Two neighbors of a proposed roadway extension in Powell have made it clear they'll fight any efforts the city makes to take portions of their properties by eminent domain.

Two neighbors of a proposed roadway extension in Powell have made it clear they'll fight any efforts the city makes to take portions of their properties by eminent domain.

The city's Planning and Zoning Commission on Oct. 26 conducted a review of a plan for the future of the city's downtown street system. Powell City Council was expected to review and discuss the plan Nov. 1.

The plan, produced with consultants from EMH&T, MKSK and Trans Associates, suggests $30 million in improvements to reduce traffic congestion in downtown Powell.

About $9 million in projects identified as "initial improvements" are seen as necessary for the city to achieve its goal of banning all left turns at the busy Four Corners intersection of Liberty and Olentangy streets without negatively affecting downtown businesses.

One initial improvement identified in the plan is the extension of Grace Drive south at its intersection with Olentangy Street. The new roadway, which would be called Martin-Perry Drive, would run just west of the Powell Liberty Historical Society's headquarters through the group's existing parking lot to offer access to South Liberty Street businesses.

That portion of the plan has drawn negative reviews from historical society members and neighboring property owners.

Brian Creek, who lives on Kellys Court, said the plan shows the new roadway "dramatically encroaching" on his property. He said he does not want the new roadway included in the plan.

"I do not anticipate agreeing to sell any of my property for this initiative," he said.

Creek said the construction of the new roadway would "absolutely decimate my property values" and create a possible safety hazard for his children. He asked the commission to reject any plan that called for the use of eminent domain.

"I would think we in Powell would be above going down that route," he said.

Terry Burga, a fellow Kellys Court resident, said he also advised city officials against attempting to seize land for the proposed extension.

"You might be in for a bit of a fight," he said.

Bob Wilhelm, the historical society's treasurer, previously said society members do not want to lose the current parking lot for the Martin-Perry House as part of the project.

Commission member Richard Fusch said he was not sure the extension was needed in order to ban left turns at the Four Corners.

"You can get around that intersection pretty easily (now)," he said, noting the city could put up additional wayfinding signs to point out bypasses.

Doyle Clear, a consultant with Trans Associates, said the new roadway was included in the plan because Powell City Council members did not want to fully restrict left turns at the intersection without providing alternate access to downtown businesses.

"The only good traffic-planning way is to extend Grace Drive south," he said.

Other board members praised aspects of the plan while noting the possible use of eminent domain as a concern.

"Any time that you're taking away land ... it's something that I take very seriously," board member Trent Hartranft said.

Board member Joe Jester said he understood the neighbors' worries about the proposal.

"If I lived down there, I think I'd have the same concerns," he said.

The board voted 4-1 to send the plan to Powell City Council, with the caveat that the consultants who worked on the project re-examine the necessity of the extension of Grace Drive. Fusch voted against approval.

The full plan is available at tinyurl.com/powelltraffic.

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

@TWGallick