Hilliard Northwest News

Columbus City Council approves Roberts Road apartment plan

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Columbus City Council approved a rezoning application and development plan Sept. 30 for 44 apartments on 5 acres near Roberts Road and Rustling Oak Boulevard, just south of the Hilliard line.

The vote was unanimous, said City Council spokesman John Ivanic.

City Council accepted the May 9 ruling of the Columbus Development Commission to rezone the parcel at 5652 Roberts Road from residential to limited apartment residential.

"At the end of the day, I think the people's fears will be allayed," said Mike Shannon, an attorney representing developer Tom Bell of Bell Properties.

Bell will invest about $127,000 per unit, Shannon said.

"It's a top-shelf development," he said.

Shannon said Oct. 1 that he expects Bell will apply for building permits and other required permits by the end of the year, but was not aware of how soon Bell intended to begin construction.

Bell Properties had proposed 60 apartments for the 5 acres, but the Columbus Development Commission tabled the application in March and asked the developer to improve landscaping in response to criticism of the plan from neighbors in the Brookfield Village subdivision in Hilliard.

Residential density also was contested by neighbors. At 44 units, the density is almost nine units per acre.

In a Columbus staff report provided to the development commission, city officials wrote: "Staff has come to the conclusion that this proposal is compatible with the surrounding residential development and feels that the Trabue-Roberts area plan recommendation for very-low residential uses did not take into consideration that future development may occur on this property."

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