Hilliard area

Columbus City Council should reject Roberts Road rezoning request

To the Editor:

The rezoning application by developer Tom Bell to rezone 5652 Roberts Road is scheduled to come before Columbus City Council on Monday, Sept. 30.

I live next to this lot and urge City Council to reject this application.

This design is insensitive to the surrounding neighbors. The large buildings lined up around the perimeter would dwarf our homes.

They will intrude on our privacy and disturb our quiet enjoyment of our yards. The plain backs of these buildings will make it feel like we're living next to barracks.

This site plan is ugly and unimaginative. We call it the "Monopoly Board." An architect from one of the area commissions told us, "Mr. Bell bought the $1.99 plan."

We asked the developer to lower the density, increase the perimeter, reduce the building size to fewer units per building and arrange the buildings so not all the backs are facing out.

He increased the perimeter 5 feet on two sides and added trees. Such minor changes won't help when the buildings are three times wider than my house.

This parcel was designated very low density residential future use in the 2011 Trabue-Roberts Area Plan. The plan requires that projects within the planning area generally conform. At 8.8 units per acre, this proposal is a radical departure from that plan.

How can citizens be confident these area plans are meaningful if such extreme deviations from a recently approved, consensus-based plan are supported by the city?

It's unfair to the community, if not poor policy, for the city to support a project that's so drastically different from such a recently approved plan.

I'm not against developing this parcel, but lower density, more consistent with the area plan, would be more appropriate.

Virginia Stark