Rocky Fork Enterprise

Havens Corners Road

Commission expected to vote on Meadowbrooke subdivision plan

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The Gahanna Planning Commission on March 27 was scheduled to vote on the proposed Meadowbrooke subdivision with 15 residential lots at 5593 Havens Corners Road.

Attorney David Hodge, representing Doug Maddy's Brookewood Inc., told the commission during a March 20 workshop that 15 homes are needed to make the project viable.

The current zoning is limited-overlay single-family residential, and the proposed rezoning is the same, but with changes to the limited-overlay and development plan. In addition to seeking an increase in overall density, variances are requested for curbs, gutters and sidewalks.

The property was rezoned in late 2006 to residential-overlay district to permit a nine-lot single-family subdivision with a preservation zone setback area.

Hodge said he has given thought to commission member Joe Keehner's request for innovation on the property that's surrounded by single-family homes.

"He wanted to be convinced it was different," Hodge said. "He wanted something more imaginative. I appreciate that comment."

Hodge said the single-family development would incorporate best-management practices for stormwater controls.

"As to imaginative, that segues to the variance request," Hodge said. "How we treat that stormwater runoff is so new that codes haven't caught up to it for that type of treatment. We think we have been imaginative."

Hodge said it's difficult to do in-fill development any time.

"Given the restrains of property -- and there's so much scrutiny -- we're limited in what we could do," he said. "If we brought anything but single-family, we'd be run out of town."

Keehner said he walks the site, and lots 10 and 11 are skinny considering the topography.

He asked if condos had been considered but admitted the neighbors probably would "skin you alive."

"I look at it from design," Keehner said. "My only big issue is the two lots at 10 and 11. There's a lot of building for that topography, in my opinion. I know you're bending backwards, in terms of runoff. I have a hard time arguing with your arguments.

"It's a neat site," he said. "Doing a traditional layout like this is a little sad, in my opinion, but I can't fault your arguments so far."

Maddy said he believes lots 10 and 11 would have the most character, with opportunity for features like walk-out basements.

Hodge said the development is on the low side of Gahanna's land-use plan that calls for three to five units per acre for single-family zones.

The proposal is 3.2 units per acre, as the area of the subdivision is 4.7 acres in total. The previous density was about 1.9 units per acre.

Civil engineer Jim Watkins, of Watcon Consulting, said the development has an "overkill" design, with many best-management-practice techniques to handle storm water.

"I'm excited to implement this in Gahanna," he said. "I want to show it off. It gives me a platform for more work."

Watkins said the proposed development has a mixture of best-management practices, including a dry pond, a rain garden and open channel system.

Watkins had a standing-water problem at his Olde Gahanna office on Shull Avenue several years ago, he said, so he planted a rain garden to capture storm water and infiltrate that water within 24 hours. He uses it as a teaching tool for clients, he said.

"The simple rain garden I developed myself manages 2.5 acres," Watkins said. "To put it in perspective, one rain garden can take on 2.5 acres of draining. What we're implementing is well-beyond this."

In addressing traffic concerns along Havens Corners Road, Hodge referred to a study by the J. Gallagher Group.

In a report, John Gallagher said an analysis was done for Meadowbrooke, including consideration for a turn lane. He wrote that the volume from the proposed development would be low -- less than 1 percent of the total traffic on Havens Corners Road.

From a traffic-engineering standpoint, Gallagher wrote, it warrants no improvements and meets all applicable standards that apply to an access point.

Harvest Ridge Court resident Ed Francis asked about plans for the "big, ugly barn" in the middle of the property.

Hodge said the barn would stay with improvements.

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