The Alton Place mixed-use development in western Hilliard could be presented formally to city officials next week.
The proposal is expected to be considered by the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the Hilliard Municipal Building, 3800 Municipal Way.
Commission members also are expected to reconsider a request from Jerry Spears Funeral Home to open in a former church building on Hyde Park Drive.
Dwight McCabe of the McCabe Cos. said he asked last month for his proposal to be postponed until April 11 to allow staff members time to absorb an informal presentation he made Feb. 14 and for the city's recent staffing changes to take effect.
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 has named a law firm, Frost Brown Todd, as counsel for the remainder of the year and has hired former Hilliard City Council member Albert Iosue as Seidle's successor.
McCabe said April 1 that he still planned to present the proposal April 11, and David Ball, director of communications for Hilliard, said the application was on the agenda.
McCabe has described Alton Place, which would be on 343 acres north of Roberts Road and west of Alton Darby Creek Road, as a "cradle-to-grave development," with housing options for people in all stages of life.
Just how many residences McCabe is planning remains unclear.
"I don't want to start (being) focused on density" but rather "on achieving a great plan," McCabe said in February.
The development would include professional offices, restaurants, retail uses and a "wharf front" of residents built along the shores of a lake, he said.
McCabe is seeking planned-unit-development zoning for the land, which was annexed into Hilliard in February 2009.
Commission members also are expected to reconsider a PUD zoning proposal for Jerry Spears Funeral Home to replace the former Parkside Community Church at 5505 Hyde Park Drive.
The rezoning proposal was rejected Feb. 14 when commission members Chris Lewie, Scott Movshin, Tracey Nixon and Bill Uttley voted against it; commission members Brent Bergefurd, Jay Muether and Mayor Don Schonhardt were absent.
Residents from the neighboring Brookfield Village, Hyde Park and Westbriar subdivisions in Hilliard and Columbus spoke in opposition to the proposal, but Bob Spears Jr., one of the funeral home's owners, said he was "shocked" after the rejection.
Spears said he had adhered to numerous changes city staff members suggested at a Jan. 10 commission meeting.
On March 14, Uttley asked for the proposal to be heard April 11 because of a "procedural error" on which he would not elaborate, but he said Movshin asked him to do it. Bergefurd, Lewie, Muether and Uttley voted to reconsider the application; Movshin, Nixon and Schonhardt were absent.
Uttley identified Nixon as the member whose vote is in question.
Movshin, chairman of the commission, said last month he "was not allowed to discuss" the reason he asked Uttley to seek the reconsideration, and Movshin did not respond to an April 1 email seeking further comment.
Nixon did not reply to a previous question about if or how her Feb. 14 decision constituted a procedural error, and she did not respond immediately to a new request for comment April 2.
Ball provided more information about procedural errors in general.
"In weighing cases that come before (the) commission, it is incumbent upon the commission to ensure all interested parties are treated equitably and that the case receives fair consideration under the codified ordinances (of Hilliard)," Ball said. "When voting, (commission) members are required to follow the codified ordinances. If a commission member's vote does not align with that ordinance, this is considered to be a procedural error that can result in a case being reconsidered."
In this instance, a commission member indicated a decision was not based on the revised code, he said.
"There was no discussion of which conditions that commission member felt had not been followed," Ball said. "I think it's fair to say that the commission's goal in reconsidering this case is to ensure that all parties involved are treated fairly under the rules and expectations that comprise the planning-and-zoning process."
Spears said he is "thrilled to have another opportunity" to become a part of the Hilliard community.
His Jerry Spears Funeral Home has operated for 90 years on Columbus' Hilltop at 2693 W. Broad St.