By Linda Dillman
A residential and commercial project on a cornfield fronting U.S. 33 and High Street in Canal Winchester is moving ahead.
Canal Winchester City Council voted 5-1 on Oct. 16 to amend the city’s zoning map for Fischer Homes’ Turning Stone development. The rezoning request was initiated by property owner Damon Pfeifer and Tiger Construction for the series of parcels totaling 17.5 acres southwest of North High Street and U.S. 33 from residential to Planned Unit Development.
The applicant, Grand Communities, Ltd. of Erlanger, Ky., sought rezoning for a 15.8 acre single family development and a 1.75 acre commercial tract connecting with similar parcels along High Street.
Proposed dwelling units—a duplex-style slab design—are not less than 1,200 square feet for a ranch and not less than 2,000 for a ranch with a loft. Each unit includes a two-car garage and enough driveway space for two cars.
Wilcox Communities developer Jonathon Wilcox said changes were made to the project after it was pulled from the agenda at a previous council meeting.
“Based on feedback and concern about the lofts and attracting a lot more kids, we’re committed to limiting 40 percent of the homes to lofts with the option for a second floor,” Wilcox said.
Four units were cut from the previously proposed 84, carriage-style garage doors are now part of the design, and
Fischer agreed to a request for natural materials on the front of the duplexes.
Neighboring residents still call the density too high, streets too narrow and the chance for subsequent developments to ask for more variances likely.
“I’m a little concerned about setting a precedent with the development at 33,” said Michael Stobart. “They’re at 35 percent (density) over the development standard. The concern is the next PUD will ask for more. We’re basically approving one that has no standards. There are too many units per acre.”
Development Director Lucas Haire said a Planned Unit Development is based on the unique character of the land itself and allows for variances from the standard zoning code—including density.
Haire said the residential density at Charleston Lake is 5.15 per acre, 5.94 at Eagle Ridge and 5.36 at Canal Village.
The Turning Zone density, as proposed, is approximately 5.22 residences per acre.
Councilman Will Bennett was the lone no vote on the rezoning with Bob Clark, Steve Donahue, Bruce Jarvis, Bobbie Mershon and Mike Walker voting for the request.
A preliminary design is available for public viewing on the city’s website under meetings and agenda.