Despite reservations expressed by multiple board members, Powell's Planning and Zoning Commission gave its OK to two office buildings planned on the city's north side.
The board March 14 voted 4-2 to approve an amendment to the final development plan for a site directly southwest of Home Road's intersection with Sawmill Parkway.
Developer SMB International plans to build two office buildings between the existing Sunny Day Academy, 3561 Home Road, and O'Connell Street.
The buildings together will have more than 12,000 square feet of office space available for rent. Except for a Kumon tutoring center, no potential tenants for the buildings have been announced.
Rocky Kambo, Powell's assistant director of development, said adding more commercial buildings off Sawmill Parkway makes sense.
"It's a good location for this particular kind of use," he said.
Sean Hall, a resident of nearby Hickory Rock Drive, said he thinks the proposed development is oversized for the site.
"We're trying to cram more buildings onto every blade of grass," he said of the project.
Hall took particular issue with the developer's request for a 25-foot reduction to the 100-foot building setback off Sawmill Parkway for one of the office buildings.
Board member Shaun Simpson, who voted in favor of the development, said factors outside of the developer's control, including overhead power lines that cut across the site, reduce the amount of usable space on the property.
"The power lines make this a very limited site," he said.
Commission member Shawn Boysko said he would characterize the property as "an unfortunate site," but he ultimately chose to vote against the amendment. He cited the divergence request before casting his vote.
"I still am concerned about pushing that building so far out (toward Sawmill Parkway)," he said.
Donald Emerick, who also cited the divergence request, joined Boysko in voting against the amendment.
Bill Little, who voted in favor of the amendment, said he did not "necessarily have a problem" with the requested divergence. Little and Simpson were joined by Trent Hartranft and Joe Jester in voting for approval.