Metro Development LLC is trying again to build an apartment complex in Reynoldsburg, this time on about 9 acres east of Waggoner Road and north of Main Street.
Rezoning for the project, called Bentley House planned neighborhood development district, received unanimous approval in December from the city’s planning commission and the request had its first presentation to Reynoldsburg City Council on Jan. 14.
Metro spent several months in 2018 trying unsuccessfully to convince council to approve its plans for apartments near the intersection of East Main Street and Taylor Road.
For Bentley House, Metro wants to rezone the site to planned neighborhood development. According to documents filed with the planning commission, part of the property is unzoned and the rest has two zoning designations: AR-2c multiple family residence and R-1 single-family residence.
According to the city’s zoning code, “The PND Planned Neighborhood Development District permits comprehensively planned residential developments approved using more flexible zoning techniques than permitted in other residential districts, but subject to a development plan specifying the conditions of development.”
Metro’s plan calls for a 120-unit complex of one- and two-bedroom units at 1220 and 1222 Waggoner Road in a total of six buildings, along with a 246-space parking lot.
A 3,400-square-foot clubhouse with a gym and movie theater, a swimming pool and dog park also are planned for the community, said Joe Thomas with Metro Development.
He said the buildings, half of which are 3 stories, will have “farmhouse-style” exteriors and rents ranging from about $900 to about $1,400 a month. They are targeted at what Thomas called “renters by choice,” often young professionals and empty-nesters.
Every first-floor unit will be handicap-accessible, Thomas said, with lowered countertops, extra wide doorways, larger kitchens and baths, and other features such as accessible-style door knobs and fixtures.
A traffic study conducted in November recommended the addition of a turn lane from Waggoner into the complex. Developers agreed to install the turn lane plus a sidewalk extending to Main Street along the east side of Waggoner Road.
More than two dozen neighbors who attended the council meeting voiced many of the same concerns about increased traffic congestion that residents near Metro’s proposed development on Taylor Road had voiced.
With several schools, churches and other adjacent apartment complexes, traffic will go from bad to worse, said Mike O’Sullivan, who lives on nearby Quarry Cliff Court.
“Every homeowner that I’ve talked to strongly opposes the construction of these apartments,” he said. “It’s going to make it more difficult to sell a home and ... it’s going to make a terrible traffic situation significantly worse on Waggoner Road.
“This is about the worst possible place to put in an apartment complex,” O’Sullivan said.
Mary T. Stoots has lived in her Waggoner Road home since 1956 and said the developer’s plan to install a turn lane near the entrance to the complex won’t compensate for the hundreds of additional cars it will bring.
“This isn’t traffic that’s turning in anywhere, this is traffic trying to get across Main Street. I’m opposed to these apartments, not because I’m opposed to apartments in general, but that’s a very, very bad spot congestion-wise,” Stoots said.
Councilman Mel Clemens said traffic studies often don’t match what residents experience.
“It’s hard to approve things when it puts a burden on the people who live there,” Clemens said. “This looks like a pretty good set of apartments ... but it’s what you’re causing.”
City Council in September overruled the planning commission and denied Metro Development’s plans for 192-apartments on 24 acres at Taylor and Main. That project went through months of planning committee meetings and revisions before ultimately being denied by council in a 4-3 vote because of concerns about traffic and density.
Metro Development still needs council approval for its Waggoner Road project. No action was taken at the Jan. 14 meeting and the plans are expected to be discussed again at council’s Jan. 28 meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Reynoldsburg Municipal Building, 7232 E. Main St.