After direction from Dublin City Council, the planning and zoning commission last week approved National Church Residences' final development plan.

After direction from Dublin City Council, the planning and zoning commission last week approved National Church Residences' final development plan.

During a Feb. 14 meeting, council members asked the commission to move forward on the NCR development despite concerns that included the building height and air conditioning units.

The commission met on Feb. 17 and approved the plan with nine conditions in a 4-2 vote, city planner Rachel Ray said.

The final development plan for the 17-acre Avondale Senior Village on Dublin's southern border was tabled by the Dublin Planning and Zoning Commission on Feb. 3.

"The commission and staff appreciate the importance of this project and council's desire to have an affordable senior housing product available in Dublin," the staff report stated. "Certain issues have arisen during the final development plan review that affect the economic viability of the project and therefore, the commission and staff desire guidance from council."

The key problems for commission members on the development that will include senior apartments, cottage-style buildings, a community center and adult day care, revolve around the 42-foot height of a three-story building that will hold the adult day care and apartments. Groupings of air conditioning units around the building have also been a bone of contention for commission members.

The development text approved for the building sets the maximum height for the building at 35 feet. Planning and zoning commission members also expressed concerns over the noise and look of groupings of air-conditioning units would produce.

Vice mayor Amy Salay said she appreciated the concerns of commission members, but urged balance between standards and the need for affordable senior housing in Dublin.

The Upper Arlington-based NCR is a nonprofit group that operates affordable housing for low- to moderate-income seniors and is working to stay within its budget on the project. A central air-conditioning system was scrapped for 109 individual units to save money on the project.

"This is the only low-income or senior housing in our community," John Reiner agreed. "We need this."

Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher recalled working with NCR to bring the development to Dublin to provide housing for seniors. She said council has always been a big supporter of the development.

"We welcome National Church Residences to this community," she said.

Council member Cathy Boring was the sole council member to speak against the development, saying she was disappointed with how it has progressed.

"I'm not supporting this because I don't think this was done well," she said. "The development text wasn't followed."

Council members voted 6-1 to have the planning and zoning commission move forward with the final development plan and amend text to allow the 42-foot building height.

Boring cast the dissenting vote.

With the planning and zoning commission approval of the final development plan, Ray said the development will now start with building permits.

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