New Albany News

New Albany Co.

Subdivision planned off Johnstown Road

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The New Albany Co. has requested permission from the city of New Albany to build a 43-home subdivision on about 20 acres on the west side of Johnstown Road, between Morse Road and Temple Beth Shalom.

The land includes seven parcels and six existing homes that border Rocky Fork Creek on the east and south sides. It also has a conservation easement in the southwest corner.

Tom Rubey, development director for the New Albany Co., said the subdivision would include a 5-acre park that runs along the creek. He said parts of the park could be under water at certain times of the year because of the low elevation of the land.

Rubey said leisure trails would be built to provide public access to the creek.

New Albany City Council agreed Sept. 3 to annex three of the parcels from Plain Township.

City Council on April 1 heard the first reading of an ordinance to amend the property's zoning to planned-unit development. The ordinance was referred to the planning commission, which tabled the request April 7 at the request of the New Albany Co.

The planning commission is expected to review the application at its next meeting April 21.

The development's residential density would be greater than allowed by the current residential and agricultural zoning designation.

City Planner Stephen Mayer said in his staff report to the planning commission that the New Albany Co. would have to remove 24 units from its "housing bank" if the zoning were amended to planned-unit development.

The housing bank was established by the New Albany Co. when it began developing subdivisions 20 years ago within one large planned-unit development. It allowed the company to add housing units to the bank when it developed subdivisions at densities lower than the requirements and to remove housing units if a subdivision were above the density requirements.

Rubey said the land off Johnstown Road has one access road. A second, emergency-only access, would be built off Johnstown Road but it would be a paved road covered with grass so it would not resemble a road, he said.

During the April 1 and 7 meetings, City Council members and neighboring residents questioned if one access road would be enough.

Rubey said the New Albany Co. is working with the city engineer, Ed Ferris, on traffic issues related to the site.

He estimated the prices of the homes in the new subdivision at $525,000. He said the homes most likely would have three to four bedrooms and would be 3,100 to 3,500 square feet.

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