Dwight McCabe of the McCabe Cos. said he would wait one more month to present Alton Place, a proposed mixed-use development in western Hilliard, to the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission.

McCabe told ThisWeek in February he planned to seek a rezoning recommendation from the commission Thursday, March 14. The request would be for a planned-unit-development zoning designation, he said.

However, McCabe said, he has decided to submit the application for the April 11 meeting.

“With all the staff changes at the city and the complexity of the project, (we) just want everyone to have ample time to get comfortable with everything so there is nothing left to sort out at planning and zoning,” he said March 11.

Hilliard law director Tracy Bradford had resigned effective Feb. 1 and service director Butch Seidle retired effective March 1 and died March 2 at age 68.

The city named a law firm, Frost Brown Todd, as counsel for the remainder of the year; no successor has been named for Seidle. Both Bradford and Seidle had served in their roles since 2004.

McCabe said the application and overall proposal would not differ from an informal presentation he made Feb. 14 to the commission.

Hilliard City Council would have final consideration of the rezoning application.

Alton Place would be on 343 acres north of Roberts Road and west of Alton Darby Creek Road. McCabe has described it as a “cradle-to-grave development,” with housing options for people in all stages of life.

The land was annexed into Hilliard in February 2009, according to Hilliard city planner John Talentino.

Homewood Corp., a homebuilder, owns the land. It is zoned rural and residential, according to both McCabe and Talentino.

The McCabe Cos. has a purchase option with Homewood that is contingent upon its rezoning, McCabe said.

McCabe has described Alton Place as a “forward-thinking, resident-centered neighborhood and village center.”

The development would include professional offices, restaurants and retail, he said.

A signature feature of the village center would be a “wharf front” of residences built along the shores of a lake, McCabe said.

McCabe’s informal presentation to the commission Feb. 14 included a video of the imagined development from a bird’s-eye view and at street level.

Just how many residences McCabe is planning remains unclear. McCabe previously said he would not comment on the number or the residential density – a measure of the number of units in an area of a certain size – when asked by commission member Chris Lewie or ThisWeek.

“I don’t want to start (being) focused on density” but rather “on achieving a great plan,” McCabe said in February.

The Big Darby Accord Advisory Panel on Dec. 11 issued a unanimous positive recommendation for the proposal, McCabe said.

John Bryner, Hilliard’s representative on the panel, said Alton Place received the panel’s support because it met the overall density recommended for the area, which is one unit per acre.

However, the development could have more units in some areas as long as the total overall density is one unit per acre, Bryner said.

Hilliard is one of 10 local governments that created the Big Darby Accord in 2004 to preserve and protect the Big Darby Creek and its tributaries in western central Ohio, according to bigdarbyaccord.com.

The accord panel – which includes representatives from the cities of Columbus, Grove City and Hilliard, Brown, Norwich, Pleasant, Prairie and Washington townships, the village of Harrisburg and Franklin County – issues nonbinding recommendations on developments.

Alton Place would be just north of a proposed residential development in Columbus that has been referred to as Sugar Farms and Renner South. The proposal is for 1,108 single-family residences and apartments on the east side of Alton Darby Creek Road and south of Roberts Road; it would include a 27-acre preserve on the west side of Alton Darby, south of Renner Road.

Sugar Farms/Renner South recently was annexed into Columbus from Brown and Norwich townships, but the land is in the Hilliard City Schools boundaries.

The developers, Pulte Homes of Ohio and Harmony Development Group, are scheduled to present a rezoning application to the Columbus Development Commission on March 14, according to Tom Hart, their zoning attorney. They are seeking a planned-unit-development rezoning for the land, and the commission will be asked to make a nonbinding recommendation, he said.

Columbus City Council will have final consideration of the rezoning application, Hart said.

The proposal has received nonbinding negative recommendations from two neighborhood advisory groups: the Far West Area Commission on Feb. 26 and the Cross Creek Village Civic Association on Feb. 6.



Alton Place from Reveal Visuals onVimeo.