Westerville's planning commission reviewed plans for a proposed housing complex that would be located west of Westerville's community center at a Jan. 23 meeting.

The project, proposed for 343 N. West St. in Westerville by the Homewood Corp., would encompass 12.9 acres of land. It boasts the concept of "multigenerational living," offering a mix of townhomes, flat apartments and "active-adult style" houses with underground parking and elevators with 15 buildings. It does not yet have a name.

The commission has seen three concept-plan reviews for the site.

"The balance of the multigenerational living will draw in a mix of people," said Jim Lipnos, president of Homewood Corp.

Lipnos said a provision can be presented to make use of a single-family residence that is currently located on a portion of the site.

Several commission members, however, shared concerns about the project as it is proposed, because it would be on a residential street with single-family houses.

"I'm very concerned about maintaining the character of North West street. I think that's a beautiful residential street," said Diane Fosselman, commission member.

She made the suggestion that the resulting traffic should be pushed away from North West Street as much as possible.

Paul Johnson, commission chairman, said he shared Fosselman's thought that the architecture and styling does not necessarily fit onto North West Street and has a similar look to buildings seen along state Route 161.

Several members also proposed that the developer try to incorporate a mixed-use element, such as office spaces, into the development, rather than making it multigenerational.

"We have a big demand for small office buildings," Fosselman said.

Johnson agreed with this idea, saying the multigenerational use cannot be passed off as mixed use.

"It's 12.9 acres; it's hard to get different uses like that on to a 12-acre site," Lipnos said in response.

The planning commission has tabled the plan until it is revised.

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