A new senior independent-living facility is scheduled to come to Gahanna in fall 2020.

Gahanna's Planning Commission approved a final development plan and related legislation April 10 for a 92-unit facility by National Church Residences, across from the north end of the Gahanna Municipal Golf Course on Olde Ridenour Road.

The commission voted 6-0 in favor of the facility that will have a three- and four-story building. Commission member Rick Duff was absent.

According to the plan, the four-story portion of the building would be located closer to Olde Ridenour Road while the three-story portion would be west of the site, closer to single-family residential.

Michael Blackford, the city's deputy development director, said the property is 4.2 acres, and the building height is 51 feet, which the code allows at the discretion of planning commission.

The building location, parking and topographic conditions all required variances, which were approved 6-0.

Blackford said the requested variances appeared to be necessary either because of outdated code language (regarding lighting) or to maximize development on the east portion of the site.

"Allowing development to be concentrated toward the east of the site will allow for maximum separation of the project from adjacent single-family," he said. "It will also allow for a substantial amount of tree preservation."

Blackford said trees would be planted and some would be removed. He said the applicant is preserving 10 times what the landscape code requires for trees, with the vast majority west of the site, which is adjacent to single-family residences.

George Tabit, National Church Residences vice president, said residents at the facility would pay a fee that includes housing and a packaging of services, such as housekeeping and a meal plan.

Tabit said the cost would be $2,000 per month for a one-bedroom unit, "upwards" for other units.

Architect George Berardi said some minor lighting would be around the perimeter of the project for anyone who wants to be outdoors.

He said the materials for the building would be split-face, dark block for the base and the rest would be a stucco product.

Commission member Michael Suriano said the project uses neutral and quality materials.

"I think that's what we're after," he said.

Suriano said many options today provide longevity besides brick.

He said he also appreciates the number of trees being saved.

Berardi said construction is expected to take 12 to 14 months, and the goal has been to begin in late fall.

In other commission action, a conditional-use application was unanimously approved to allow construction of a single-family residence at 337 Goshen Lane, an area that is currently zoned two-family residential.

The commission also approved a conditional-use application to allow an automotive repair shop at 275 W. Johnstown Road in what is currently zoned a community commercial district.

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