After a long wait, a Pickerington business will receive a partial refund from the city.
Barnyard Primitives, Inc. (Kindred Spirits Kraft Mall) will receive 75 percent reimbursement for impact fees it paid.
Originally the business’ attorney Richard Ricketts requested a full refund because the craft mall was "significantly underway" before Pickerington City Council enacted impact fees. The procedure for obtaining a building permit in Pickerington is a lengthy process and, while Barnyard Primitives waited for approval, the impact fees were created and imposed.
Pickerington Development Director Tim Hansley said the building permit process often takes around a year. Since the impact fees have been enacted businesses are told upfront to expect to pay them.
City staff worked with Ricketts to create a compromise where Barnyard Primitives would receive a 50 percent reimbursement because they were "significantly underway" and an additional 25 percent refunded because of capital improvements they made to the area near their store.
Because Mayor David Shaver and several council members had not heard Ricketts’ plea on behalf of his clients in finance committee, the council tabled the final vote on the refund in September.
Shaver said the issue was removed from the table at council’s Dec. 18 meeting because the wording in the refund agreement had changed. The new wording will help protect the city from other businesses claiming to be "significantly underway" who also want refunds or who could possibly sue.
The motion passed by a vote 6-1 with Councilman Brian Wisniewski casting the dissenting vote because he could not support waiving impact fees for a retail establishment.
In addition, Windmiller Office Condominiums is seeking a reimbursement because it was "significantly underway" when impact fees began. Ricketts represents its business owners also.
The final decision on the Windmiller reimbursement was also tabled in September. Shaver said the final vote will remain on the table until the city completes further negotiations with Ricketts.
Other Pickerington news
•Pickerington plans to give the Little Darby Creek Corridor project as much as $2.5 million to help conserve and enhance the creek. In exchange for the sponsorship, Ohio will reduce the interest rate by 0.1 percent on the loan for the city’s wastewater treatment plant expansion. The estimated cost of the plant is $10 million.
•The next council meeting will be Jan. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at city hall. A public meeting to discuss non-residential design standards will be held at 7:15 p.m. on Jan. 15 followed by the second council meeting of the new year at 7:30 p.m.