Water Stone Landing Apartments' bid to place a 44-foot long dumpster/ compactor in the central green space of the complex on Refugee Road was defeated by the Pickerington Planning and Zoning Commission Nov. 13.
David Hodge, attorney for Water Stone Landing, previously appeared before the commission in September to seek approval for landscaped buffering around the dumpster.
Because city code mandates mason-ry screening, Hodge came back with a proposal for the dumpster to be screened by a brick and stone veneer.
In the end it didn't matter how or with what the dumpster was screened. The majority of commission members exhibited an unwillingness to allow it to dominate the central part of the complex and voted to deny a Non-residential Certificate of Appropriateness for the dumpster.
Hodge told the commission residents of similar complexes owned by his client, Redwood Management, were not averse to having dumpsters located centrally.
"This owner has 3,000 multifamily units throughout the state, this is their preferred method of service," Hodge said. "Residents haven't voiced any complaints, based on (Redwood's) real world experience in similar locations," he said.
"At some point, as a city, we have to look out for the residents," said Josh Binkly, a planning commission member.
He added he thought it was "... shortsighted to have this many units and one place where people can take their trash. I can't accept it."
Commission member Doug Blake concurred, and voiced a concern over Water Stone Landing residents having to listen to "the noise of compaction of debris."
"I think it can be worked into the site a little better, I'm not against the dumpster, I'm against the location of the dumpster," Blake said.
Hodge said his client purchased Water Stone Landing out of bankruptcy and it was always the intent of the developer "to have a structure in the green area."
He also took issue with a residential project being held to the standards of commercial design guidelines.
The majority of the Planning and Zoning Commission agreed the dumpster didn't meet those design standards, voting 5-2 to deny the project.
Midas Service Center
Also Nov. 13, the Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved a conditional-use permit for a Midas Service Center at the northwestern corner of Diley Road and Hill Road North.
The proposed 5,214 square-foot service center will be located on 1.103 acre parcel, one of five parcels owned and subdivided by Buerk-Land Development LLC. Midas will be the first tenant.
"This is my family business, (we've) been doing it over 50 years," said Ian Katz, a Midas owner and operator from Toledo.
"We were looking for a suitable site in the great city of Pickerington," Katz said. "I think we finally found it."
The Planning and Zoning Commission also unanimously approved a Certificate of Appropriateness for the site plan and architecture for the Midas Service Center provided it complies with four conditions outlined by the city's Planning and Zoning Department.
One of those conditions is for Midas to receive a parking space variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals, to actually reduce its maximum parking capacity.
City Development Director Joe Henderson said that, while city code requires 42 parking spaces, Midas won't need that many and instead should be fine with just 25 spaces.
"This county over parks in general," Henderson said.
"Columbus knocked down (parking) by 30 percent," he said.
"If (Midas) is comfortable with that, we support that waiver," Henderson said. "Forty-two (spaces) would be a lot. We look at run-off, (and) there are less water issues."
Henderson said he expects Midas "would like to start construction in the coming months."