About 20 neighbors learned last week that Glenmont, the Christian Science nursing home at 4599 Avery Road, is poised to sell a developer enough land to build 176 apartments.
Attorney Glen Dugger represented the developer, F2, in a two-hour meeting March 5 at the Norwich Township Joint Safety Services Building on Northwest Parkway. Three Hilliard City Council members -- Tom Baker, Les Carrier and Nathan Painter -- also attended but did not speak publicly.
Prior to the meeting, residents knew little about Glenmont's plans. City officials had yet to view a preliminary plan, even though the developers had discussed elements of the proposal with them.
Except for a 0.6-acre tract that is the subject of a recent rezoning application, the Glenmont land has been zoned appropriately for nursing homes and multifamily housing since 1984.
Because the property already is zoned for multifamily use and no application for a variance was made, a development on the land would not have to go before the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission or City Council for approval.
However, F2 would be required to submit a final development plan to the city for a zoning certificate. The certificate is issued if the plan conforms to all the requirements of the zoning district, according to Butch Seidle, Hilliard's public-services director.
But, Dugger said, F2 officials agreed to the March 5 meeting with residents and city officials to reveal its plans to neighboring residents.
Dugger said 176 apartments would be built on about 13 acres that Glenmont will sell to F2. He said he could not comment on the sale price, when it would occur or if it was contingent upon the zoning certificate and building permit.
Glenmont will continue to use 5.5 acres of the approximately 19.3 acres at Avery and Davidson roads it currently owns, he said.
The plan includes five 16-unit buildings and eight 12-unit buildings. Of the 176 units, 13 would be three-bedroom units, 101 would be two-bedroom units, and 62 would be one-bedroom units.
Many of the new buildings would be constructed along property lines that border single-family residences, including those on Davidson Road west of Avery Road.
"I know this is all less than wonderful but we have tried to resolve some of the closeness to Davidson Road. ... We've worked hard ... to make this as palatable as possible, knowing this site permits (the development) under any set of circumstances," Dugger said.
Dugger said the decision for Glenmont to sell the property resulted from a feasibility study that indicated too much of the campus was unused. Christian Scientists, by nature of their beliefs, typically do not live in traditional nursing homes, Dugger explained.
The project would be the first for F2, a new company headed by Ted Foster, a multifamily developer for Casto, and Mike Fite, who designed student housing for Edwards, Dugger said.
"This is a well-architected and quality project. These aren't cheap apartments," said Dugger, adding that a variety of natural building materials and elevations are included in the designs.
"This is the fifth or sixth version of these plans," he said.
"But it's our first," said Michelle Brickley, a Davidson Road resident who asked whether the new multifamily residences could be set farther away from the backyard of her home.
Dugger conceded the buildings were close but owing to the elevations and terrain of the property, they could not be situated elsewhere.
Jim DeVere, who lives on Taylor Lane Avenue, said he was concerned about additional traffic the apartments would generate.
Dugger said a traffic-impact study had been completed and indicated no additional improvements were necessary to Avery or Davidson roads, or their intersection. Dugger said both roads and the intersection previously were widened and improved.
Letty Schamp, a traffic engineer for Hilliard, said city officials have received the report but needed about a week to review it.
City Planner John Talentino also will review the development plan.
Seidle said if F2's final development plan, once submitted, conforms to all the requirements of the zoning district, the city is required to issue a zoning certificate and building permit.
Dugger said no date is set to begin construction but that "he would be surprised" if it began before early fall. Still, he told residents to expect construction preparations and activity at the site before the end of the year.