A proposed housing project that has lingered in the development stage since 2008 resurfaced during June 25's meeting of Delaware City Council, when those working on the plan said they will ask the city to create a New Community Authority.

Unlike most NCAs -- which assess costs on property for infrastructure improvements, such as roads -- this request would raise money to maintain amenities at what was described as a "best-of-class" development that would contain hundreds of homes.

The city first approved preliminary plans for the Terra Alta development, east of Pollock Road and north of Braumiller Road, in 2008, just before the worst of the Great Recession.

"We're going to see houses go up there before long," said David Fisher of Columbus-based Kephart Fisher Attorneys, adding more work remains to be done first.

Terra Alta now includes a proposed development earlier called Stockdale Farms -- for which the city approved a preliminary plan in 2014 -- and what is called the Rogers Tract, all in the same area, Fisher said.

Jim Owen -- whom Fisher said is running the Terra Alta development team -- said the project would create "move-up housing" opportunities in the Delaware City School District.

He quoted projected house prices from $350,000 to $375,000 and said planned amenities would include walking trails, fire pits, gazebos and pavilions, among others.

Fisher said the development has the potential to generate $13.5 million in project fees and $1.7 million in annual income tax for the city.

The Terra Alta NCA would act more like a "super" homeowners association, Fisher said. It would provide "a major financing mechanism for people who live in this community," he said.

Among other things, he said, it would reimburse developers for the excess costs of building.

He said the Terra Alta team has discussed the plan with city staff.

Responding to a question from Councilwoman Lisa Keller, Fisher said the NCA charge levied to properties might be 7.5 mills.

Keller said those "already paying an NCA were less than thrilled" when the city earlier tried to pass a road levy, as they were already paying more than average because of the NCA.

The city "needed and still does need critical revenue" for roads, she said.

"My gut feeling is (swimming pools) belong in a homeowners association and save the NCAs for public infrastructure needs," she said.

Fisher said he was familiar with that situation, but those moving to Terra Alta would be choosing to pay the NCA millage.

The Terra Alta request was not on the meeting agenda, and Fisher said the development team will attend a future meeting.

Fisher also said he was accompanied by a group that included Delaware attorneys Mike Shade and Steve Cuckler and area developer Marty Savko.

"We will look it over and discuss it. ... We need to digest all this," said Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle.

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