Northwest News

NWCA writes letter opposing apartment proposal

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Members of the Northwest Civic Association Board of Trustees voted unanimously last week to send a letter to the zoning chairman of Columbus City Council restating opposition to a major apartment complex proposed for the south side of the 2300 block of West Dublin Granville Road.

The requested zoning change won't come before council for a final decision until late this month at the earliest, according to Rosemarie Lisko, who heads up the board's zoning, graphics and development committee.

The letter, which goes out above the signature of Board President John Ehlers, is to A. Troy Miller.

In it, Ehlers points out the civic association's board voted unanimously against the request from Vision Development of Upper Arlington to rezone 20-plus acres so that a 320-unit apartment complex could be built.

He further states the Columbus Development Commission also ruled against the proposal, 3-2.

The parcel, currently zoned to allow commercial and industrial development, is at 2393 W. Dublin Granville Road, across the street from the Village Bookshop. It's just west of Linworth Road.

"Our reason is clear," Ehlers wrote.

"The roadway providing access to this parcel is inadequate to handle additional traffic caused by the new development," he wrote.

"Current traffic already causes morning and evening congestion that common results in 30-minute waits."

Even longer delays can be caused by traffic on nearby railroad tracks.

"The applicant reasons that the proposed rezoning will have less impact than current zoning allows, that is, fewer trips per day and per peak hour," Ehlers continued.

"We believe the applicant has grossly underestimated the number of vehicles that this development represents, perhaps by more than a factor of two, by focusing on the number of units, the maximum allowed, and not the total number of bedrooms.

"Furthermore, the current zoning is not and appropriate basis for evaluating the rezoning applicant.

"If the site's current zoning were representative of its condition and location, it would not have remained undeveloped despite several attempts, most recently in 2004."

Approval of the rezoning application would be of benefit only to the developer, according to the letter.

"The ones who bear the burden of your approval are area residents and employees who must use SR-161 to access their homes and workplaces," Ehlers wrote in conclusion.

"We believe it uncivil to place the rights of one over the rights of many, regardless of legal precedents."

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