By Andrea Cordle
A large housing development plan got the green light from Grove City Council.
At the March 4 meeting, with a 3-2 vote, council approved a legislative package that allows Grand Communities to develop 206 acres of the Farmstead – Hancock Property, located along the west side of Jackson Pike and east of Hawthorne Parkway with more than 500 homes. The development plan also includes open space and a site for a future elementary school.
Jason Wisniewski, with Grand Communities, believes this plan falls in line with the city’s planning guide, Grove City 2050.
“The 2050 plan shows this site as a mixed-use development,” said Wisniewski.
According to Grove City 2050, a connection should be made at Jackson Pike (State Route 104) and Hawthorne Parkway.
Wisniewski said a traffic impact study suggested a north bound left turn lane into the community off State Route 104 and a south bound right turn lane into the community off State Route 104.
“We have committed to that,” said the developer.
Wisniewski said the company has also agreed to contribute $150,000 to a traffic signal at Hawthorne Parkway and State Route 104 if it is deemed necessary. A traffic study said the traffic currently does not call for a signal in that location.
Residents and council members were still not convinced.
Council members Ted Berry and Christine Houk voted against the rezoning and development plan.
“State Route 104 will not hold that type of traffic,” said Berry.
Houk represents that council ward where this project is located. She said too many community members have expressed concern about the potential traffic.
“My concern is the lack of plan or timeline of addressing the infrastructure this size of development would need,” said Houk.
Houk and Berry also expressed concerned about the burden this size housing development would put on the school district.
Wisniewski said he has provided city leaders with a letter of acceptance from the South-Western City Schools District regarding the proposed school site.
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.
In other news, council approved a resolution to establish an environmental sustainability committee.
According to the legislation, this committee would focus on the adaption to climate change, suburban natural ecosystems and biodiversity, transportation, renewable energy, waste reduction and recycling, and land use planning. The committee would include five members of the Grove City community and three members from the business community. The mayor will appoint the members.