Apartment plan irks county, township
A group of Orange Township residents opposed to a planned development in their neighborhood has the backing of several Delaware County elected officials.
The Delaware County commissioners and Orange Township trustees each have unanimously passed resolutions supporting the Oak Creek Township Homeowners Association’s efforts to stop the proposed development just off South Old State Road. Delaware County Engineer Chris Bauserman has also authored a letter outline his concerns about the plan.
The Schottenstein Real Estate Group is in the process of trying to rezone 14.5 acres, which has been annexed by the City of Columbus just north of Polaris Parkway, for the development of 208 apartment units. Current zoning restrictions allow only 90 units.
A message left with the Schottenstein Real Estate Group seeking comment was not returned by press time.
Both the county commissioners and township trustees said the density is too high for the area.
The proposed zoning change “doesn’t reflect the existing pattern of the area,” the commissioners wrote in separate but nearly identical letters sent to the Columbus Development Commission.
Expectations of increased density and traffic led the Orange Township trustees to oppose the development because of the “corresponding impact it will have upon public safety and welfare,” according to a resolution unanimously passed earlier this month.
Bauserman weighed in by informing the Columbus Development Commission the proposed development is not compatible with a planned widening of South Old State Road. In addition, Bauserman said his office has yet to receive a traffic study related to the project.
He asked the commission to delay approval of the development. A hearing on the matter scheduled for Thursday was canceled.
The cancellation was good news for Gloria Gaskey, president of the Oak Creek Homeowners Association. Her organization opposes the development based on the impact it will have on the Olentangy Local School District, traffic and sewer capacity.
“The area residents are not against developing the land,” she said in an email. “We only feel that it should conform to the current Far North Plan of the City of Columbus and complement the existing residences.”
While her organization hopes to apply enough pressure to force the developer to alter the plans, Gaskey acknowledges it will be an uphill battle.
“Ultimately we are at the mercy of the City of Columbus,” she said. “It remains to be seen if the city of Columbus will hear the Orange Township and Delaware County residents’ and officials’ objections and the concerns and objections of the Columbus residents that are affected.”