By Andrea Cordle
Jonathan Wilcox asked Grove City Council for a chance.
“This has been a 10-month process,” said Wilcox, a developer with Wilcox Communities. “We have worked with the city and I think we have solved some issues – not all, but quite a few.”
Wilcox was addressing council at its June 18 meeting about his preliminary development plan to construct 110 condominiums and 239 apartment units along Haughn Road. The proposal had been postponed several times so city leaders and the developer had time to address traffic issues along Haughn and Orders Road.
Council approved the preliminary plan with a 3-2 vote.
The proposal to put in apartments and condominiums for senior citizens brought many Orders Road residents to the council meetings. Most were opposed to the plan due to concerns about increased traffic on Orders Road.
Wilcox said he has been trying to address roadway issues but believes there needs to be a long-term plan for Orders Road. He said Wilcox Communities would be willing to take part in the regional improvements. However, Wilcox said that there was a traffic student that concluded that the development would not warrant roadway improvements.
Councilman Ted Berry voted in favor of the preliminary plan but cautioned the developer that the actual development plan may hit a road block if a plan for Orders Road is not in place.
“I support senior housing. I like the concept. But there is Orders Road,” said Berry.
Councilman Jeff Davis also voted in favor of the preliminary plan but said infrastructure must be a key part in the development.
“We have to accommodate growth, especially with an aging population,” said Davis. “Infrastructure must be a piece of that.”
A preliminary development plan is a concept. Council must approve a development plan before the project gets the greenlight.
Council members Christine Houk and Roby Schottke voted against the preliminary plan.
Part of the issue with getting a fix for all of Orders Road is that several municipalities are involved. Some of the road is in Grove City, while some is in Jackson Township.
Schottke said he would like to see the township be part of the discussion about development in the area.
Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage said the city has been addressing issues on Orders Road, but said the city needs partners.
“Growth happens because entities work together with a developer,” said Stage.
The mayor also said the city has plans to construct Demorest Drive, which will intersect with State Route 62 and ease the burden of the Orders Road/62 intersection.
In other development news, with a 3-2 vote, council approved rezoning of Borror Road to allow for a housing development. The development would be single-family homes located on 49 acres south of Borror Road and north of State Route 665. It would be consistent with the neighboring Grant Run Estates.