Metro Development's proposal for The Woods at Gray's Place is moving on to the Jefferson Township trustees for final approval at a date yet to be determined.
Michael Anderson, the township's development director, said he won't know when the proposal will be heard until the recommendation formally is delivered to the trustees by the zoning administrator during one of their meetings.
"When they receive it, they will set a time, date and place for the public hearing," he said.
The township zoning commission voted to recommend the approval of Metro Development's rezoning request for 12.4 acres to allow a mixed-use development of office, retail and residential use. The request would change the parcel's zoning from restricted industrial district and countryside residential district to a planned commercial district.
The project would be located on the east side of Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, south of Taylor Road and north of the railroad tracks in the Blacklick area.
Commission members Karen Bokor, Bob Southard, Rick Winnestaffer and Charlie Wise voted in favor of the rezoning, with Linda Mosbacher casting the lone dissenting vote, during the commission's Nov. 15 meeting.
The positive recommendation has conditions that include adding language in the development text to commit use of public spaces to Jefferson Township. Prototypes of building elevations also must be provided to the trustees for review.
David Hodge, an attorney for the applicant, said the rezoning would allow commercial and residential hotel uses with a community-oriented open-space entry, a clubhouse, fitness and pool amenities and sidewalk amenities to encourage people to walk the site, which ends at a dog park and creek overlook.
The redevelopment would include 234 dwelling units and 32,200 square feet of neighborhood-oriented commercial and office uses.
Mosbacher said when looking at Blacklick, she doesn't see anything about a residential hotel, apartments and the proposed mixed-use development envisioned in the township plan. The township trustees adopted a comprehensive plan, Jefferson Township 2050, in September. It addresses land use, economic development, parks, roads, trails and public safety.
Hodge said the township plan talks about the entirety of the township and has vision for this section of Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road.
He said the statement from the Jefferson Township 2050 plan supports the proposed rezoning, quoting, "The Blacklick area ... should be reimaged to include a commercial corridor of shops along High Street, with the potential for upper floor office and residential uses.
"Planned commercial zoning should be encouraged and development plans that integrate into the natural environment should be rewarded with reduced setbacks along High Street," he continued.
Jennifer Hansen, who has a business and lives on Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, said she just learned about the proposed project.
She said it's a mistake to look at development north of the railroad tracks.
Hansen said the traffic on Reynoldsburg-New Albany is already unacceptable.
Bokor said the proposal showed tremendous improvement from the previous month.
"I'm completely sympathetic to the traffic issue," she said.
But not approving development that can be beneficial to the township is like shooting yourself in the foot, she said.
Bokor said she was nervous about a residential hotel, but it's a 30-day minimum stay.
"There won't be people checking in and out," she said. "That made me feel better. ... I feel comfortable we'll get neighborhood restaurants, yoga, a coffee shop. I respect everyone's right to disagree. I'm not willy-nilly in favor of all development."