By Andrea Cordle
A large residential development was again postponed at the Feb. 19 Grove City Council meeting due to questions about density.
Jason Wisniewski, with Grand Communities, has proposed a development and rezoning plan for the Farmstead – Hancock Property, located along the west side of Jackson Pike and east of Hawthorne Parkway. The plan consists of 206 acres that would be divided into nine subareas. Most of the subareas would contain single-family homes with a maximum of 415 dwellings. One subarea would contain multi-family homes with a maximum of 120 units permitted.
The subarea that features the multi-family homes was the problem for some council members.
According to the Grove City 2050 plan, a development guide for future planning, the area in question calls for low density housing. Multi-family homes can include apartments, which is labeled high density housing.
“Apartments are included in this plan,” said councilman Ted Berry. “No place in Grove City 2050 does it say apartments.”
Berry said apartments do not fit that area.
“Why would you build apartments away from any type of retail,” asked Berry.
Councilman Steven Robinette said the development area has a rural flavor.
“This plan seems to be going away from that,” said Robinette.
Councilwoman Christine Houk said multi-family homes mean more of a burden for the local school system.
“This is a huge issue for me,” said Houk.
The development plan does include an area where a school could be constructed. However, council members believe there are too many unanswered questions.
“It could be 10 years before that school is built,” said Robinette. “We don’t know what the demand will be in a decade.”
According to City Administrator Chuck Boso, the developer would sell the property to the city or the South-Western City Schools District to build another elementary school. The plan secures that site and gives the city a purchase option.
Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage assured council that he has met with officials from the school district and they are on board with the plan.
Earlier this month, citizens were asked to attend a town hall meeting about this large, multi-year development plan. City officials were on hand, as were officials from the South-Western City Schools District and the Ohio Department of Transportation.
“I think we got through a lot of issues,” said Wisniewski.
The developer said the proposal offers a range of housing options and includes approximately three miles of trails and open space.
In response to some of the residential traffic concerns, the developer has agreed to contribute $150,000 to a traffic signal at Hawthorne Parkway if it is deemed necessary. Traffic studies indicate that a traffic signal is not needed at this time.
The legislation on the Farmstead property was postpone until the March 4 council meeting. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 4035 Broadway.