By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester City Council approved a preliminary site plan for a proposed nursing facility on Gender Road.
The MacIntosh Company, which operates healthcare facilities in New Albany, Columbus, Circleville, Grove City and Hilliard, asked the city for approval of a 125-bed facility, 87,000 square-foot two-story complex on an open site east of Gender Road and south of Foxhill Drive.
The approximately 7 acre property, framed by residential housing and once proposed for condominiums, is now up for development as a rehabilitation and extended care facility. Over half of the site will be open, landscaped, include water detention areas and preserve the majority of a wooded area to the south of the property.
Since most of the residents do not drive their own vehicles, the majority of access to the site will be from staff members and guests of residents. The facility is expected to have little impact on current traffic patterns.
Nicholas Grilli, an opponent of the project, said “They’re putting a public facility in a residential area. This proposed use is clearly and undoubtedly a public use, a 24-hour, seven day a week use.”
Grilli’s wife, Julia, asked council for a guarantee the city will protect the integrity and maintain the residential quality of her area. She pointed out, despite additional landscaping, the view from her kitchen window will not be blocked yearlong.
“The screening is only so good during the summer months,” she said.
Altercare of Canal Winchester Administrator Valerie Griggs has apprehensions about the proposed facility slicing into a diminishing pie of opportunity.
“I’m concerned about the volume of business available,” said Griggs, who asked the council to deny the rezoning request.
City Law Director Gene Hollins said the approval only gives the go-ahead for the rezoning. The company must go back to the planning and zoning commission for a recommendation on their final development plan.
Residents question BrewDog arrival
A handful of residents questioned the move of BrewDog into the Canal Winchester area and the impact the company’s production facility could have on traffic, sanitary sewers and the release of unpleasant aromas.
“Everything is happening so quickly,” said Susan Rasoletti. “Think of the ramifications behind it.”
City Development Director Lucas Haire said the company is not treating production waste on-site and expects facility plans to be submitted in time for the Aug. 10 planning and zoning commission meeting. The full council is in recess until Aug. 3.
BrewDog is set to open its North American headquarters and first production facility outside the United Kingdom in August 2016 on 42 acres at 96 Gender Rd. The $30.4 million project includes the construction of a 100,000 square foot complex and will initially create 115 new jobs. Noting the site’s existing utility offerings and location, the company plans for the facility to be the main brewing site for all BrewDog USA beer production and will offer a restaurant, taproom and visitor center on-site.
The city is supporting the project with a 15-year, 100 percent property tax exemption on the value of the building improvements—an incentive worth an estimated $2.7 million over the 15-year term. Canal Winchester is also waiving more than $325,000 in utility capacity and building permit fees.