart.

The attorney also added that 47 acres of the property would be set aside as open space or natural areas with access to the Plum Run stream corridor. The proposed development would be comparable to housing in surrounding neighborhoods.

Residents who attended the meeting expressed concerns about a development of that size.

“The zoning change could put twice as many homes (on that property),” said Brian McDaniel. “How will this impact the community and traffic?”

Sarah Riley, who lives nearby the property, said she loves the area as is and suggested turning the land into a park instead of building homes.

The main concern from residents was the potential increase in traffic.

According to Hart, developers are required to mitigate the traffic the development would generate. He said a traffic study is ongoing and traffic issues would be addressed with the development plan. The development plan comes after a zoning change and after a preliminary development plan.

Council voted against the rezoning proposal with a 3-2 vote.

Councilwoman Christine Houk said she was concerned with the high density of the proposal and said the traffic conversation should tie into the zoning legislation.

Council members Roby Schottke and Aaron Schlabach voted in favor of the zoning change.
Schlabach said Franklin County is set to double in population size in 30 years and people will need housing.

“The days of Grove City being a small town are behind us,” he said. “There is no slowing it.”

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