Pickerington Times-Sun

Commission grants one-year permit for Keller Farms

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Since 2011, Keller Farms Landscape and Nursery has occupied prime road frontage on a 47-tract of land called The Good Property on the west side of Hill Road as one enters Olde Pickerington Village from the north, right before the railroad tracks.

Keller Farms sells plants, hanging baskets, annuals, perennials and seasonal items such as pumpkins.

Dec. 10, Pickerington's Planning and Zoning Commission heard a request from Keller Farms to continue to operate its garden store business at 201 Hill Road North for another four years, until Dec. 31, 2017.

The city's zoning staff, however, recommended Keller Farms' conditional-use permit be limited to one year, or until December 31, 2014.

Commission Chairman Dave Blake said the city's zoning staff wanted to keep the permit at one year because "staff is concerned if this becomes permanent there are blacktop requirements" for Keller Farms' parking lot.

Commission member Ted Hackworth expressed concerns about the site's ongoing temporary status.

"This has been going on for three years now," Hackworth.

"Any plans to put up a building or something more permanent?" he asked Scott Harris of Keller Farms.

Hackworth said he received comments from members of the community that Keller Farms is possibly gaining an unfair advantage because it doesn't have a permanent building on the site.

"We're leasing the property on a month-to-month basis," Harris said.

"If a developer comes in to purchase the property we would be out," he said.

"So, at this point in the game, no, we're not (constructing a building)," Harris said.

The commission unanimously approved the conditional-use permit for an outdoor service facility and followed the city's zoning staff recommendation in granting Keller Farms a one-year permit.


Other matters

In other matters, the commission also unanimously approved a lighting plan for the 60-acre OhioHealth medical campus being constructed on the northwest corner of Refugee Road and Hill Road North.

OhioHealth is planning to install 52 light poles and 27 wall pack light fixtures. City zoning code requires a minimum illumination of lighting uniformity not to exceed 10 to 1 maximum to minimum ratios.

OhioHealth was granted a waiver to exceed the requirement for the front of its building facing Refugee Road and on the east and west sides of the building.

"It's important to be well lit so people know where to go," said Todd Sloan of the Daimler Group, the project developer for the OhioHealth site.

"That's why these lighting levels are higher than what you see in standard city zoning areas," Sloan said.

"We've done our best to mitigate, but it's important people are drawn to these areas," he said.

"So much activity happens at night we want to make sure the lights guide them."