A year after its plans for a downtown senior apartment complex were rejected, a local developer is back with a similar plan but a different location.

A year after its plans for a downtown senior apartment complex were rejected, a local developer is back with a similar plan but a different location.

Fairfield Homes is hoping to construct a 50-unit senior apartment complex on a 1.9-acre parcel on West Waterloo Street adjacent to the Charleston Lake development and Walmart.

To do so, the company is requesting that the village rezone the property from general commercial to a planned residential district (PRD). This would allow Fairfield Homes to increase the density from six to 26 units per acre.

Canal Winchester Village Council has approved similar density increases in the past, and seemed open at its meeting Monday to entertaining Fairfield Homes' proposal.

"I don't have a problem with density in this area," Councilwoman Bobbie Mershon said.

The rezoning request will go before the village planning and zoning commission on April 14. If approved there, the rezoning request would go to council for final approval.

The developer needs a final say on the rezoning request by council's June 21 meeting in order to adhere to deadlines for a state grant Fairfield Homes is seeking.

A preliminary drawing presented at council's committee of the whole meeting Monday calls for construction of one three-story building. But after local officials expressed concern, the developers said they're willing to be flexible with the design.

"We're fine going in the direction of everyone's consensus," said architect Randall Woodings of Kontogiannis & Associates.

"We want it to be something everyone's happy with," said Christine Collins of Fairfield Homes.

The committee of the whole is a periodic informal meeting of all council members that also has involved members of the planning commission.

In March 2009, Fairfield Homes presented a plan for a 40-unit senior apartment complex on roughly 2.4 acres behind Bolenbaugh Hardware downtown. As in the current case, Fairfield Homes sought approval a year ago to increase density on the property, but residents leveled a stream of complaints that the development was wrong for the location. Village officials eventually rejected the project.

Council has approved of densities of 24.2 and 14.8 units per acre in the past at United Church Homes on Covenant Way.

Village officials expressed concern Monday that a three-story structure could necessitate screening between the senior complex and nearby homes in Charleston Lake.

Planning commission president Bill Christensen said he would like to see the building moved closer to West Waterloo Street. Councilman Jim

Wynkoop said he would like the architects to consider multiple stories in order to represent a transition from a residential to a commercial section of Canal Winchester.

The complex would be near Walmart and other housing.

"We can move the building closer to Waterloo," Woodings said. "We can be transitional."