Plans for a new housing development and commercial property on the city's north side continue to draw opposition from neighbors who believe it will only increase traffic congestion and school enrollment numbers.
Canal Winchester City Council must decide if the proposed Turning Stone development -- bordered by U.S. Route 33, High Street and Carriage Place and the Winchester and Lombardy Heights subdivisions -- will move forward.
Council is expected to take a final vote Oct. 2 after the project failed to receive approval from the city's planning and zoning commission.
The commission voted 3-2 July 10 in favor of a preliminary plan and rezoning submitted by developer Kentucky-based Grand Communities/Fischer Development Co. for 84 single-family homes on 15.8 acres plus a 1.75-acre commercial property. However, proposals that do not receive four yes votes from the planning commission are forwarded to City Council with a recommendation for denial.
"I'm not against more homes, just the impact of 84 homes on traffic," resident Kim Stedman told City Council during its Sept. 18 meeting. "I know there was a study, but it indicates more people coming through town and there's going to be an impact on our schools."
A traffic study commissioned by the developer indicated Turning Stone would produce 150 vehicles making 10 trips a day, adding traffic to High Street, Pfeifer Drive, Jones Place and Carriage Place.
"I don't know how far along this project is, but golfers refer to it as a mulligan," resident Joe Hannah said. "This is going to be a mess. We're going to have parking on both sides of the street."
Jason Wisniewski with Grand Communities told council members the plan is to limit parking on one side of the street and prohibit parking along cul-de-sacs. Developers also have discussed installing traffic feedback signs, which slow down speeders by alerting them to how fast they are traveling.
The patio homes with shared walls would be marketed to active baby boomers and young professionals. The starting price would be $170,000, but Wisniewski said he expects the average price to be $200,000.
The development on land owned by Damon Pfeifer of Canal Winchester would have limited outside maintenance with a homeowners association.
One of the partner developers is Wilcox Communities, which operates in Alabama, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri and Ohio. In central Ohio, Wilcox owns the Mews at Pinnacle Club in Grove City and operates rental properties in Blacklick, Lancaster and Reynoldsburg.
"This is a great use of the land," Wisniewski said. "We've worked very hard with (city planners). They've been good about giving honest feedback and challenging us.
"Based on our expertise ... we think it's very good use of that land. It's the old adage: Is it perfect? No. But let's not throw out the good."