Developers can move forward with a parking lot expansion and roadway construction at the northwest corner of Africa Road and Polaris Parkway.

Developers can move forward with a parking lot expansion and roadway construction at the northwest corner of Africa Road and Polaris Parkway.

The Westerville Planning Commission approved an application from the Daimler Group and Casto Feb. 22 to construct a roadway onto the site from Polaris Parkway and expand an existing parking lot from the neighboring site.

The road eventually will provide access to planned retail outlots, while the parking lot will see the addition of 146 spaces to accommodate a new office tenant moving into an existing building, Daimler representative Paul Ghidotti said.

In December, Westerville City Council approved rezoning for the site to allow for the construction of two, four-story office buildings, totaling 234,000 square feet, and up to four retail outlots on Polaris Parkway.

Two residents of the Estates at Polaris Village, which borders the site to the north, did express concerns about the development bringing unwanted cut-through traffic onto their private street and potentially causing problems with stormwater runoff.

Sandy Jordan said the neighborhood employees from the office park already cut through their neighborhood, and she said she is concerned about the office buildings planned for the site adding to that traffic.

"The addition of 1,000 more cars to this whole area is only going to compound this problem," she said.

Rich Jordan said he is concerned that the new development will turn 15 additional acres of natural landscapeinto an impervious surface, which has the potential to have a negative impact on a neighboring creek, which drains to Alum Creek and the city's water-treatment plant.

He encouraged the planning commission to require the use of pavement that allows water to drain through it and also to require landscaping throughout the site to aid with filtering rainwater.

Also at the Feb. 22 planning commission meeting, members approved a conditional-use permit to allow construction of a larger salt barn at the city's service department facility at 350 Park Meadow Drive.

The construction of the 8,960-square-foot salt barn is part of an overall plan by the city to overhaul and expand the facility.