A revised plan to rezone property on Taylor Road to allow construction of a large apartment complex was approved by the Reynoldsburg Planning and Zoning Commission June 7, but a final vote by Reynoldsburg City Council again has been postponed.
A third reading of an ordinance approving the plan to rezone 24 acres from community commerce and multiple family residence to planned neighborhood development was scheduled for June 25, but Councilman Brett Luzader said the third reading and final vote were postponed at the request of the developer, since City Attorney Jed Hood was not present at the meeting.
Council approval would allow Metro Development to build a 240-unit apartment complex at 9366-9370 Taylor Road Southwest.
"They asked us to hold it for two weeks to make sure all the legal aspects were covered," Luzader said.
He said council would try for a third reading and a final decision at its Monday, July 9 meeting.
The planning commission denied Metro Development's original plan for the complex in March. It called for two- and three-story buildings to be built on the site.
"The planning commission approved the application this time with conditions," Luzader said. "The plan has been revised to only two-story buildings, but they have added three new buildings.
"The park area in the plan is smaller, too, just under five acres, instead of seven.
"The developer also will put in a right-turn lane at Taylor Road and Main," he said. "The turn lane would have to be in and operational before they lease the first unit."
The proposal for the complex elicited heavy opposition from residents when the developer first applied for the rezoning late last year.
Metro held several public meetings to answer questions, but residents continued to speak against the complex plan at the meetings and on social media.
Members of council also have voiced opposition, since the city is currently working on a development master plan designed to attract more businesses to Reynoldsburg.
In fact, Luzader's motion for the third reading at the June 25 meeting included a recommendation to deny the variance.
"I am not necessarily against apartments, but the whole idea for this property is to bring in something palatable to the council and the rest of the city," he said. "I still have a lot of questions about density, because our city code calls for not more than five units per acre for a planned neighborhood development."
He said the Metro Development plan calls for 9.88 units per acre.
"There is a real density question when you cut out five acres for a park and dog park, so in my opinion, they are really only developing 18 acres," Luzader said.
He said he hoped to keep the property zoned commercial.
"We would like to show more business owners that they could invest in Reynoldsburg and that some really good things are on the horizon for our city," he said.
Councilman Marshall Spalding said he has heard from a lot of residents who do not want the complex.
"The concern from the public is pretty strong, and they are convinced the traffic situation will be much worse if the complex is built," he said.
He also is concerned about the density of the complex.
"The density of the plan appears to be very high and that causes consternation, plus the plan is not congruent with that area," he said. "The resounding input from residents in that area has been very negative."
Spalding said the situation is "sad" because the developer has worked hard to revise the plan to make it more acceptable.
"The problem is, we are right in the middle of developing an important master development and business plan for the city and that is a very big zone of commercial property that could fit into the plan," he said.
The complex calls for 48 one-bedroom units and 192 two-bedroom units, a clubhouse, pool, four retention ponds, and open space for a park, according to Metro Development's revised plan.
"The problem is, we are right in the middle of developing an important master development and business plan for the city and that is a very big zone of commercial property that could fit into the plan."
-- MARSHALL SPALDING
Reynoldsburg City Council