A Hilliard City Council committee joined the planning and zoning commission in support of a proposed 50-unit condominium development on the south side of Hayden Run Road, just east of Leppert Road.
An ordinance rezoning the 13.3 acres on which the condominiums are to be built was introduced at the June 24 meeting of the City Planning, Projects and Services Committee.
It was accepted and forwarded with a positive recommendation for a first reading at the July 8 City Council meeting.
Council members indicated three readings are expected.
City Council will begin its summer recess after the July 8 meeting. A second reading and public hearing are set for Aug. 26, the first scheduled meeting after the summer recess.
"From what I see now, this is a good project," Councilman Joe Erb said.
Mayor Don Schonhardt was among the five-member majority of the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission that June 13 approved the proposed Epcon Communities development called the Courtyards at Hayden Run.
"This is a unique site that will provide a type of housing we don't currently have (in Hilliard)," Schonhardt said.
City Planner John Talentino said while the residential density exceeds that which is recommended in the comprehensive plan for the area, city staff members support the proposal because the units are designed to attract buyers who are least likely to have school-age children, primarily because the units have small backyards.
The comprehensive plan calls for a maximum of two units per acre. At 50 units on 13.3 acres, the density of the Courtyards at Hayden Run would be 3.75 units per acre.
But city officials, in this instance, are basing density not on real units per acre, but on the number of occupants the development is expected to have.
"Our concerns have been adequately addressed and we support the project," Talentino said.
Those actions included the construction of a boulevard-style entrance into the development from Hayden Run Road and construction of a left-turn lane for westbound traffic on Hayden Run Road to enter the development.
About eight residents spoke in opposition to the development at the June 13 planning commission meeting.
One resident, Jeff Bundy of Edie Drive, addressed committee members June 24.
Bundy, who provided photo and video illustrations, said the development simply would have too great an "impact" and exceeds the density recommended in the comprehensive plan.
Thomas Hart, an attorney representing Epcon Communities, countered that the development will have a "low impact."
In other action at the June 24 committee meeting, members accepted an ordinance amending Hilliard's five-year capital-improvements program.
The ordinance was forwarded with a positive recommendation for introduction and a first reading at the July 8 City Council meeting.
A total of about $600,000 worth of projects would be added to the program, but only about $100,000 would be new money, as the remainder is funded by development fees or shared costs with other entities.
The city added $252,000 to acquire right of way from the Norfolk Southern railroad and $168,000 for to extend the Heritage Trail from Columbia Street to the Hilliard Municipal Building, providing access to the proposed Landmark Lofts development.
The city added $88,400 to make basic improvements to a city-owned building optioned as the Hilliard Civic and Cultural Arts Center. The city plan basic improvements to restrooms, drywall and other infrastructure to make the building usable for general purposes until the Hilliard Community Foundation enters into a lease to exclusively occupy it.
The city also will add $60,000 for the construction of a new water line to service Homestead Park, said Butch Seidle, director of public services.