Construction on the first homes in the Heritage Preserve residential development is expected to begin in July, according to Jon Jasper, a representative of Cincinnati-based Fischer Homes.
The development on 419 acres near Alton Darby Creek and Davis roads was annexed into Hilliard corporate limits to receive water and sanitary sewer service, but because of the expedited annexation process, the land still is in Brown Township.
Hilliard Law Director Tracy Bradford said an expedited type 2 annexation requires all the property owners to consent to the annexation and stipulates that the annexed area stays in the original township.
Another example of this process, she said, is Bradley High School, which is in Hilliard corporate limits but remained part of Brown Township upon annexation.
As a result, the 419 acres could be affected by the recent failed fire levies in Brown Township.
If township residents reject another fire levy request in November, Norwich Township trustees plan to suspend EMS and fire-protection services on May 15, 2015.
Norwich Township trustees said they are exploring the possibility of transferring Heritage Preserve, as well as Bradley High School and Brown Elementary School, into a Norwich fire district to avoid the possibility of the loss of fire protection to the subdivision.
It is yet unknown whether the property can be transferred, according to the trustees.
Jasper would not specifically comment on the issue, adding that Fischer Homes would not have a role in Norwich's effort to transfer fire districts nor Brown's effort to promote the levy.
"I am confident Hilliard and (Norwich) township will adequately support (the subdivision)," Jasper said.
Heritage Preserve is the first residential development in Hilliard's portion of the Big Darby Creek watershed area and the first to be subject to the recommendations of the Big Darby Accord Advisory Panel.
In February 2013, Hilliard City Council approved rezoning the 419 acres to allow for the construction of 687 single and multifamily homes, a density of about 1.64 units per acre. The accord panel's recommendation was about one unit per acre.
Jasper, the Columbus market president of Fischer Homes, said his company would develop the 405 single-family residences in the subdivision.
The 282 multifamily residences will be done by a yet-to-be identified third party, Jasper said.
Schottenstein Homes was the intended developer of the multifamily component but is no longer under consideration, Jasper said.
Hilliard City Planner John Talentino said several developers and interested home-buyers have inquired about the multifamily section of the subdivision but no applications have been submitted to the city's planning office.
Jasper said 54 single-family homes would be built in the first phase of the development.
Pre-sales of residences began April 1 and 21 residences have been sold, Jasper said.
"We plan to start building in July and should have our first closings in late October or early November," Jasper said.