By Linda Dillman
A new community reinvestment area in Canal Winchester could open another avenue of development in the city.
The CRA is located north of U.S. 33 and is bordered by Rager Road to the west, Bixby Road on the north and along Cemetery Road to the east.
The Route 33 North CRA is intended to encourage development in the city in areas that have not benefited from remodeling or new construction. A resolution establishing the CRA was adopted by Canal Winchester City Council on Oct. 7.
In addition to the resolution, council enacted a trio of ordinances approving the annexation of the following properties located within the reinvestment area: 6055 Bixby Road, 6229 Bixby Road, and 6091 Bixby Road.
“All three parcels are in contract to be sold to a developer,” said Canal Winchester Development Director Lucas Haire, “and all are proposed to be demolished. Those folks are annexing to sell these (properties) and move on.”
In conjunction with the Route 33 North CRA, which encourages commercial and industrial development and provides tax exemptions for those businesses consistent with applicable zoning regulations, Haire also created a housing survey of the area.
“The proposed Route 33 North CRA location represents a small portion of the city, which has 17 total housing units located within its boundaries,” said Haire.
Of the 17 existing houses, two were built more than 79 years ago. Three were constructed in the 1940s and seven built between 1950-1989. The three remaining homes date between 1990-2009.
“By establishing Route 33 North CRA, the city of Canal Winchester should be better able to encourage development and improvement within this portion of the community which has not benefitted from growth within the surrounding area.”
According to Haire, residential and commercial properties within the CRA are underdeveloped or undeveloped.
“This area of Canal Winchester has suffered from its proximity to U.S. 33 while many other parcels in the community have benefitted from the access that U.S. 33 has provided,” Haire wrote in his report. “The growing amount of traffic, including truck traffic along U.S. 33 has limited the desirability of the area for residential construction. Road noise is a contributing factor to this area not being developed for residential purposes and limits the pool of buyers for existing residential units and rehabilitation of those properties.”
Haire felt the implementation of the CRA will encourage development and redevelopment of parcels that would benefit the area, surrounding neighborhoods and the entire community as well.
The percentage of tax exemptions on increases in assessed value from future improvements within the CRA will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis in advance of construction or remodeling.
Tax exemptions cannot exceed up to 10 years and 50 percent for remodeling of existing commercial or industrial facilities of at least $100,000 or up to 15 years and 100 percent for construction of new commercial and industrial facilities.
“I’m all for the CRA and bringing in jobs to the area,” said Councilman Patrick Lynch following the discussion and prior to approval of the resolution.