Members of the Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning delayed a vote on text/map amendments for the city March 28 after hearing objections from a group of residents who live in the Lane Avenue neighborhood.

Members of the Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning delayed a vote on text/map amendments for the city March 28 after hearing objections from a group of residents who live in the Lane Avenue neighborhood.

Although an economic development subcommittee concluded that the city's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is facilitating redevelopment, it suggested that the city amend several development requirements.

After listening to a presentation by Chad Gibson, the city's senior planner, about potential, the board discussed possible modifications which include: a reduction in floor area ratios to lessen the burden on developers; an increase in maximum building height to accommodate rooftop mechanicals and taller floors; an increase in maximum parking ratios to meet market needs; and a reduction of minimum lot areas based on numerous variances.

"Because there were certain areas where we had repeated variances over the years, it occurred to us that changes needed to be made in the code" explained T.A. Ward, a BZAP board member who also served on the economic development subcommittee.

But residents in the audience questioned how many residents were involved in the planning and meetings.

"We had very limited resident attendance at the meetings," Ward replied. "Maybe one or two residents were there."

Those at Monday night's meeting spoke of their concerns about how the proposed amendments would affect their quality of life and neighborhood safety. They stated that the lack of sufficient parking spaces for nearby businesses in the area adversely affects them.

"We have massive traffic on our roads and overflow parking," said Tricia Kershner, a resident who complained that the city made changes to her area without prior notification to neighbors. "We've got to raise the parking ratio. Otherwise you're going to drive people out of the city."

After listening to some of the residents, board member Cindy Holodnak asked if the city were posting adequate notifications that alerted residents about meetings.

"Obviously, people feel they haven't had a chance to participate," she noted to Gibson, who cited notices in newspapers and city hall.

The board also approved modified material for the exterior foundation of the Giant Eagle Market District at the Kingsdale Shopping Center. A request for preliminary approval for the construction of a new 3,900-square-foot building for Key Bank was also approved. The approval includes conditional use for the bank's drive through facility.

The board began the meeting with a personnel change. Gibson administered the oath of office to reappointed members Ward and Robert Tullet as well as new member Daniel L. Barringer, who replaced L. Rider Brice. Brice, an architect who had served on the board since 1996, was not reappointed by city council. In a March 14 meeting, council members had suggested that the zoning and planning board needed new members.

Board president Thomas J. Riley, who was not present at Monday night's meeting, was also reappointed but will only serve one year of his three-year term. Riley, who has been with the board since 1982, submitted his resignation to city council earlier this month. Riley will leave the board in March 2012 and will be replaced by Kevin P. Carpenter.