One less home for the proposed Meadowbrooke subdivision gave developer Doug Maddy two more votes from the Gahanna Planning Commission on June 26 and a favorable recommendation to send to Gahanna City Council.
The commission considered Brookewood Construction Co.'s revised site plan that decreases the density by one for a total of 13 new lots on 3.9 acres at 5593 Havens Corners Road.
The commission previously approved a plan for Meadowbrooke on April 10, but members Dave Andrews and Joe Keehner voted against the zoning change. The two commissioners and Thomas Wester also previously voted against a variance to increase the development's density.
Voting in favor of the reconfiguration last week were Andrews, Keehner, Wester, Donald Shepherd, Jennifer Price and Kristin Rosan. David Thom was absent.
The existing zoning on the property is limited-overlay, single-family residential, and the proposed rezoning is the same, but with changes to the limited-overlay and development plan.
The property was zoned in late 2006 as residential-overlay district to permit a nine-lot single-family subdivision with a preservation-zone setback area. The homes are estimated to cost $300,000 to $350,000.
Andrews and Keehner said they changed their votes only because the higher-density plan would move forward to council if they didn't.
Keehner had issues with the number of homes on the west side of the development because of the topography.
Andrews also had problems with the density for the proposed development.
"I still feel it's too many lots," Andrews said. "I still feel for the neighbors. The drainage, I feel, is on the experimental side.
"I don't feel like I have a choice. If I say no, it goes back to the (higher density). I'm still a little disappointed with it."
Brookewood has proposed storm-drainage best-management practices, such as rain-garden bio-retention facilities in the center of the cul-de-sac and shallow wetland basins, which could be planted with selective Ohio native wetland vegetation species. Also proposed are a dry detention micro-pool basin, exfiltration trenches and disconnected rain spouts discharging onto a splash box for groundwater recharge.
The stormwater mitigation features are to be maintained by a forced and funded homeowners association.
Wester took issue with the plan listing "or equal" to proposed stormwater mitigation practices.
David Hodge, attorney for Brookewood, said "or equal" is in reference to engineering details.
City engineer Karl Wetherholt said the intent of "or equal" is for when it comes to the actual construction plans for subdivisions.
"We'll do an extensive review of the final plan," he said. "We'll look at it with sustainability in mind. We're in favor, generally, of bio-swales.
"Some (practices) have potential for city review on a periodic basis," he said. "Because of that, we will look at it critically. We think we can come up with something that will work."
After hearing concerns from the Planning Commission, neighbors and council, Brookewood decided to reduce the density by one lot, Hodge said.
"The space saved has been spread out among the lots," he said. "Now the average is 65 feet in width. It allows us to extend the no-build boundary.
"There were, in the previous plan, five lots adjacent to the south," he said. "With this plan, there are three. There's less impervious surface, which helps with storm water."
Hodge said the plan is superior to what originally was proposed.
Rosan said she supports the revision.
"The developer has improved the plan further," she said.
"This is an effort to compromise," Hodge said. "We prefer going to council with this one."
The proposal will proceed to council's committee of the whole Monday, July 8.