Bexley City Council approved a variance Tuesday night to change an East Mound Street home owned by Capital University into offices for the school's alumni association.

Bexley City Council approved a variance Tuesday night to change an East Mound Street home owned by Capital University into offices for the school's alumni association.

A number of residents had expressed concerns over Capital's proposal during previous meetings of council and the Bexley Board of Zoning Appeals.

During the zoning and development committee meeting before Tuesday's council meeting, Capital attorney Don Plank said he believed repurposing the single-family home as an office facility would provide an appropriate buffer between the campus and Bexley residences.

"From a land-use perspective, it makes sense that there be some kind of buffer between residential use and business use," he said.

Melinda Akins, who lives on Euclaire Avenue in a residence owned by Capital, spoke out about the rezoning.

"In terms of being stewards of our property, I am concerned about what efforts and results they are going to put into modifying this compared to the other homes," she said. "I think if it's going to help the students and the university, it's a great thing, but it should be important that they should put the same kind of resources into the residential homes, also."

Mayor John Brennan, after hearing comments from Akins and one of her neighbors, said he believes residential renters should be on the top of Capital's list for maintenance.

"That would show a little good faith on Capital's part," he said.

Council member Rick Weber, who is also a real estate agent, said he isn't entirely pleased about the change, but sees the university's point of view.

"I'm not jumping up and down about this change, but I'm comfortable about it," he said. "I hate to see our residences become anything but residences."

Council passed the ordinance granting the variance 4-1, with Mark Masser voting against the motion. Council member Robyn Jones was absent.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, council members unanimously approved an ordinance to give Bexley's planning commission the authority to approve some zoning issues for retail and office developers and owners in the city.

Development director Bruce Langner said this would create a "one-stop shop" for developers or builders.

"It would allow the planning commission to grant these variances without coming to council," he said.

In the past, the Main Street Planning Commission had the authority to approve variances, but the commission was dissolved this summer.

In other council matters, members voted to suspend the three-reading rule and unanimously appropriated $14,000 for the first payment of a backhoe and $17,000 for a dump truck. In both cases, the money is coming from the street maintenance fund.

In the mayor's report, Brennan told council members that officials from Rumpke contacted the city and said they were behind in pickup. The mayor said the company should be caught up by Monday.

Service director Bill Harvey reminded residents that yard signs are prohibited on public property and roadways.

"If we see them, we will confiscate them," he said.