Construction of a Swensons Drive-In at 4810 Cemetery Road is expected to begin by mid-June, according to Ron Dee, vice president of real estate for Swensons.
“As soon as we have a construction permit, we will get started,” Dee said.
Work is expected to take about 12 weeks to complete, Dee said.
Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission members May 9 recommended approval of a planned-unit-development modification by a 4-1 vote.
Commission members Brent Bergefurd, Chris Lewie, Tracey Nixon and Chairman Scott Movshin voted in favor of the PUD modification. Commission member Bill Uttley opposed it.
Commission member Jay Muether and Mayor Don Schonhardt were absent.
City Council still must approve the final plan.
The commission had rejected Swensons’ request for a planned-unit-development rezoning required for the drive-in Aug. 9, 2018, by a 6-0 vote, but its developers, Tim Reardon, a managing partner of New Start Development, and Jamie Moore of Dublin-based Crawford Hoying, advanced the proposal to Hilliard City Council even with the commission’s negative recommendation.
On Jan. 28, Hilliard City Council voted 5-2 to overturn the commission’s recommendation and approved the PUD-rezoning.
But changes were made to the development plan after City Council’s approval that required the application to be reconsidered by the commission as a PUD-modification, city planner John Talentino said.
Those changes, which were achieved between the developer and school district officials, included removing and rebuilding a sidewalk on the west side of the driveway to J.W. Reason Elementary School, 4790 Cemetery Road.
The original plan called for removing the existing sidewalk on the west side of the school driveway and building a sidewalk on the east side of the driveway, but concern was raised about the absence of a crosswalk on Cemetery Road for the new sidewalk.
“We’ve presented the best possible site plan,” Dee said.
Uttley disagreed. The plan as approved doesn’t include right-in-only, right-out-only access.
“This is asking for trouble,” Uttley said about allowing for full turning access from Cemetery Road to and from Swensons’ parking lot.
Swensons will have limited access to the J.W. Reason school's driveway, Talentino said.
A gate to the rear of Swensons will be set on a timer and will close as students arrive and depart each school day but otherwise will remain open.
Hilliard City Council has final consideration of the modified PUD proposal, Talentino said.
Swensons, whose signature burger is the Galley Boy, will have no indoor or outdoor seating. Orders are delivered to vehicles to be consumed there or taken to go.
The first central Ohio Swensons, which was founded in 1934 in northeastern Ohio, opened on Sawmill Road near Dublin in November.
A second location opened in February near Polaris Fashion Place in north Columbus, and additional sites are in various stages of opening.