Growth was the theme this year for Delaware and Sunbury -- what's new? -- but among the usual development, 2018 held a twist with the announcement of an entertainment mega-complex that, if it comes to fruition, could turn central Delaware County into a destination.

Here's a quick look back at the top five stories of 2018 in the Delaware and Sunbury areas.

Planet Oasis drama -- A June announcement that Planet Oasis -- a $2 billion, 350-acre development packed with entertainment options, many unique to central Ohio -- would be built west of Sunbury captured attention statewide. The complex's future is unclear because two developers have announced they are in charge, each without the other's participation; one has renamed the project Arcadia.

Excitement in the air for project’s fun, tax dollars

Planet Oasis windfall far from guaranteed, Big Walnut superintendent says

Group hopes to shape ‘life-altering development’

Planet Oasis dispute heads to court

Planet Oasis or Arcadia near Sunbury? Conflict continues


Plenty of development -- Delaware City Council this year approved one new hotel and heard about plans for a second; gave its nod to a 168-apartment complex off Houk Road; approved a 240-apartment complex off U.S. Route 36/state Route 37; and discussed a housing development east of Pollock Road and north of Braumiller Road that could add 2,250 new residents to the city.

Delaware City Council gives blessing to Wesleyan Inn

70-foot hotel eyed near OWU campus

Delaware apartments approved in split vote

Houk Road apartments: Plan loses dozen units before getting Delaware council nod

Roads taking shape in Delaware development; NCA will raise cash for amenities


Schools ready to rise -- Big Walnut Local Schools began to consolidate plans for a new high school and a new elementary school this year after approval of a bond issue and levy in 2017. The elementary school is scheduled to open in 2020, the high school in 2022.

Big Walnut Local Schools laying groundwork for new buildings


From village to city -- Sunbury expects the 2020 census to show it has 5,000 residents, which will change its status from village to city in accordance with Ohio Revised Code. In preparation, the village placed on the November ballot an issue to create a commission to study creation of a city charter, which voters approved. The county's other two cities, Delaware and Powell, use charters to spell out their systems and procedures.

With Sunbury voters’ nod, group would consider city charter creation

With ballot wins, Delaware County library, Sunbury village plan for growth


A great Point -- Turning Point, the Marion-based nonprofit that aids domestic-violence victims in six counties, including Delaware, began construction of what will be Delaware County's first domestic-violence shelter after a lengthy fundraising campaign. The $3.2 million facility is expected to serve hundreds of adults and children each year.

Delaware County’s first domestic-violence shelter aims for December opening