Olentangy Valley News

Pre-annexation deal not binding, city leaders stress

New homes set for plot that could become part of Powell

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Powell City Council has agreed to send development plans for a new subdivision to the city's Planning and Zoning Commission.

At their Dec. 18 meeting, council members approved a pre-annexation agreement, including site plans, for a new residential subdivision just south of Home Road and west of Steitz Road.

The ordinance received a first reading during a Dec. 4 meeting.

The preliminary plan includes 119 new single-family homes on an unincorporated 67-acre site that straddles the line between Liberty and Concord townships.

The new pre-annexation agreement authorizes final annexation, zoning and development following review by the planning and zoning commission, which will make a recommendation to council.

The development isn't set in stone. City Manager Steve Lutz said the developer, Metro Development LLC, retains the right to back out if satisfactory zoning cannot be obtained.

"This pre-annexation identifies that it will go through our regular planning and zoning process, and if for whatever reason it comes to council and it's not satisfactory to the developer, we agreed to withdraw the request to annex the property," Lutz said.

City Attorney Gene Hollins added: "The action ... does not bind us to approve the annexation. It does not bind us or commit us at this time to any kind of zoning."

Council already approved a resolution to extend city services, including police protection and street maintenance, to the land in anticipation of an annexation in November.

If plans go forward, Metro Development would plan the subdivision and M/I Homes would construct the houses.

A timeline for construction hasn't been established, but infrastructure improvements for the subdivision likely would begin this year, Lutz said.

The lots would be similar in size to those in the nearby Scioto Reserve subdivision north of Home Road.

Also at the Dec. 18 meeting, council approved a measure to add a parcel that includes a CVS Pharmacy on Sawmill Parkway into the city's Sawmill Parkway Commercial Corridor tax-increment financing district, as part of an annual update of the TIF district.

Lutz said land was annexed into Powell in 2012 and currently is not included in the TIF area.

Certain property taxes in the TIF district are defrayed and used for infrastructure costs in the established area. Revenue from a TIF is generated from the increase in property value that occurs after it is established

Council also voted to table an ordinance to annex about 44 acres of land near the intersection of Seldom Seen Road and Sawmill Parkway as part of plan for an upscale apartment complex.

Council members approved an initial development agreement with developer Lifestyle Real Estate Holdings Ltd. in August, but the plan met resistance from residents and no additional progress was made this year.

"Lifestyles has not gone through planning and zoning commission yet, and we don't know when or if they will be," Lutz said. "The prudent thing will be to table this until we know if this will be pursued."

Council agreed to reconsider the plan at its March 5 meeting to check if progress has been made.

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