By Linda Dillman
Land on the western edge of Canal Winchester is inching closer to becoming the next industrial development hub in the city’s inventory.
Twenty years ago, Canal Winchester embarked on its first industrial center—Canal Pointe. Today, that complex is nearing capacity with only a pair of parcels available for development.
In November, the city approved a $931,000 real estate agreement for 110 acres on the south side of Bixby Road—not far from the Gender Road commercial corridor—dependent on factors such as annexation and soil test borings.
On April 15, Canal Winchester City Council heard the first reading on an ordinance amending city code rezoning the acreage from a combination of exceptional use, limited manufacturing, and general commercial to all limited manufacturing.
The city’s goal, according to Development Director Lucas Haire, is to bring in zoned limited manufacturing and sell it for future industrial use.
Approximately two-thirds of the site—positioned near the southeast corner of the intersection of Bixby and Rager roads—is already located within the city’s corporation limits, the remainder would need to be annexed and approximately 50 percent is located in a floodplain. The site is currently owned by Willis M. Alspach, Joan A. Alspach and David Benjamin Alspach.
A public hearing on the rezoning was held prior to the April 15 council meeting. The Planning and Zoning Commission previously deliberated on the zoning request on Feb. 11 and recommended approving the request.
“The city is in contract for the property and is serving as applicant (for the rezoning),” said Haire during the hearing, who also reported two parcels within the property are in the city, but three more need to be annexed.
According to Haire, the owners of two parcels are preparing to annex into the city, one is already zoned commercial and another is not interested in annexation. He said because of its location, the site would have little impact on residential property within the area.
“There are a number of parcels restricted and part is in the 100-year flood zone,” said Haire, who added end users have yet to be determined, but indicated there was interest from companies involved in logistics.
Haire said the city has discussed with the Ohio Department of Transportation about moving a potential U.S 33. and Bixby Road interchange up on their project list, but ODOT is disinclined to come to the table until end users are identified.
Councilman Patrick Lynch said the industrial development will be set back far enough from U.S. 33 that it will not feel like it is on U.S. 33.