By Katelyn Sattler
Obetz City Council approved legislation accepting the recommendations of the Tax Incentive Review Council regarding several city tax incentives.
Obetz City Administrator Rod Davisson said the Tax Incentive Review Council includes members from the city, area school districts, area townships, and the Franklin County Auditor’s Office. It meets once a year and reviews all of the outstanding incentive packages to make sure that the companies who have those incentive packages are doing the things that they agreed to do and return those incentive packages.
“Once that meeting occurs, the Tax Incentive Review Council makes a recommendation as to what to do,” said Davisson. “So, if there was somebody who wasn’t doing what they were supposed to, they may say you should revoke their abatement. In ours, everybody who has an incentive was complying with the things they were supposed to. And so the Tax Incentive Review Council has recommended that all of the incentives continue based on the fact that they’re all in compliance.”
Councilman Mike Flaherty asked, “So, we do the review. We’re checking to make sure that if we give them incentive and you have 200 employees by this date or whatever, that they’re reading those in steps. If it’s as they grow, they have to meet….”
Davisson replied, “If they said we’re going to have 200 jobs by this date, then they have to prove that they have 200 jobs. We have to make sure that their buildings are in decent shape and they don’t have any code violations. If they guaranteed an investment, like if they say we’re going to build a $6 million building by this year, then you go make sure they build a $6 million building by that year. Whatever the agreement requires that they said they’re going to get money to the school district to make sure they do. That’s why the economic development director goes through and checks all that stuff to make sure it’s all on par when we go to report that to the TIRC and everybody was good to go.”
Other Obetz news
•Council approved legislation to approve changes to the 2022 appropriations for the current expenses and other expenditures of the city.
“Essentially, we have a bunch of cleanups related to the folks who took the buyouts, new employees that may have come in since then, and the intern program,” said Davisson. “So you got that through different levels of benefits, payroll, those kinds of things. And then one addition for extra overtime for Finance Assistant Jessica Williams, presuming we may need to use that to process the FOP collective bargaining agreement between now and the end of the year.”
•Council approved an opt-in to the Ohio Department of Transportation’s municipal bridge inspection program services. ODOT’s bridge inspection program is free to municipalities and it also gives ODOT permission to be on Obetz’s bridge.
•Council approved canceling the regularly scheduled council meetings of Nov. 28 and Dec. 27.
Planning & Zoning
By Katelyn Sattler
The Obetz Planning and Zoning Commission discussed parcels at Alum Creek Drive and Lindsay Road on Nov. 9.
The parcels are the southern part of the Sheetz development. Currently, the majority of the sites are zoned planned commercial and are part of the Walnut Creek Center. The southern part of the site is divided into two different zoning districts. The low density residential district, which includes two parcels on Lindsay Road. The car wash is zoned general commercial district.
The engineering has been updated, completed, and approved by City Engineer Mike Corbitt and Utilities Engineer Todd Garwick. Looking at the site plan, the car wash has been removed to make room for a stormwater basin to the south. Skilken-Gold has done all the traffic controls, requested the extra outdoor seating, and the additional landscaping.
The original site plan that was approved remains in effect. The rezoning of these parcels to Planned Commercial District, which is the same district to the north, is all that needs to happen now.
4129 Orchard Lane variance
A variance request has been applied for a lot at the corner of Orchard Lane and Recreation Trail. The landowner wants to extend fencing past the corner of the house. The owner wants the fence “to be able to let my dog out to run around the yard.” She doesn’t want a privacy fence “because that’s the reason I have the trees and the bushes there.”
1652 Lisle Avenue
compliance extension request
Property owner Josh Brown has applied for a variance for 1652 Lisle Avenue to be able to keep his graveled driveway. The existing gravel driveway was expanded without a permit, encompassing a large portion of the backyard and is used for parking vehicles. City officials said he either needed to blacktop or concrete it. Brown said he’s willing to work with the city to figure out what he has versus what is allowed.
Mayor Angela Kirk said, “There hasn’t been anything done on the property. There’s not been any gravel moved, there hasn’t been anything planted. There’s not been anything done at all.”
Community Services Director Stacey Boumis said, “He doesn’t want to do anything until spring. But, we have written him up for code violations. He applied for a variance to keep the gravel. The Planning and Zoning Commission said, “no.” My opinion is the planning commission was generous with giving him an extension. If you don’t give any additional extension, because really it’s starting to cross over. What is the role of the planning commission versus the role of code enforcement? It will get back to code enforcement and then we’ll handle it through the code enforcement route. You won’t have to worry about it coming back again for a possible extension because I can tell you if it goes to court, it’s going to get plenty of extensions on its own. So, if we take this to enforcement in a couple of weeks, they’re going to get it until spring anyway. At this point, if you give it until spring and nothing happens, at least we get it into the court system, so then there is that court order compelling an action.”
Kirk said, “If we give him until spring and he doesn’t do it in the spring, then we are starting back over at square one. And at six four-month extensions because of the court process.”
The Planning and Zoning Commission voted against giving an extension.