As Powell prepares to add more than 100 acres from Liberty Township to its boundaries, city and township officials remain focused on an intersection south of the proposed annexation zone.
Officials representing the city and township met last week before the April 4 meeting of Powell City Council to discuss the annexation of 109 acres east and west of Steitz Road, south of Hunters Bend.
Pulte Homes plans to build a 183-house neighborhood called Carpenter's Mill on the land. The developer will pay to widen Steitz Road and add turn lanes for northbound and southbound traffic at the neighborhood's entrance.
At the meeting between city and township officials, conversation turned to the improvements the developer has not been required to make. The Delaware County Engineer's Office reviewed a traffic study paid for by Pulte Homes and concluded no changes are required at the intersection of Rutherford and Steitz roads south of the development.
Township Administrator Matt Huffman said he expects increased traffic from the new neighborhood will lead to heightened frustration among township residents.
"We're already getting complaints about that intersection," he said. "This is only going to add to it."
Dave Betz, Powell's development director, said city officials have discussed the intersection extensively with the county engineer. He said because the roadways meet outside city limits, Powell officials have little say in the matter.
Bonnie Goodson, a member of the township's zoning commission who lives near the intersection, said she was surprised by the engineer's decision. She said existing traffic-congestion and safety problems will worsen when residents start moving into Carpenter's Mill.
"I just can't imagine what it's going to be like," she said.
Michelle Murphy, a Steitz Road resident, said she worries about the safety of students riding school buses and driving in the area. She said buses already have a difficult time navigating the intersection at current traffic levels.
"It's just not going to handle that kind of traffic," she said about the intersection. "It's already a mess."
Powell Mayor Brian Lorenz said he wants city staff to follow up with the engineer's office, but noted the intersection is outside of the city's jurisdiction. Multiple city and township officials also suggested asking the engineer to reconsider the speed limits on both roads.
Powell City Council on April 4 conducted first readings for legislation to approve the annexation and the final development plan for Carpenter's Mill. Council could vote on both items after second readings at its April 18 meeting.