Attorney David Dye, representing Henrietta Pfeifer and the Mid-Ohio Historical Museum, wants Canal Winchester to give his client what he contends she deserves…the correct zoning for a piece of Winchester Pike property.
Dye appeared before Canal Winchester Village Council Oct. 15 and said, in reviewing records for a triangular parcel owned by the Pfeifer family, an error was discovered. Village documents show the 1983 rezoning for a three-lot buffer was approved with the understanding the property immediately across remain residential to serve as a buffer zone.
However, a later 1988 zoning plan does not indicate the Winchester Pike frontage as residential in accordance with the ordinance, but shows all Pfeifer property as general commercial. Zoning problems within the area surfaced last year and earlier this year when Damon Pfeifer requested rezoning for a winery.
"The bulk of the site zoned general commercial is correct," contended Dye. "The triangle is in error. The south side of Winchester Pike is residential, but in 1983, the only existing residential uses were where the three lots were carved out. In planning, the commission asked for a buffer zone be put in place."
Dye said the southeast portion of the site was not part of the buffer and, in 2002, an overlay showed split zoning. He alleged maps vary on the zoning and, because of discrepancies, all references should revert to 1983 agreement as approved by the council and not subject to discretion by the village’s Planning and Zoning administrator.
In 1990, 1991, and 1992 zoning maps show the Winchester Pike frontage as residential, R-3. A lot split was approved for three lots carved from lot 1 and rezoned R-2. In 2001, comprehensive zoning code amendments removed four residential zoning districts and a new zoning map was prepared to reflect the 2001 amendments. The new zoning map showed lots 4, 5, and 6 with split residential/commercial zoning. In May 2005 another update correctly showed zoning for the trio of lots.
"It is very obvious, somewhere in the process, the original (map) was lost/misplaced," continued Dye. "On behalf of the Mid-Ohio Historical Museum, I ask for you to set the property back to what it should be. The village, through its staff, by trying to address a missing document, has come to the wrong conclusion. We’re asking you to correct the problem."
Village Law Director Gene Hollins called Dye’s allegations "serious" and suggested the council could initiate rezoning to re-establish the 1983 buffer. Dye asserted the original rezoning was still valid and there was no reason to rezone the property.
"We can argue over this or take a path that leads us directly," commented Hollins. "The 1983 ordinance, as far as we can tell, is consistent with the discussion for the buffer zone. I think we’ve got proper zoning. We may spend a lot of time spinning wheels when we’re not that far apart."