Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission members said April 11 that a tentative residential density for 50 condos on Hayden Run Road was too high.
Representatives from Epcon Communities presented plans for the Courtyards on Hayden Road to commission members at an informal session to gauge the opinions of city officials before formally filing an application.
They plan to build the detached condos on a 13.3-acre tract on the south side of Hayden Run Road between Avery and Leppert roads and adjacent to Hayden Run Village.
City Planner John Talentino told commission members the comprehensive land-use plan for the area recommends a density of two units per acre, equal to that at Hayden Run Village.
At 50 units on 13.3 acres, the density of the Epcon Communities development would be 3.75 units per acre.
"I have a major concern with the density," said Chris Lewie, vice chairman of the commission.
Lewie suggested the developer reduce the number of condominiums on the site to a range of 40 to 45.
Commission members John Bryner and John Vertal also expressed concerns about the proposed density.
But Mayor Don Schonhardt, also a member of the commission, argued the nontraditional structure of the condominiums should be a mitigating factor when considering the proposed density.
Rather than being built in a traditional "pinwheel" layout, the condominiums are to be aligned in a side-by-side format, providing private areas between the units, something Epcon representatives said is desired.
Philip Fankhauser, a principal of Epcon Communities, said because the development is marketed to senior citizens, commissioners members should consider that the 50 condos would generate about the same traffic congestion as about 25 single-family residences, and most likely during off-peak hours.
"This is not planned to be a family-oriented development, but something for singles, empty-nesters or couples without children," Schonhardt said.
The development would include residences in six sizes and models, with three different elevations each, and they would sell for an average of $300,000, Fankhauser said.
Access to the development also was a concern. The development has access to a relatively short area of land abutting Hayden Run Road, allowing for only a single entry road.
Commission member Thomas Lyden and Norwich Township Fire Capt. Eric Manske voiced concern about the limited emergency access to the development, as well as the increased likelihood of accidents caused by slower vehicles entering or exiting Hayden Run Road, which bends near the entrance to the proposed development.
In other action, commission members approved a modification to a planned-unit development and a final development plan for a 20,000-square-foot office building.
Pediatric Associates will relocate from a Mill Run office in Columbus to an office Equity is building at the site of the former Red Roof Inns corporate camps on Trueman Boulevard, just south of Davidson Road.
Davis Wince Architecture is designing the $3.35 million facility.
Pediatric Associates will occupy almost half of the building and Equity will seek multiple tenants to occupy the remainder of the structure.
However, commissioner members balked at plans for a 35-foot pole sign at the site.
Melanie Wollenberg, Equity's executive vice president, said while 35 feet could be "overreaching," Equity desired to "reach a compromise based on precedent."
But commission members rebutted that despite such signs at Cemetery Road and Interstate 270, current city code prohibits signs of such height.
They said the city would not approve the proposed height.
Schonhardt recommended Equity meet with city staff members and separately apply to the commission for a sign at a future meeting.
Commission members also approved a lot split and conditional-use permit to make way for the planned construction of a 105,000-square-foot recreational facility on 22.8 acres inside Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park.
The city would lease the property to Bo Jackson's Elite Sports. It would be the second site owned and operated in part by Bo Jackson, the former two-sport professional in baseball and football.