German Village Gazette

BZA OKs variances for Mohawk property

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Bob and Peggy Walter are one step closer to building a massive single-family house in German Village.

The Columbus Board of Zoning Adjustment on Aug. 27 approved three separate variances that would allow the couple to convert an existing non-conforming office to a single-family residence at 673 Mohawk St.

At 13,250 square feet, it would be the second-largest house in the city of Columbus.

A U.S. Bank branch and several professional offices are now located in the building.

The BZA voted 4-0 on the matter. BZA member Jim Bubutiev did not attend the meeting.

City staff members recommended approval of the variances, saying in a report, it "... will be more in character with the neighborhood."

"Though the size and scale of the proposed dwelling is substantially larger than surrounding dwellings, it will be a less-intense use," the staff report stated.

The variances also received the blessing of the German Village Commission, the local architecture review board.

Residents Dave Tyndall, who is converting a house on nearby Lazelle Street, and Doug Shaffer, who lives on Mohawk, voiced concerns about the project, saying it would eliminate parking on Mohawk.

Both Tyndall and Shaffer, who expressed overall approval of the house's construction, said the site was used for valet parking for Lindey's restaurant and they fear elimination of the lot would force cars onto the street.

But Bill Hugus, an architect working for the Walters, said Lindey's hasn't been able to park on the property since April and has found other accommodations.

Furthermore, eliminating one approach to the property will free up three spaces on Mohawk, Hugus said.

St. Mary Catholic Church, adjacent to the west, has an easement through the Mohawk parcel, but no dedicated spaces, Hugus said.

Bob Walter, the retired founder of Cardinal Health, and his wife purchased the land in January for $830,000.

Hugus said there are a few more hurdles to clear before construction begins.

The GVC still needs to sign off on a site plan that includes specifics about landscaping and other exterior improvements.

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