Sunbury's latest annexation bridges the gap between the proposed NorthGate development and the village.

Sunbury's latest annexation bridges the gap between the proposed NorthGate development and the village.

After a third reading and no further discussion, Sunbury Village Council members during their meeting Wednesday, Aug. 6, unanimously OK'd an ordinance accepting an annexation petition from Brenda Price and her son, Kenneth Price, for their 184-acre parcels to become part of the village.

Their properties are located south of Big Walnut Middle School, west of Sunbury Meadows and east of Golf Course Road.

In March and April, council received two separate petitions from property owners in Berkshire Township. One petition was for the Price family's combined 184 acres; the other was for 128 acres owned by Geraldine Eder Dye, Domigan Walker LLC and Kirk's Creek Investment LLC.

As part of statutory procedure, council had to wait 60 days prior to accepting or rejecting the requests.

After deliberation and hearing complaints from residents, council annexed the 128 acres July 9. The property is east of South Galena, west of Domigan and northwest of Cheshire roads.

These 128 acres could become part of NorthGate Centre Development, a proposed project of 1,000 acres that could feature sports fields, hotels, stores, warehouses and car dealerships.

NorthGate Centre Development is a possible second set of large commercial development coming to the Interstate 71 and U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 area. Berkshire Township residents approved Simon Property Group and Tanger Outlet to build an outlet mall north of the proposed NorthGate site and southeast of the interchange.

Between the NorthGate Center Development's proposed location and Sunbury are the Prices' 184 acres.

These combined parcels of land are crucial for connecting the development near I-71 to the village's water supply and sewer system, village leaders said. The ordinance was approved as an emergency so current infrastructure development can go beyond the property.

"The sewer service that would extend out to that development corridor is going to run through this property," Village Solicitor David Brehm said. "To get from point A to point C, you have to go through point B, this being a lot of point B."

Though there is large commercial development coming to Sunbury, the 184 acres council annexed last week likely will be zoned as residential and more homes added near Sunbury Meadows.

But before any development can happen, Brehm said, the planning and zoning commission and council must agree.

"Once the land is annexed, the property owner and usually a developer has to bring forward a plan for zoning the property and developing the property," he said. "That goes through council and the planning and zoning commission for approval."

The process can take several months if the landowners want to work with developers to create something on the land.

It also is likely the development will increase Sunbury's population to beyond 5,000 residents, which would make Sunbury a city per state law. The official count of residents won't be made until the next national census in 2020.

Village Council meets next at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at Town Hall, 9 E. Granville St.