By Linda Dillman
A housing development rezoning request drew a lot of community attention at Canal Winchester City Council’s Sept. 18 meeting.
The rezoning request is by Damon Pfeifer and Tiger Construction is for a series of parcels totaling 17.5 acres southwest of North High Street and U.S. 33 from residential to planned unit development.
Applicant Grand Communities, Ltd., is seeking rezoning for an 84-lot single family Turning Stone development and a 1.75 acre commercial tract connecting with similar parcels along High Street.
Proposed dwelling units—a duplex-style slab design—would not be less than 1,200 square feet for a ranch and not less than 2,000 for a ranch with a loft. Each unit would include a two-car garage and driveway space for two cars.
Although the project is in its early stages, it is generating concern among neighboring homeowners about traffic, lighting and aesthetics.
“The impact of 84 more homes means a lot more cars coming through,” said resident Kim Stedman. “Speeding is an issue and the impact on our schools. There may be a need for housing, but a little better than what they are planning. They’re not attractive houses at all.”
Joe Hanna said the development is what golfers refer to as a “Mulligan” and said the additional traffic would create a mess, in addition to the potential for restricted parking and inadequate street lighting.
“It’s a fine community, but the street lighting leaves much to be desired. I question how it went from a low-density area to a high density area,” said Hanna.
Pfeifer, the site’s current property owner, said the project would eventually bring over $400,000 in taxes to the community.
“We’ve had other people approach us (throughout the years) and feel nice condos are an asset to the community,” Pfeifer said. “It’s not apartments. It’s condos and I think it’s a nice use for the community.”
Jason Wisniewski, representing the Fischer Homes applicant, said while the development is not age-restricted, the company is targeting the $179,000 base price homes to empty-nesters.
“This is a lifestyle choice,” said Wisnieski, who expects the duplexes to average $200,000.
Council will consider the rezoning request further at a future meeting.
Residents complain about noise
Area residents state live music from the patio and interior of the Loose Rail Brewing on West Waterloo Street can be heard in neighboring homes as far as two blocks away. Residents asked council for help keeping the noise to a tolerable limit.
Dan Kneper said he can hear music from the pub regardless if his windows are open or closed and recently experienced three hours of bass reverberating through his walls. He encouraged the city to consider and pass a noise ordinance.
Law Director Gene Hollins said the city does not feel Loose Rail has been compliant to an expected level and is disappointed with acts/recent bands playing the venue.
“As we ratchet down, we hear less and less, but we don’t think we’re there yet,” said Hollins.
Council President Steve Donahue added, “I know the mayor is getting tired of being the sound police.”
West Mound Street property owner Matt Ahlstrom urged enforcement through Canal Winchester’s public nuisance code. He said despite calls to the city and sheriff’s department, the situation has not improved much.
“Most of us have given up and lost faith that the city will do anything,” said Ahlstrom, who asked a liaison be appointed to keep residents informed of any future developments with the situation.