Rezoning of flooded field put on hold

Action on a rezoning request that could alleviate annual flooding in a field, located on the west side of Old Hamilton Road in Groveport, has been postponed until January 2009.

"The development plan was reviewed by village staff and it was found there was information missing from the plan," said Groveport Economic Development Director Jeff Green at the village’s Nov. 3 planning and zoning meeting. "Because of the deficiencies it has been asked that the measure be tabled."

Green added that information on the rezoning request’s accompanying preliminary plat was also missing.

The missing information included such things as topographical descriptions, whether basements were proposed, maintenance/ownership of non-residential open space, an architect’s summary, schedule of development, and other items.

The planning and zoning commission voted to postpone hearing the presentation on the rezoning request and preliminary plat until Jan. 5, 2009.

The rezoning request would allow Rockford Homes, Inc., to rezone 32.8  acres of vacant land on the west side of Old Hamilton Road, that are part of the Founder’s Bend subdivision, from R-4 suburban residential to R-6 planned residential. The rezoning would enable Rockford Homes to build a proposed condominium development made up of 68 ranch style condominiums in clusters of four units per building.

The action would reduce the current approved future 123 lots to 24 lots, plus 68 condominiums for a net reduction of 24 residences on the land, located at the end of Vantage Way and Founders Way streets.

"Condominium developments, such as the one being proposed, have historically been successful in the village with a demonstrated appeal to empty-nesters and single older adults," Green reported.

According to Green, because of recent changes to the FEMA flood plain maps for Groveport, the land proposed to be rezoned "would have been largely unsuitable for the construction of single family homes. The proposed development addresses this and provides much needed drainage improvements along Old Hamilton Road through the construction of a series of ponds that are low enough to not back water up onto adjacent property, but high enough to discharge under the railroad tracks and into Hendron Ditch."

Green said the planned ponds "would help drainage on both sides of Old Hamilton Road." He said drainage in the area has been hampered over the years by old, broken field drain tiles, which let water linger in the fields.

Green added the postponement of the rezoning request and preliminary plat discussions will allow the developer to make changes to the development plan and make it better.

"Let’s do it right," said Green. "Let’s make sure it’s a development plan we’re happy with and that meets the needs of the area."

Several neighboring residents were on hand at the Nov. 3 planning and zoning meeting, but stated they would wait to speak at the Jan. 5 meeting. One resident submitted a list of questions to the commission including: What would the acreage per home would be? Would the homes have basements? What would be the lowest floor elevation? What would be the lowest grade elevations around the structures? How many of the new residences would sit in the 100 year flood plain? How would drainage be handled? How would runoff be prevented from running onto neighboring properties? What would the proposed selling price of the new residences be?

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