After a 15-year pause, the city of Powell could extend its borders north of Home Road by annexing the site of a proposed commercial development.
Developer John Wicks went before Powell City Council's Development Committee last week to discuss the possibility of the city annexing about 12 acres at the northwest corner of Home and Steitz roads from Liberty Township.
Wicks' initial plan for the site calls for the construction of a gas station and convenience store, among other commercial buildings.
The potential annexation would not have been possible last year or even a few months ago.
The city and township came to terms on a cooperative economic development agreement, or CEDA, to guide future annexations in 2002 – about the same time the city annexed the large Golf Village subdivision, which sits at the intersection of Sawmill Parkway and Home Road. A provision in the CEDA that prohibited Powell from annexing land north of Home Road for 15 years expired in May.
Glen Dugger, attorney for the developer, said the planned gas station and convenience store would serve existing and planned neighborhoods in the growing residential areas near the intersection. He said the business would allow residents to stop for gas or snacks without entering "the larger traffic stream on Sawmill Parkway."
Dugger said the site also potentially has room for office and retail space, as well as boat and RV storage, although many details about the project have not been finalized.
"I think it's consistent with some of the planning efforts the city has done, but it is a little bit new in the sense that we're crossing over Home Road," he said.
Wicks said he has not yet entertained potential tenants for the site.
Dugger said the initial plan is for the design to reflect Liberty Township's agricultural heritage. He said the structures would resemble agricultural outbuildings on a farm.
"It sort of (suggests) a story that this property was here (and) was then converted over time to these types of uses," he said.
Liberty Township Trustee Melanie Leneghan said she was not aware of the potential development and could not comment on its merits.
She said township officials tend to view annexation proposals with a skeptical eye.
"Annexation is very rarely a win-win," she said. "It is usually detrimental to the township. We don't like to see it."
Powell City Council has not yet taken action on the annexation or approved any plans for the site. The property is owned by TLK Development, according to Delaware County Auditor's Office records.