The Pickerington Planning and Zoning Commission has unanimously approved the rezoning of 8.96 acres off Diley Road from R-4 residential to O suburban office.
The rezoning clears the way for a proposed 45-unit assisted living facility that developers want to build on a parcel north of Long Road and east of Diley Road. It is and surrounded by land devoted to residential uses.
Applicant Good Builders Inc. of Logan is in contract to purchase the land from current owner Greater Works Church of Reynoldsburg.
"It has been our desire to see this property be utilized for senior welfare and we are pleased this will be satisfied," the Rev. Marcia L. Ferko of Greater Works wrote to Pickerington's city zoning office.
Good Builders Inc. advised the city in its letter of intent that what it called its"Elderly Assisted Care Project" will be a "residential-style community" that will serve the population of Pickerington and the surrounding area.
Pickerington City Planner Clement Chukwu said the city's zoning staff supported rezoning the vacant land because the parcel is a "transition site allowing for mixed use."
Chukwu said the zoning change is in line with what was approved by Pickerington City Council for the Diley Road corridor master plan in April 2009.
That plan focused on land use alternatives for the Diley Road corridor to help maintain a balance of nonresidential and residential uses.
Planning commission member Ted Hackworth expressed concern that construction of the facility would block Florence Drive residentsfrom a future direct access to Diley Road.
"If we cut Florence Drive off, you're going to have a lot of problems on Diley Road trying to get out," Hackworth said.
"I want to say that now before (Good Builders) come in for the (certificate of spproval)," he said.
Pickerington Development Director Joe Henderson said that was an issue "for a later discussion."
" In earlier discussions, there has not been a desire to make that connection,"he said.
The rear of the property abuts the Toldeo and Ohio Central Railroad track that runs through Pickerington.
Good Builders' preliminary plans call for construction of a 27,000-square-foot assisted living facility with parking capacity of 35 spaces and approximately 407 feet of frontage on the east side of Diley Road.
Legislation authorizing the rezoning is expected to get a first ready by Pickerington City Council June 18. If approved after three readings, the effective date of the rezoning would be Aug. 15.