Delaware City Council on Jan. 24 approved changes to the Dominion Homes development on Cheshire Road, the Communities at Glenross, that will reduce the number of condominiums planned for the area and substitute single-family homes.

Delaware City Council on Jan. 24 approved changes to the Dominion Homes development on Cheshire Road, the Communities at Glenross, that will reduce the number of condominiums planned for the area and substitute single-family homes.

Although council member Lisa Keller expressed concern that the single-family lot sizes of 65 feet would lead to lower-value homes than the single-family lot sizes of 75 to 80 feet that had previously been approved, council approved the changes by a 6-1 vote.

City officials said Dominion requested the change, which is designed to meet the current market demand.

City planning and development director Dave Efland said the two major developments on Cheshire Road ultimately could account for almost 5 percent of the city's population.

"The goal is to try to continue the development in Reserves of Glenross, which has picked up in 2010, and getting going in the Communities at Glenross, the sister development to the east," Efland said. "Dominion Homes has been in the forefront of development in these subdivisions, going back to the Parade of Homes (in 2005). Together, both of these developments are about 700 acres, 1,500 dwellings. Together they will represent about 4.5 percent of our population in our city today. These are major, major developments that we have made a major commitment in infrastructure."

The primary changes to the new plans would reduce the number of condominiums from 246 units to 180 units, and add 118 single-family homes.

Efland said the changes to smaller lot sizes were not as significant as maintaining design continuity in the new development.

"The two lot sizes at Reserves at Glenross and Communities at Glenross become similar to each other," Efland said. "Reserves is still a little bit bigger lots, a little bit bigger homes, a little bit higher prices, Communities at Glenross is a little bit smaller lots, a little bit smaller homes and a little bit less in price."

Efland said community meetings had been held and many residents understand that changing condominiums to single-family homes was desirable.

"It's better in a relative and real world sense, no matter what the unit is, to have that (single-family detached unit) across from you than from a valuation and similar use standpoint than to have 246 condominium units across from you," Efland said.

Keller challenged the minimum lot size and minimum square foot size for homes, saying that builders often promise large homes and then build smaller ones.

"I live in a neighborhood where we were told when we moved in that these are the (minimum) deed restrictions, but that was not what was being built," Keller said. "That does not necessarily mean that five or 10 years down the road this is going to be honored. If you can't sell $250,000 houses, then why not go down to 1,800 (square feet) if that's what the deed restrictions allow? That's what's happened in my neighborhood. They're going down to the lowest that the deed restrictions will allow."

City manager Tom Homan said it was important that the city make the changes to promote the development. "I don't know what the other options are, from the city's standpoint," Homan said. "I'm concerned because the city has spent a lot of public dollars in infrastructure that has a financing mechanism, so we have investment to protect as well."

Homan said the market has changed with the economy and some projects are being abandoned in other locations around the region.

"It's an imperfect resolution," Homan said. "But it's one consistent with the overall thrust of what we're trying to do out there, which is creating a move-up level of home in this area."