An Amazon subsidiary's plans to build a massive data center in the northwest corner of Orange Township have led to concerns regarding noise, property values and traffic among the site's potential neighbors.

An Amazon subsidiary's plans to build a massive data center in the northwest corner of Orange Township have led to concerns regarding noise, property values and traffic among the site's potential neighbors.

The township's zoning commission met Wednesday, Feb. 11, to continue a discussion on a rezoning request for a 74-acre site southwest of the intersection of Home Road and U.S. Route 23. Plans submitted to the township call for the construction of five 150,000-square-foot data centers and a 40,000-square-foot office building as part of an effort known as "Project Sandstone."

Although the site's end user has not officially been announced, the state last fall approved tax credits and incentives for Amazon subsidiary Vadata to bring 120 full-time jobs and $9.6 million in addition payroll to Ohio. While Vadata has been approved for the credits, Ohio Development Services Agency spokeswoman Stephanie Gostomski said the firm has not signed off on an agreement with the state or announced a site for the project.

Vadata also sought and received a 15-year, 100 percent property-tax abatement to build a data center within Orange Township's community reinvestment area from the Delaware County Board of Commissioners last fall.

The cities of Dublin and Hilliard also announced incentive packages aimed at attracting Vadata in 2014.

Home Road resident Scott McCoy said construction of the data center would cause property values to fall nearby and asked whether the end user or township would do anything to benefit affected residents.

"Is this something that we are just expected to accept on behalf of the goodwill of the township?" he said. "That's asking a lot of us."

Orange Township attorney Michael McCarthy said residents should not expect the county or township to arrange any kind of deal to reimburse them for possible loss of property value if the center is constructed.

"That would be something that would have to come about between the property owners," he said.

McCoy said when he moved to Home Road four years ago, a zoning plat showed the data center property being developed with a mix of residential and smaller commercial buildings.

While no Amazon or Vadata officials spoke at last week's meeting, representatives from Advanced Civil Design of Gahanna, Faris Planning and Design of Columbus and Ford and Associates Architects of Columbus discussed the project on behalf of the end user.

Bill Gallaugher, president of the condo association for the Village at North Falls, told the representatives he was concerned about plans to remove trees near his development. The neighborhood is located directly south of the proposed complex and adjacent to the Kiddie Academy of Lewis Center child-care facility.

"I paid extra for my (property) because of those woods," he said. "My concern is how much of the woods will be removed."

Todd Faris of Faris Planning and Design said while 100 to 200 feet of vegetation will be removed for utility work at the southern portion of the project site, a wooded buffer around the condo complex will be left intact.

Bob Bien, another resident of the Village at North Falls, asked whether the planned southern entrance to the site would see consistent traffic on Gooding Boulevard, which runs parallel to Route 23 south of the planned data center.

Tom Warner, a partner with Advanced Civil Design, said the main entrance to the site will be connected to Home Road. He said a "redundant" entrance on the south side of the site likely will be an "extremely low traffic generator."

"I'm not saying they won't have the occasional employee that comes through the back door, but vendors and anybody visiting the site (will be) directed to the office," he said. "They have to get a badge and security clearance before they can even enter the into the data campus."

While representatives of the project stressed that increased traffic south of the project will be minimal after the work is completed, the area likely will see a spike in traffic during construction. Delaware County has requested that the project's contractors access the site from Gooding Boulevard during initial construction in the spring as the county's contractors work to realign Home Road's intersection with Route 23.

The county plans to rebuild the intersection 400 feet south of its current location. The project to expand the roadway and add turn lanes is expected to be complete before the end of 2015.

Residents also asked questions about the noise levels from diesel generators and an electric substation planned at the site, as well as the amount of water that would be used to cool equipment.

After discussing the board's recommended corrections and stipulations to the project's plans, architect Mark Ford asked if the board could vote on its submission in order to expedite the planning and zoning process. The board declined to vote on the project, instead asking the project's representatives to submit a revised plan that incorporates the board's recommendations

"It's our process," board member Mark Duell said. "There won't be any exceptions."

The project will be discussed again at the board's next meeting, set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18. After the commission makes its recommendation, it will be forwarded to the township's board of trustees.