Things are stirring on Toy, Saltzgaber, and Swisher roads

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By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Development and road improvements are planned for Toy, Saltzgaber, and Swisher roads.

Saltzgaber Road development
A developer returned to city of Groveport officials with altered plans for developing 37 acres at 5770 Saltzgaber Road.

The developer, Paul Hemmer Companies, unveiled revised plans for three lots (instead of the original two) at 5770 Saltzgaber Road at the Sept. 3 Groveport Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

This plan calls for building a 247,500 square foot warehouse on the 15.5 acre lot 2 and a 240,500 square foot warehouse on the 16.4 acre lot 3. Lot 1, which is on 2.95 acres on the northernmost part of the property, will be set aside for future development, which could include: community facilities, recreation facilities, offices, retail sales, restaurants, shopping center, wholesalers, drive-in car wash, or residential.

Saltzgaber Road would be reconstructed into a three lane road with a 100 foot diameter bulb placed at the south end of the road to allow large vehicles to turn around. There would also be improvements at the intersection of Saltzgaber and Groveport roads. A 150 foot right turn lane and a 150 foot left turn lane would be constructed on eastbound Groveport Road. A 325 foot left turn lane would be installed on westbound Groveport Road at the intersection. A right turn only onto eastbound Groveport Road exit connection is proposed from the development site. These improvements would be paid for by the developer.

“We’re committed to $2.5 million in public improvements,” said Adam Hemmer of Paul Hemmer Companies.

Added Groveport City Engineer Steve Farst, “The proposed right turn only exit connection to Groveport Road would also take pressure off the Saltzgaber and Groveport roads intersection.”

The planning and zoning commission recommended the plan for approval by Groveport City Council. Following the Sept. 3 meeting, Groveport City Councilwoman Becky Hutson said the revised plan, with the inclusion of the north 2.95 acre lot, is a compromise that is a better fit with the city’s Gateway Corridor Plan.

The west Groveport Road corridor from State Route 317 west to Swisher Road currently is a mix of warehouses, small businesses, and residences. It features two areas for redevelopment: Groveport Road from Swisher Road to State Route 317; and Saltzgaber Road from Groveport Road south to Toy Road. The 37 acre tract on the east side of Saltzgaber Road at Groveport Road is “one of the few remaining vacant parcels in the immediate area,” according to the city’s Gateway Corridor Plan.

Groveport Finance Director/Assistant Administrator Jeff Green notes the Gateway Corridor Plan helps the city address: recommended land use, appropriate zoning, overall aesthetic, what types of commercial development would best complement the existing industrial development, and what the best uses are for vacant land.

Toy, Swisher, & Saltzgaber roads
The city of Groveport is supporting two Ohio Public Works Commission grant applications submitted by Madison Township and Franklin County. These applications seek funding for roadway and drainage maintenance upgrades to Toy, Swisher, and Saltzgaber roads to improve road conditions and relieve traffic congestion.

One application is for the construction of a double cul-de-sac on Toy Road just east of Centerpoint Parkway as well as the resurfacing of Toy, Swisher, and Saltzgaber roads.

A second application is for the same purposes except that, in addition to the three government entities, it includes the developer who wants to develop the acreage on the east side of Saltzgaber Road. If the developer’s plan is approved, the improvements could include some funding from the developer for a full reconstruction of Saltzgaber Road and upgrades at the road’s intersection with Groveport Road.

“This (second) application will only be submitted (to the OPWC) if the Madison Township trustees approve the developer’s involvement,” said Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall. “Should Groveport City Council not approve the zoning and development plan, this application would be removed from consideration.”

If that happens, the first application would be pursued.

The city of Groveport’s share of the estimated $447,500 plan is $97,795, Franklin County’s share is $107,000, and Madison Township’s is $100,000 with a combination of OPWC grants and loans also contributing to the funding.

Fritz Crosier, chief deputy of engineering for Franklin County Engineer Cornell Robertson, said the cul-de-sacs will close Toy Road, except for emergency vehicles, and keep truck traffic to the west and residential traffic to the east thereby separating commercial Toy Road from residential Toy Road. County officials anticipate construction on the project could begin in 2020.

Residents living on Toy Road, Saltzgaber Road, and Swisher Road have long been frustrated by the poor conditions of these roads and the heavy traffic from nearby commercial warehouses that use these narrow, formerly rural roads. The residents want relief from the vehicle and semi-truck traffic they say damages the roads, tears up yards, knocks over mailboxes (one resident replaced his mailbox 11 times), causes noise, generates trash, and creates congestion.

The three roads fall within several government jurisdictions including Madison Township, Groveport, Obetz, and Franklin County. The three roads total 2 miles with 1.5 miles in Madison Township and a half mile in Groveport.

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