The blighted Walnut Knolls apartments are a fading memory now that the building has been razed and the land replanted with grass seed, leaving Madison Township officials to look for ideas on what's next for the property.
After a celebration of the demolition June 21, crews made quick work of removing the building and debris before leveling the land and seeding it during the first two weeks of July.
Madison Township trustees have scheduled a public meeting at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the community center, 4575 Madison Lane, so residents can share ideas on what they'd like done with the property.
"We're looking for residents to provide the board of trustees with input and feedback on ideas for the vacant ground, both short- and long-term," Township Administrator Susan Brobst said. "Once we decide what we are doing -- selling the property or keeping it and doing something with it -- then we can ask the land bank for the title. If we do something with it, we'll have to abide by current zoning or go through the same variance process as any other owner."
The 55-unit apartment complex at 3232 Noe-Bixby Road had been deteriorating for almost a decade after being condemned by Madison Township Fire Marshal Rick Stelzer, including six years of legal battles in environmental court before being approved for the demolition under the newly created Central Ohio Community Improvement Corp. land bank program.
The land bank program is funded through a state grant, so the demolition was completed at no cost to the township, Brobst said.
However, the township will be responsible for the upkeep of the property until a new use is decided upon.
"We asked that they leave one parking lot in place to allow for our maintenance vehicles, since the township will continue to be responsible for maintenance of the ground," she said.
Besides scheduling a public meeting about the Walnut Knolls property, township officials also have scheduled a meeting for 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 30, at the community center for the purpose of awarding a new solid waste contract and discussing the new Border Energy electrical aggregation contract. Other items to be discussed include possible changes to employees' OPERS accounts and potential police department promotions.