The Far West Area Commission is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Hilliard Horizon Elementary School, 6000 Renner Road in Columbus, to consider a proposed 1,000-home development off Alton Darby Creek Road.
Its nonbinding recommendation – and that of the zoning committee of the Cross Creek Village Civic Association – will be part of the a rezoning application to be considered by the Columbus Development Commission, according to Tom Hart, an attorney representing the developers, Pulte Homes of Ohio and Harmony Development Group.
The developers are proposing up to 1,108 single-family residences and apartments on 369 acres, mostly on the east side of Alton Darby Creek Road, south of Roberts Road and Hilliard. The development also would include 27 acres on the west side of Alton Darby Creek Road and south of Renner Road.
The land recently was annexed into Columbus from Brown and Norwich townships, and it is in Hilliard City Schools boundaries.
The planning and zoning committee of the Cross Creek Village Civic Association on Feb. 6 issued a negative recommendation for the development plan.
Cross Creek was the designated and constituted civic association to which developers are required to present as part of the rezoning process, Hart said.
Although Cross Creek is several miles from the proposed development, the civic association had been acting on behalf of neighbors until the Far West Area Commission for Columbus became an official advisory commission to consider such matters, according to Debi Hampton, president of the Cross Creek Village Civic Association.
Columbus City Council on Feb. 4 instituted the Far West Area Commission as Columbus’ 20th area commission, according to President Pro Tem Michael Stinziano.
The Cross Creek Village Civic Association’s recommendation is nonbinding but will be documented to the Columbus Development Commission and Columbus City Council, Hart said.
The Columbus Development Commission will make its own recommendation, and both will be part of a final recommendation to Columbus City Council, which would vote on approval of the rezoning application, he said.
The development has no official name but is being referred to as Sugar Farms, a reference to the family who owned most of the land that was annexed Jan. 28, or Renner South, a geographic reference, Hart said.
The annexation will take 30 days, or until Wednesday, Feb. 27, to become effective, according to Christopher Lohr, a planning manager for Columbus.
The land would be zoned as rural when it takes effect but the developers then would seek to rezone the parcel as a planned-unit development, Lohr said.
The land was in the Hilliard district’s boundaries before Columbus and the district agreed in 2016 to end the Win-Win agreement after three decades, said school board President Paul Lambert.
The land was annexed into Columbus, Lambert said, and it could not have been annexed into Hilliard. It is outside the boundaries of the water-and-sewer district Columbus negotiates with each suburb – in this instance, Hilliard, he said.
“Our hope as a school district is that the development proceeds in a manner that does not impact us financially," Lambert said. "More houses mean more students."
Hart said he did not know how many students Sugar Farms would add to the district but a “significant majority” of the proposed 1,108 residents would be single-family residences, with a small number being apartments and empty-nester housing.
A mix of single-family residences and apartments are planned south of Renner Road, and single-family residences and “empty-nester” homes are planned north of Renner Road, Hart said.
The developers are expected to present to the Columbus Development Commission soon, he said.
“We hope to go before the (Columbus) Development Commission in March or April,” Hart said.