Grove City Council approved a preliminary development plan for the Farmstead residential development, but some details still need to be worked out before a final development plan is presented.

Farmstead would feature 535 single-family houses on about 210 acres at 62 Jackson Pike (state Route 104).

A total of 415 houses would be single-family detached units and 120 would be single-family attached or condominium units, said Jason Wisniewski, vice president of planning and zoning for applicant Grand Communities Ltd. Grand Communities is the affiliated development company for Fischer Homes, a Cincinnati-based firm.

The houses would feature a "modern farmhouse" design, according to the developer.

Although the preliminary development plan states the development would feature 67 acres of open space, the city's calculation places the total about 28.6 acres.

The developer's total includes an 11-acre site in the southwest portion of the development that would be earmarked as a potential site for a new elementary school.

"Our staff calculations would exclude areas under power-line easements and flood plains and it would count only a certain percentage of their storm-water features," said Kyle Rauch, city development director.

"This is a conversation we'll have and we'll nail it down," he said.

The final determination of just how much of the development area qualifies as open space won't be needed for several more months, when the final development plan is due, Rauch said.

This type of conversation has happened before, and there are developments in the city with land in flood plains or under power lines that residents use as open space, Councilman Roby Schottke said.

The school site would have a playground and other space that could be considered as open space available to residents, he said.

One thing needs to be clarified about the proposed school site, Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said.

The land in question would not be donated land, Stage said.

"In our conversations with Fischer, that land is not being donated," he said. "What we are doing is negotiating with them on the sharing of the cost of that school site.

"That will be a discussion item as we move forward with the development plan," Stage said.

Although she appreciates the character of what the developer is trying to create in the preliminary plan, Councilwoman Christine Houk said, she has some concerns about the number of housing units the project would bring to the state Route 104/665 corridor.

Those roadways "are currently heavily traveled and less than exemplary in terms of their conditions for travelers," she said.

"I'd like to know what that ongoing conversation is going to be to accommodate the 500-some units this will bring to that corridor," she said.

With so much development occurring in Grove City, "we need to open the door" to more discussion and consideration about the growing demand on the school district and police and fire services, Houk said.

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