Westerville News & Public Opinion

Council to vote on VW dealership July 1

Enlarge Image
COURTESY OF 12TH STREET STUDIO
Architect's rendering of the Kuhn Volkswagen of Westerville dealership, planned at the northeast corner of Polaris Parkway and Worthington Road.
Buy This Photo
By

A new car dealership may be rolling into Westerville.

At its final meeting before summer recess, the Westerville City Council on July 1 will consider legislation to allow a Volkswagen dealership on the northeast corner of Polaris Parkway and Worthington Road.

The 7-acre parcel that would house the dealership is owned by N.P. Limited Partnership as part of its 127-acre tract of land known as the Zumstein Property.

In 2008, the property was zoned as a planned development district as part of the developer's preliminary plan. The western portion of the area labeled Zumstein North -- where the dealership would sit -- was planned for office and retail uses, with a "signature" office building at the corner.

To make the space a car dealership, the developer is eliminating 15,500 square feet of retail space and 21,500 square feet of office space to make room for the planned 28,134-square-foot Kuhn Volkswagen of Westerville facility.

After a long process with Planning Commission, the developer's plans now include a signature building on the corner for the Volkswagen dealership and a "gateway feature" that will sit in a small body of water facing the intersection.

While the Planning Commission recommended approval of the major modification to the previous plan, apprehension over adding a new car dealership in the city still showed at council's earlier consideration of the proposal.

"I think the two 'nay' votes (at the commission) were regarding the use of a car dealership," said Councilman Mike Heyeck, who also sits on the Planning Commission.

But the change in plan does specify that a dealership is only allowed on one specific location, and the rest of the 127 acres cannot follow suit, which put Heyeck's mind at ease.

"We did put in the text that the car dealership can only be on this parcel. ... It's limited to that 7 acres," he said.

Complicating the issue further is a potential plan by Columbus and the Ohio Department of Transportation to extend Gemini Place through the old Polaris Amphitheater property and connect it with Worthington Road, near the proposed dealership.

Planning and Development Director Karl Craven said that while the plan would be affected by the proposed roadwork, both ODOT and the developer can be flexible with the space.

"Knowing now where the (dealership) driveway (on Worthington Road) is, that information can be shared with ODOT and they can incorporate that with their (Gemini extension) designw," Craven said.

The final reading and public hearing on the legislation to allow the dealership will take place July 1.

Comments