Four condominium buildings could fill a "leftover" parcel of land off Sawmill Road near Powell's southern boundary.

Elite Real Estate Holdings LLC last month submitted a sketch plan to the city, proposing the construction of four two-unit buildings on a 1.5-acre plot southeast of Sawmill Road's intersection with Zion Drive.

Dave Pontia, representing New Albany-based Pontia Architecture, said the developer has worked for months to craft a plan that fits in with the neighborhood.

"We've gone through a lot of discussions ... with (the city) staff to develop this corner to get something that fits into the context of the surrounding area that works for the city of Powell," he said.

Each two-story unit would feature basements and garages, according to plans filed with the city.

Rocky Kambo, a planner with the city's development department, said the new proposal follows a submission last year that called for two "quite large" four-unit buildings. In 2006, the city's Planning and Zoning Commission approved a proposal calling for two three-unit condo buildings, but the board's approval expired before the developer moved forward with the project.

Kambo said he thinks the latest plan is the best the city staff has seen.

"Staff is much, much happier with what we're seeing today than what we've seen in previous years," he said.

The proposed condos would sit just north of the adjacent Commons of Powell condominium complex.

Kambo said the city staff views the plan as a good fit for what he called a "leftover" parcel.

"When a large development happens and an owner for some reason or another doesn't sell that property off, you're kind of left with this remnant piece that's oftentimes very difficult to design or build on," he said.

Kambo said the applicant's "done a good job" of overcoming the challenges that can plague such parcels.

City Planning and Zoning Commission members responded with mostly positive comments when the applicant took the sketch plan of the proposal before the board in March.

Commission member Trent Hartranft said he views the latest proposal for the site as an improvement.

"I think the plan ... is a great revision of what's been presented to us in the past," he said.

Board member Donald Emerick said he also thinks the proposal has improved in the past year.

"I think this project has come a long way already," he said.

The planning commission and Powell City Council each need to approve final plans for the development before construction can begin.

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

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