A 3-3 split vote by Gahanna City Council means no senior-living facility on Taylor Road.
Council’s Feb. 19 vote, which required a simple majority for approval, is the answer to a request by applicant Ross Oberhausen of Kentucky-based DMK Development Group regarding 5.7 acres at 748 and 760 Taylor Road. The site is zoned single-family residential, and DMK had asked council to rezone it to suburban office to allow a 115-unit senior-living facility.
DMK, in partnership with Trilogy Health Care, had proposed a nursing home and assisted-living beds, as well as a rehabilitation component.
Council members who voted in favor of the rezoning were Jamie Leeseberg, Karen Angelou and Brian Metzbower.
Brian Larick, Stephen Renner and Michael Schnetzer voted no. Council member Nancy McGregor was absent.
“I’ve been really torn on this project,” Renner said. “Normally, I’m very supportive of development. I have a long history sitting up here of being pro-development.”
He said Gahanna is built out and looking at what is the appropriate use of areas still to be developed is very important to council.
Schnetzer said he’s a representative on the future land-use committee.
“This area is still very much under discussion at the very moment,” he said.
Schnetzer said the land-use plan would focus on targeted corridors, and Taylor Road is one of those.
“It’s not a good time until we work through the land-use study,” Schnetzer said.
Angelou said everyone on council wants what’s best for Gahanna. She said the first failed proposal for the site was a warehouse in the 1990s. After that, an extended-stay hotel was proposed and failed.
Angelou said senior citizens in Gahanna need this type of facility.
“My heart and experience says this is a good project and what we need for the future,” she said.
Leeseberg said the facility would be a good use for the property.
“I believe this is a good project, and the data shows we need these kind of projects,” he said.
Leeseberg said people would leave Gahanna if they don’t have places like this to go.
Taylor Road resident David Willis said he has lived at his home for 48 years and spent thousands of dollars on the maintenance of his property.
He opposed the rezoning, he said, because it would be constructed two houses down from him.
“It will be a complete disruption of my life,” Willis said. “If I have to leave, where do I go at this time?”
Resident Diana Redman said people move to Gahanna for the residential aspect and schools, not the business component.
“They didn’t come here for things that aren’t neighborhood-oriented,” she said.
Peter Massey, Trilogy’s vice president of development, said a few meetings were held with residents, knowing they had some concerns.
“We look at our facility as a home for residents,” he said. “It won’t be noisy or have smells coming out of it. There is a parklike setting and buffering.”
He said the staff shifts are staggered, avoiding a lot of in and out traffic.
“We followed what the current code was,” Massey said. “Our residents are No. 1, but our employees are No. 1 as well. Seventy percent are full time.”
He said the facility would have created 115 to 125 jobs.