Grove City Council's official consideration of a rezoning and development plan for the proposed Farmstead development has been delayed until mid-February.

The measures, as well as an ordinance to annex the project area into the city, were tabled until council's Feb. 19 meeting to give developers and city officials more time to address concerns council members have raised.

Farmstead is being developed by Grand Communities Ltd., the affiliated development company for Fischer Homes, a Cincinnati-based firm.

The developer is proposing to build 535 single-family houses on the 209.5 acres located on the west side of Jackson Pike (state Route 104) and about 2,100 feet north of London-Groveport Road.

A total of 415 houses would be single-family detached units and 120 would be single-family attached or condominium units. The attached and condo units are proposed for one subarea of the development.

Approximately 11 acres in the southwest portion of the development would be set aside as a site for a potential new elementary school for the South-Western City School District.

Councilman Ted Berry said he is concerned about the effects adding 550 residential units would have on the amount of traffic coming out of Farmstead and onto Jackson Pike.

"The road is a two-lane road, and traffic gets stacked up there every night," he said. "When you add 550 cars to that area, how is that going to impact everything? It's not going to be good."

The Farmstead project would be built within Ward 3, represented by Councilwoman Christine Houk.

Working with the city, the developer determined the scope of a traffic study of the project area which was conducted by an engineer the developer hired, said Jason Wisniewski, vice president of planning and zoning for Grand Communities.

The findings were reviewed and approved by the city engineer, he said.

The recommendations, which the developer is willing to follow, include installing a north-bound left turn lane on Jackson Pike into the Hawthorne Parkway extension and a south-bound right turn lane, Wisniewski said.

A traffic light at the intersection is not able to be installed because as a state route, Jackson Pike falls under the standards of the Ohio Department of Transportation, and it has a higher threshold of when a traffic light is warranted, he said.

A number of safety concerns for the people who already live and who would live in the area need to be addressed, Houk said.

Jackson Pike is a 55 mph roadway and the speed cannot be reduced because of ODOT regulations, she said.

State Route 665, like Jackson Pike, is a narrow heavily-traveled roadway, Houk said.

"The safety concerns and making sure people who live in the community can get safely around are huge issues that we really haven't touched on in these discussions," she said.

"I hate to sign off on this plan" without more information about "the cost to our residents in terms of their quality of life when we make a decision on 200 acres without talking about the very real infrastructure issues," Houk said.

Another concern, she said, is whether the 11-acre school site would be sufficient for a new modern elementary school, she said.

The new elementary school buildings that were constructed on parcels that were not their original sites as part of the first phase of South-Western schools' Ohio Facilities Construction Commission project were placed on sites much larger than 11 acres, Houk said.

The school site configuration was worked out in collaboration with the school district, Wisniewski said.

The district was provided three potential locations for a new school and the one included in the plan was selected with its approval, Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said.

The 11-acre site would be held open for the district to determine if a school should be built there through Dec. 31, 2027, Wisniewski said.

After that date, the developer would be able to use the land for 25 additional residences, he said.

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