The Orange Township Planning and Zoning Commission last week asked the Jain Center of Central Ohio to add more detail to its revised application to rezone five acres from planned residential to planned residential for religious use.

The Orange Township Planning and Zoning Commission last week asked the Jain Center of Central Ohio to add more detail to its revised application to rezone five acres from planned residential to planned residential for religious use.

The site, at 6651 S. Old State Road, earlier was slated to be a residential development of six homes, but the property owner, RLG Builders Inc., put it up for sale before starting the project.

The Jain Center project would include a 60- by 60-foot, two-story building about 20 feet tall. A portico would run from the front of the building to the south. Eventually, a 12-foot dome would be installed on the roof, taking the total height to 32 feet. Jain is an ancient religion founded in India; the building would be a temple.

Several commission members said the Jain proposal's outdoor lighting seemed excessive.

"I'm not sure you need 10 pole lights, particularly because you're in a residential area," said Pat Smith, commission member.

Project engineer, Michael Fantin said, "We heard a lot of concern about lighting. We've taken a lot of pains to make sure that this is a minimum amount of lighting that we can safely put on this site."

Commission chair Mike Wiens said there appeared to be "too many lights."

Fantin said it was the minimum that could be installed for safety reasons, adding that township code requires a certain amount of lighting where there is pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

The lights would be on a timer, shutting off at 10 p.m., except for about 12 nights throughout the year when the center would hold special events. Security lights attached to the building would remain on.

Commission members also said a planned stormwater retention pond should be designed so "if somebody slipped in, they could crawl out."

Also of concern were the ground and building elevations in the rear of the building, that would have a walkout basement. The applicants were asked to return with details of that part of the building.

Other details commission members asked for include color palettes for the center's exterior, renovation of the existing house on the property, and to either down-light the sign or seek special approval for up-lighting it, and that the 12-foot dome would match the exterior of the building and not be lit.

Commission members decided not to ask the applicants to do a traffic study because the facility would be used on the weekends and off-peak hours.

At previous meetings, several residents objected to the zoning change, saying they bought their homes with the understanding the property would be residential.

They also said the project seems too large for the lot size and the outside lighting would affect their properties.

The commission recessed and will continue the hearing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4.

A tentative date was set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11 to review the final revision of the application.

A closer look