A proposed development of 50 new condominiums now is in the hands of Hilliard City Council despite opposition from its potential neighbors.
The Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission on June 13 approved the construction of the single-family, detached condos on 13.3 acres on the south side of Hayden Run Road, just east of Leppert Road.
The measure was approved 5-1, with Vice Chairman Chris Lewie dissenting. One seat on the board currently is vacant.
City Council President Brett Sciotto said he was not sure when City Council would consider the development plan.
The proposed development, called The Courtyards at Hayden Run, is in the Hilliard school district.
Lewie, who lives on Edie Drive near the proposed development, said the density, at 3.75 units per acre, is too high and contrary to the spirit of Hilliard's comprehensive plan for the area.
Lewie and others raised the same concern in April during an informal hearing for the proposed development by Dublin-based Epcon Communities.
Many live in the subdivision east of the parcel, and their backyards have bordered the wooded area for 20 years.
"Fifty units are too many," said Keith Blough, a 23-year resident of Edie Drive, a dead-end street.
While Edie Drive and other nearby dead-end streets will not be extended, neighbors of the proposed development would lose the wooded preserve their backyards and side yards face.
Christina Myers of Abberton Court said she has lived in her home for eight years.
"It took a long time for me to find a house I loved," said Myers, who described an oak tree she sees every day and the wildlife she observes from her backyard patio.
Others described the sounds of screeching tires as motorists driving too fast fail to navigate a bend or slow for stopped traffic on the section of Hayden Run Road between Avery and Leppert roads.
However, planning and zoning commission members successfully lobbied for Epcon Communities to build a boulevard entrance into the subdivision from Hayden Run Road for adequate and safe access. A second entrance eventually would be planned on Leppert Road.
Commission members also accepted the developer's data from its existing communities that its development would attract "empty-nesters" and not young families with children.
The 50 condos would be a mix of two- and three-bedroom units.
Commission members asked Joel Rhoades, vice president and general counsel for Epcon Communities, if the company would be willing the limit the number of three-bedroom condominiums.
Rhoades balked, stating the company would not want to turn away a buyer should the demand for three-bedroom condos exceed the average at the Hilliard site.
Mayor Don Schonhardt, who also is a member of the planning and zoning commission, said the development addressed an identified housing need in the community and said he was satisfied with the quality of the proposed development.
But Schonhardt pointedly asked Rhoades to cooperate with area residents to preserve as much of the natural landscape as possible as development progresses.
In other business during the three-hour session June 13, commission members considered eight cases, approving seven and rejecting one.
Commission members unanimously rejected a development plan for Dollar Tree, 3673 Fishinger Blvd.
Commission members said they opposed the storefront design Dollar Tree submitted and sought possible changes, but a representative for Dollar Tree said she was not authorized to accept an amendment to the store's corporate image.
Commission members approved signs for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 3677 Main St.; a temporary sign for Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3500 Main St.; a development sign for Anderson Meadows at Roberts Road and Anderson Drive; and a temporary sign for St. Brendan the Navigator Church, 4475 Dublin Road.
Commission members also approved a final plat for 13 lots on 4.2 acres and a 9.4-acre park at the Estates at Hoffman Farms, the final phase of that subdivision; a final plat for 29 lots on 6.9 acres at Anderson Meadows, 6248 Roberts Road; and a development plan for a 37,600-square-foot office building on 2.6 acres on All Seasons Drive.
The All Seasons Drive office building would be the second in the Gateway at Hilliard development off Britton Parkway.