By a 4-2 vote, Pickerington City Council approved an ordinance Oct. 6, authorizing City Manager Bill Vance to enter into a settlement agreement with Virginia Homes that will clear the way for the development of Wellington Park, a proposed subdivision.

By a 4-2 vote, Pickerington City Council approved an ordinance Oct. 6, authorizing City Manager Bill Vance to enter into a settlement agreement with Virginia Homes that will clear the way for the development of Wellington Park, a proposed subdivision.

Virginia Homes plans to build 250 single-family residential units with a density of 2.17 units per acre and 175 multi-family units with a density of 6.75 units per acre.

The proposed development site is located in the city of Pickerington on 145.39 acres on the west side of Milnor Road, about one-half mile south of the intersection of Milnor Road and Refugee Road.

Pickerington entered into a pre-annexation agreement in 2001 with Virginia Homes whereupon the land was to be annexed into the city under Violet Township zoning for a Planned District.

However, the agreement essentially languished, aided by time and the turnover of various city councils and city officials. Virginia Homes sued to enforce the original agreement.

As part of the settlement agreement, the city has agreed to pay for the continuation of Courtright Road to connect to Milnor Road.

Viriginia Homes, in turn, has agreed to adhere to the city's residential design guidelines in the development process.

City Council Tony Barletta, who voted against the ordinance, said he believes the legislation violates the city's 2005 Comprehensive Transportation Improvement Plan, which identifies Courtright Road as a major collector road.

As a major collector, Courtright Road requires a minimum 80 foot right of way, no parking and a maximum speed limit of 35 to 40 mph, Barletta said.

"This was to provide connectivity to future development to the east, and eventually connect to Stemen Road," Barletta said.

He said the Wellington Park plat presented in the agreement falls far short of the 2005 transportation plan in that Courtright Road would be termed a "minor collector."

Barletta said the road width will be narrower and 38 single family lots with driveways will line both sides of the road.

He said as a minor collector, Courtright Road could be striped for three lanes and have a speed limit of 25 mph with no parking on one side or 35 mph with no parking on either side of the roadway.

"The design presented will create future headaches for future residents and future councils," Barletta said.

He said while a connection between Hill Road and Milnor Road is necessary, the efficient flow of traffic will be compromised, especially with what he said will be the placement of "more unwarranted stop signs."

"The political reality is these signs are difficult to remove once placed," Barletta said.

Councilman Chris Schweitzer, who provided the other "no"vote, said the plan "is another huge issue, especially if you look at the congestion on (state Route) 256.

"By not holding developers feet to the fire we're (preventing) access around our city."

Councilman Mike Sabatino said the ordinance is a "decent" resolution to a long litigated issue.

"The city is doing the best it can possibly do in this situation," Sabatino said.

According to City Clerk Lynda Yartin, the legislation will go into effect Nov. 5, 30 days from its passage.