Rocky Fork Enterprise

Plan for 180 luxury apartments on Hamilton Road earns city's approval

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A 180-unit luxury apartment complex by the Lead Building Co. of Dublin has been approved by Gahanna's planning commission.

The commission on Sept. 11 approved a final development plan, site plan, landscaping plan and building design for the Hamilton Road Apartments, 471 N. Hamilton Road, on 8.83 acres.

The approval comes with a condition that the developer works with the city for an aligned intersection at Peale Court, if city officials request it.

Commission member Joe Keehner voted against the plans because of the indecision concerning the aligned intersection. David Andrews, Jennifer Price, Kristin Rosan, Donald Shepherd and Thomas Wester voted in favor of the plan. David Thom was absent.

The two- and three-story apartment complex includes three buildings occupying 252,679 square feet and 360 parking spaces. The exterior of the buildings are stucco and stone.

The development also includes a one-story community center with a swimming pool.

Architect Scott Harper said cupolas have been added to the garages. There will be two cupolas on the larger garages and one on smaller garages, he said.

Rosan asked if storage space will be available for the renters.

Harper said the buildings will have large closets, and there will be garages available for rent.

Larry Lane resident Andy Bauman, who lives behind the proposed complex, was opposed to it.

"This is too big, too dense," Bauman said. "It's another example of overdevelopment in Gahanna. I've lived here 17 years. I think it will bite you all on the backside."

Bauman said it appears there will be a lot of screening along Hamilton Road, but he would also have liked more screening along the east, west and north.

Rita Court resident Stephen Kuhar questioned if third floors have been approved for the apartments.

"I'm against that," Kuhar said. "It will look like five stories. We don't need to be looking up to a third floor right behind our house."

The two-story elements of the complex are at the ends, with the third story in the middle, said Brian Hagemeier, who represented the Lead Building Co..

"We did the best we could to buffer the east and west views," Harper said. "The architecture on the buildings is very high quality."

Price said she supported the application because the applicant is replacing trees that will be lost in construction as well as planting trees along the southeast side.

"It's something we knew would go in," Andrews said. "I'm glad you're putting in elevators. The fact that it's a gated community gives a different element of nice luxury. Gahanna does have a shortage of housing for seniors. With the price, it will be professionals and seniors who take pride in their place."

In other commission action Sept. 11:

* Council clerk Isobel Sherwood read a letter from commission member Thom, who resigned effective immediately, citing health reasons.

* A variance was approved to allow a fence in the commercial district to have barbed wire as a part of its construction at 187-189 West Johnstown Road for Club Properties Investment.

* Outdoor seating was added to a previously approved certificate of appropriateness for Burger King, 260 S. Hamilton Road.

* A variance application to allow a nonconforming sign in need of repair or replacement to retain its nonconforming designation at Dolphin Lounge, 345 Agler Road, was postponed to a workshop set at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25.

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