CRA expansion approved in Grove City

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By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor

To encourage development around the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) landfill, Grove City leaders approved a plan that will add 26 parcels to a community reinvestment area.

This ordinance was passed at the Aug. 15 Grove City Council meeting.

The community reinvestment area includes areas like Seeds Road, State Route 665, North Meadows Drive, and Haughn Road. It was first established in the mid-1990s and has been amended several times throughout the years.

A community reinvestment area, or a CRA, provides incentives to developers, which typically includes 10 or 15-year tax abatements.

Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage said tax incentives are necessary to compete with other jurisdictions for job creation.

To expand this CRA, city officials conducted a study in April to show that the proposed expansion area meets state requirements. The study included the review of more than 20 properties, involving about 900 acres, for the proposed addition to the reinvestment area. This area is in the southern portion of the community, across from the landfill operation along London-Groveport Road.

According to Ted Berry, council president, a CRA next to the landfill is necessary for development.

“A CRA is meant to attract development in areas that would not necessarily have high-quality development,” said Berry. “It’s not a tax giveaway as some believe. CRAs work.”

The Franklin County Sanitary Landfill, owned by SWACO, covers approximately 430 acres of land.

City leaders said having an active landfill operation does impact the community and causes wear and tear on the roads with all the truck traffic, as well as litter and an odor.

According to city documents, due to these reasons, land adjacent to the landfill is not suitable for residential use and more appropriate for future commercial and industrial development. The planning guide, Grove City 2050 Community Plan, recommends this area be utilized as industrial, technical, and research, and development uses.

Grove City resident Bob Ruth addressed council and advised them to proceed with caution.

“The elephant in the room is the county dump,” said Ruth. “Such an eyesore would be a high hurdle for any dreams of high-tech development, even in the northern part of the area.”

Ruth said “low-end warehouses” seem like a more likely possibility.

Berry said not just any company could move into the space. It would have to include a development plan that fits in the city and would need council approval.

“What we’re trying to do is create jobs, create economic development, or create an area for medical development,” said Berry.

Stage said this is all part of a long-term strategy.

Council voted unanimously to add the parcels to the community reinvestment area.

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