By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport City Council rejected plans for a proposed apartment complex along west Groveport Road.
On Dec. 21, council unanimously voted against a request to rezone 8.3 acres of land on the north side of Groveport Road from rural to planned high density residential.
The property is bounded by the Groveport Church of Christ on the west, storage units across the road to the south, and a single family lot to the north and east. A developer had proposed the construction of a multi-family unit residential complex on the site.
Groveport City Administrator B.J. King said the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission did not recommend the proposal for approval citing that the city’s overall plans for the area call for commercial and industrial development; the possible impact of more students to the Groveport Madison school district the development could bring; and potential traffic issues on busy west Groveport Road.
When asked how the proposed project fit in with the city of Groveport’s Groveport Road Gateway Corridor Plan, Groveport Development Director Jeff Green said, “The Gateway Corridor Plan envisions more commercial/retail development to complement and buffer the existing industrial development. It was up to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Groveport City Council to decide if the development fit.”
“I don’t disagree there is a need for affordable housing in the area,” said Groveport City Councilman Ed Dildine on why he voted against the plan. “But I don’t like the style of this development and it is not a fit for the area.”
Dildine noted the existing traffic congestion problems along that stretch of west Groveport Road and added there is “very little communication” between Groveport and a neighboring municipality about development in that area. He said the neighboring town could be planning another apartment complex nearby along Groveport Road, as well as improvements to the intersection of Bixby and Groveport roads, which is within its jurisdiction.
“That will cause an impact here and there with nothing being done for the infrastructure in between,” said Dildine.
According to paperwork included with the rejected rezoning legislation, the developer proposed to build five, three story multi-family buildings totaling 144 units with detached garages, clubhouse, and a pool. The units were a mix of one, two, and three bedroom options. The plan also called for 255 outdoor parking spots and 36 garage parking slots. The rezoning application noted that 7 to 14 school age children could be expected in the project and that “traffic counts for multi-family are considerably less than other forms of housing due to the reduced children and trips needed.”
Speaking at the Dec. 21 council meeting, Metro Development’s Joe Thomas said the development could offer work force housing for area employers needing nearby workers.
Regarding potential traffic issues, Thomas said a traffic study indicated the complex could add 50 vehicles to west Groveport Road during morning peak hours from 7-9 a.m. and 63 vehicles during afternoon peak hours from 4-6 p.m.
Thomas said a proposed sewer extension to the project would have helped open an additional 57 acres nearby for future development for the city as well as another 62 acres west of Saltzgaber Road and south of Groveport Road. He said the developer was willing to invest $400,000 for the 1,000 foot sewer extension.
In the end though, council rejected the proposal.
“There may be a better way for something there in the future,” said Dildine. “I know we need something there.”