Pickerington City Council unanimously approved the rezoning of two adjoining tracts totaling 77-acres at 8100 and 8010 Refugee Road that are targeted for single-family residences as well as a condo and office development.

Pickerington City Council unanimously approved the rezoning of two adjoining tracts totaling 77-acres at 8100 and 8010 Refugee Road that are targeted for single-family residences as well as a condo and office development.

Council voted on the rezoning Jan. 5 for the Lake Forest Development proposed for the northeast corner of Refugee Road and Spring Creek Drive, just west of Pickerington North High School.

The revised plan calls for 90 single-family homes with a density of 1.99 units per acre and 81 condominiums with a density of 6 units per acre.

The developer, Long & Wilcox, also is planning to add 43,000 square-feet of commercial office space on 7 acres of the parcel that fronts the property.

The Lake Forest Development is now rezoned under a Planned District designation in the city's revised zoning code. The parcels were previously in a Planned Residential District and Central Business/Mixed Use District.

The new zoning configuration allows Long & Wilcox, based in Upper Arlington, to fashion a text in the plan that can deviate from density restrictions and other criteria.

Lake Forest plans also allow for natural ponds on the property to be counted as green space and for a bike path to go through the property and connect to Pickerington High School North.

Sycamore Creek Church, which is selling the acreage to Long & Wilcox, will retain 11.7 acres of the tract for the continued use for its worship center.

Pickerington City Manager Bill Vance said the zoning approval marks the early stage of the entire development process.

"There is no definite time-table associated with breaking ground as the engineering plans associated with Lake Forest's approved installation of its water, sewer, storm-water and road infrastructure have yet to be submitted for review by the city engineer," Vance said.

He said the developers must also get access approval from the Fairfield County Engineer because Refugee Road is a county road.

City Engineer Scott Tourville said the project's developers must first submit an engineering plan before a final plat is approved.

"Neither the final plat application or engineering design proposals have yet to be submitted for processing by the city's Development Services Department and I don't know what plans they have to do so," said Vance.

The development of Lake Forest will largely depend on whether the market will support such a project, Vance said.

"So, if and when final city- and county-responsible development approvals have potentially been received by Lake Forest developers, I predict such comprehensive approvals would guarantee a development complimentary to eastern Pickerington," Vance said.

The eastern corridor represents "our community's next growth corridor as supported by city, township and county leaders approving of 2015 annexation activities at the intersection of Refugee and Pickerington Roads," he said.

The eastern corridor is also the focus of a joint comprehensive land-use and economic development plan coordinated between the city of Pickerington and Violet Township.

The collaboration, called CORE, or "Collaboration on Regional Excellence," will study the impacts of possible developments such as Lake Forest on the corridor.