A rezoning request for 372 new single-family homes — in a development called The Farms at Jefferson by applicant M/I Homes -— was continued to next week after the Jefferson Township trustees raised several issues May 7.
Zoning administrator Charles McCroskey said the proposed development is bisected by Clark State Road. It's bounded by Dixon Road to the east and Babbitt Road to the west.
The request calls for 374 acres to be rezoning from planned residential district, restricted suburban residential and countryside residential district to planned suburban residential district.
The land has multiple owners, with the parcel breakdown being: two parcels, Kallal Clark State South LLC; one parcel, Kallal McOwen LLC; one parcel, Louis A. Mampieri; one parcel, Catherine L. Chisholm; and six parcels, New Albany Co LLC.
McCroskey said the development proposal includes subareas.
The north area shows 114 lots (subarea 1) with a minimum lot size of 9,580 square feet for ranch and two-story single-family homes.
The south subarea shows 258 lots with a minimum lot size of 7,290 square feet for ranch and two-story single-family homes, a community pool and clubhouse.
Subarea 3, or the southern portion of the development, provides 84.1 acres of open space/parkland off Morse Road.
He said the development would be built in nine phases, with 27 to 51 lots at a time and the first phase being built within six months of the plan’s approval.
Trustees spent much of the meeting discussing materials for the homes that call for brick, cultured stone, other natural materials and vinyl, as well as shingle roofs.
“One thing in there that gives me real bad heartburn is vinyl,” trustee Rich Courter said. “I would really like to see that vinyl taken out of there.”
Board chairwoman Claire Yoder said she has seen vinyl get hit with hail, and it creates a mess.
“I wonder if newer vinyl is a higher quality,” she said. “As I thought about vinyl, I thought maybe there are other options.”
Trustee Mike Rowan suggested no vinyl on the fronts of the homes and only the highest-grade vinyl on the other three sides and requiring natural products for trim.
M/I Homes land-acquisition manager Josh Barkan said that’s a good suggestion.
“I truly don’t think it will get as good of a result as you’d want,” he said. “I think the high-grade vinyl is a good idea.”
David Hodge, an attorney representing M/I, said he and his partner, Aaron Underhill, have worked to bring a development that’s reflective of Jefferson Township and consistent with the direction for the future and land use.
“The goal was to get here with a plan that garners support,” he said. “We believe we’ve brought a great plan.”
He said the homes in the northern part of the development would start at $450,000, whereas those to the south would start at $350,000.
Hodge said M/I has worked to exceed expectations and zoning standards.
“Young families will want to become a part of this community,” he said.
Hodge said the Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District’s analysis is 0.6 child per home.
Additionally, he said, the minimum openspace requirement is 40 percent, and M/I proposes 71 percent open space at one unit per acre.
“We’ve committed to preserve the healthy trees, and 1,321 new trees will be planted as a result of this development,” he said.
Some neighbors expressed concerns about more traffic on already-congested roadways during morning and evening rush hours, the impact on the Gahanna-Jefferson schools and changes to the rural character of the township.
Skelton Lane resident David Rausch said he opposes the developed because of the traffic issue.
He said the bulk of the traffic would be dumped on Clark State Road, and residents already can’t get out of their neighborhoods in the morning or get back in during the evening.
“We’re adding another 1,200 cars?” he said. “What quality of life does that provide for people?”
Estate View Drive resident Jennifer Staten said she’s against the proposed development in its current form.
“I live in a condensed neighborhood like this with 47 houses,” she said. “This is completely different. It’s its own village. This isn’t the Jefferson Township I love. Let’s find some middle ground.”
Robert Schottenstein, a township resident and CEO of M/I Homes, said he and his wife have lived in the township more than 10 years.
“I love the township and the company loves the township,” he said.
He said M/I cares about the character of the township.
Schottenstein said it would have been better for the company to annex to Gahanna, but its leaders like to do business by consensus.
“This will be a great development with quality architecture,” he said. “I appreciate the consideration, and we’ll continue to support the township in any way we can.”
The continued public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, May 14, in the training room of the Jefferson Township Fire Department, 6545 Havens Road in Blacklick.