The Wesley Ridge Retirement Community wants to rezone four parcels that front 2277 Taylor Park Drive in preparation for future development that will include a $3.5-million wellness center and, eventually, two more residence buildings.

The Wesley Ridge Retirement Community wants to rezone four parcels that front 2277 Taylor Park Drive in preparation for future development that will include a $3.5-million wellness center and, eventually, two more residence buildings.

Reynoldsburg City Council's service committee agreed Monday, April 20, to forward the request to rezone the property from commercial services to high density residential to the full council for consideration.

Development Director Dan Havener said the zoning change is required to move forward with the immediate plans for the 14,000-square-foot standalone wellness center.

According to a press release from Methodist ElderCare Services, a groundbreaking for the wellness center will be scheduled sometime in June with construction slated to start late this summer.

Methodist ElderCare has launched an $800,000 capital campaign to raise funds for what will be called the Harcum Fitness and Aquatic Center.

Lead donors June and Dave Harcum secured naming rights to the facility with a $500,000 donation to the campaign.

Dinah Cason, executive director of development for Methodist ElderCare, said the Harcums are residents of Wesley Ridge.

They are former educators and have been active in philanthropy their entire lives, and wanted to give back to the community they hold dear, she said.

"The fitness center will be open to the community," Cason said.

There will be memberships available, although the cost is still being determined, and the facility will be open to all ages, she said.

City officials said the applicant views the wellness center as becoming the "front door" to the community. Plans call for the wellness center to include a fitness center, a community space, a gym, a pool, an exercise studio and a cafe.

The natatorium will be outfitted to include aquatic therapies. It would also include locker rooms, a health bar, lounges and classrooms.

Code enforcement

In other business Monday, the service committee asked the city staff to conduct a cost study to determine the pros and cons of making changes to the way Reynoldsburg approaches code enforcement.

Councilman Scott Barrett questioned whether the city's code enforcement efforts are making a dent in the number of infractions.

Service Director Nathan Burd said code enforcement officers wrote 2,700 code violations last year, with nearly half of those for overgrown grass. He said the city is performing the best it can with its limited resources.

Reynoldsburg has two code enforcement officer positions, but one is currently vacant. Burd said the jobs are part time, which can create problems, he said: Either an individual is great at the job and later leaves for a full-time position, or someone is hired without fully understanding the responsibilities and soon burns out.

City Auditor Richard Harris it would cost an estimated $55,000 per year to pay for a full-time code enforcement officer.