By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Council approved two pieces of legislation that would clear a path for the Pinnacle developer to build more homes.
The actions were discussed at the July 20 meeting though not all council members were on board with the plans.
With a 3-2 vote, council approved the annexation of approximately 74 acres located west of State Route 104 and south of White Road. The property was in Jackson Township and was annexed into the city so the developer, Joe Ciminello, could build a residential subdivision that would include 180 single family homes and 29 condominiums on about 60 acres of land. The proposal also calls for a 10-acre park.
According to Ciminello, this housing development would be an extension of the Pinnacle Club development.
Council president Christine Houk and councilman Ted Berry voted against the annexation ordinance.
Berry said the area along State Route 104 and White Road is already cramped and overcrowded.
“We just keep on developing in that area,” he said.
Berry said he would like to see more park land and natural areas in the city.
Houk said she is concerned about adding more of a burden to the schools and township emergency workers. She is also concerned about the added traffic and the city not having infrastructure improvements in place.
“We seem to be chasing something I can’t quite define,” said Houk. “It’s frustrating to watch it happen.”
With a 4-1 vote, council also approved a pre-annexation and development agreement with Ciminello regarding the property along 104 and White Road. Houk voted against the measure.
According to Chuck Boso, the city’s administrator, this agreement would use funds generated through the Pinnacle TIF district to make infrastructure improvements along White Road and State Route 104. The new homes would then be added to the TIF district already in place.
The original TIF agreement was enacted in 2003 when the Pinnacle was first built. Ciminello said the funds from the property have already helped the city fund infrastructure improvements along Buckeye Parkway.
“We have paid forward,” said the developer. “We can’t proceed with the development without White Road and State Route 104 infrastructure improvements.”
According to the legislation, the city would use $9 million to widen White Road, install a traffic signal at the White Road and State Route 104 intersection (with approval from ODOT), put turn lanes on White Road and State Route 104, and extend water lines along the roadways.
Boso said the improvements would be completed in phases.
Houk voted against the measure with concerns that the city is paying for all the improvements and she said she fails to see where the developer is contributing.
“This is a considerable amount of money,” said Houk. “Why are we not asking the developer to contribute?”