Council postpones development plan

By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

A proposal to build apartments and condominiums along Haughn Road, near Orders Road, was postponed again.
At the June 4 meeting, Grove City Council agreed to put off a vote on the project until June 18 at the request of the developer, Jonathan Wilcox, of Wilcox Communities.

In April, Wilcox presented a preliminary development plan to council for the Residences at Brown’s Farm and the Cottages at Brown’s Farm, located at 5273 Haughn Road. According to Wilcox, the plan includes a two-part development – 110 cottages, or condominiums, on the east side of Haughn Road and 239 apartment units on the west side of Haughn Road. The housing plan would be geared toward senior citizens and empty nesters.

This proposal has been postponed several times so city leaders and the developers can come up with a plan to address the increased traffic. Wilcox asked for a delay in the council vote to give him more time to review the traffic situation and access points.

Orders Road residents have come to each council meeting, where this plan was on the agenda, to speak out against the preliminary development plan, mostly due to concerns about the increase in traffic.

Resident David Hellard asked council to consider placing a moratorium on large scale development in that area until the roadway is improved enough to accommodate an increase in traffic.

“Long-term planning is needed by the city and Jackson Township,” said Hellard.

Another resident, David Kimmel, said he has been told that the developer does not anticipate too much of a traffic increase because the residents would be senior citizens.

“I am 73 years old and I drive my car every day,” said Kimmel. “Old folks don’t roll over and sit at home all the time.”

Kimmel said not only does he have concerns about the increased traffic, but said he is just tired of all the apartments in the city.

“It’s junk housing. It’s not a good project,” said Kimmel.

Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage said the city has made improvements to Orders Road and has plans for future improvements. He said the city is constructing Demorest Drive, which will eventually intersect with Route 62.

As for the rest of the roadway, Stage said, “A plan is there. It’s a matter of who is going to pay for it.”

Part of the road is in the city, while other parts fall under the jurisdiction of Jackson Township or Franklin County.

In other news, council approved a special use permit that would allow Shoot Point Blank Gun Range and Shops to sell weapons.

The facility would be located on Turnberry Court in Grove City. According to Rebecca Mott, an attorney for Plank Law Firm representing the developer, this would be an indoor shooting range that also would house a retail shop to sell guns.

Tom Willingham, CEO of Shoot Point Blank Gun Range and Shops, said the company will not sell automatic weapons or bump stocks.

“We don’t sell anything that is not tasteful in the public eye,” said Willingham.

The company still must submit a development plan to council. Despite being approved by council, the special use permit was denied by the city’s planning commission.

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