By Katelyn Sattler
Plans for growth are continuing in the village of Obetz.
The preliminary plans for development of about 450 acres of land on the Younkin, Warren, and Wilburn farms near the intersection of Lockbourne and Rathmell roads were presented to Obetz Village Council on Aug. 9 by Village Administrator Rod Davisson.
Village officials want to create a walkable, diverse high-quality housing mix that protects existing neighborhoods while allowing new high-quality housing opportunities with parks, bike paths, and trails.
The former Warren farm was purchased by the village and will be developed as a mixed-use center of community facilities with commercial and office space, single family homes at two to five units per acre and multi-family homes with a maximum of 25 units per acre, and parks and open spaces that will be walkable and pedestrian friendly.
The former Wilburn and Younkin farms will be developed as neighborhood residential, consisting of single-family homes at two to five units per acre, multi-family residential at a maximum of 20 units per acre, and senior living.
The Wilburn farm is expected to have 255 homes starting at $350,000. There will be 240 multi-family homes. It is expected about 50 homes will sell per year beginning in 2022. Ground breaking is expected in the spring.
The Younkin farm is planned to have 500 homes starting at $300,000 and 96 town homes at $280,000 per unit. About 100 units per year are expected sell beginning in 2022.
Davisson said these numbers are from developers who think they can sell houses at $375,000 and up into the $400,000 range.
Village officials expect an increase of 100 students per year for a total of 1,000 total new students over 10 years to the schools, but it will be revenue neutral. The village has begun discussions with the schools because there will be a need to expand the schools. Davisson wants to “make sure we’re developing the area responsibly and that it has a positive impact on the region regardless of where.”
Roads and streets will be designed to manage the increase in traffic in the area and adding an east-west connector between State Route 23 and Alum Creek Drive, along with improvements to existing roads. The village plans to allow golf carts on some roads, but they won’t be allowed on Alum Creek Drive.
With an increase in people moving in, village officials are preparing for a potential increase in crime with an increase in police presence.
Obetz is expecting to become a city of over 5,000 residents after the U.S. Census results are released. Davisson said it’s more expensive to operate as a city, but expects the transition to city will be smooth.
Because Obetz owns its own utilities, it will be able to expand them out to the new developments.
A 3-D version of the plan will be presented at the Obetz Village Council meeting on Aug. 23. In the mean time,village officials welcome comments and feedback from the community.
Once the plans are finalized and approved by planning and zoning in the next several months, it will come before council in November, December or January.
Mayor Angela M. Kirk said, “There’s nowhere to eat or shop in Obetz. This is what everyone has asked for. Let’s work together on this.”