Construction of a 1,711-square-foot Swensons Drive-In restaurant at 4810 Cemetery Road should wrap up in roughly four months after Hilliard City Council granted the final necessary approvals this week, according to Tim Reardon, one of its developers.

“We can’t wait to start feeding Hilliard residents,” Reardon said.

City Council on June 24 voted 4-1 to approve a final plan and a planned-unit-development modification required for construction of the Swensons.

Tom Baker voted against it, and council President Kelly McGivern and Les Carrier were absent.

“I don’t like the location,” Baker said. “There are better locations in the city.”

The location is on the north side of Cemetery Road and immediately west of the driveway for J.W. Reason Elementary School, 4790 Cemetery Road.

Reardon said construction is underway and expected to take about 120 days, which would put a potential completion date and opening near the end of October.

City Council’s final decision comes nearly a year after Swensons first made its proposal to city officials.

The Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission on Aug. 9, 2018, rejected Swensons’ request for a planned-unit-development rezoning, but its developers, Reardon, a managing partner of New Start Development, and Jamie Moore of Dublin-based Crawford Hoying, advanced the proposal to City Council even with the commission’s 6-0 negative recommendation.

On Jan. 28, Hilliard City Council voted 5-2 to reverse the commission’s recommendation and approved the PUD rezoning. Baker and Nathan Painter voted against the PUD rezoning.

After that, the developers were required to submit a final development plan that did not require council approval, according to city planner John Talentino.

That included the developers working with Hilliard City Schools leaders on logistics details, including the placement of sidewalks.

Other changes included relocating a basin and a change in the height of the restaurant’s roofline, Talentino said. Those changes required that the plan be resubmitted to the planning and zoning commission, he said.

On May 9, the planning and zoning commission recommended approval of the PUD modification by a 4-1 vote. Brent Bergefurd, Chris Lewie, Tracey Nixon and Scott Movshin voted in favor of the PUD modification, and Bill Uttley voted against it. Jay Muether and Mayor Don Schonhardt were absent.

“This is asking for trouble,” Uttley said about allowing full turning access from Cemetery Road to and from the Swensons parking lot.

The development plan calls for a gate at the rear of Swensons that would be set on a timer and close as students arrive and depart each school day, but it otherwise would remain open to allow access between Swensons and the J.W. Reason school driveway. Swensons also will have a driveway from Cemetery Road.

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 development.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo

=================

Previous story:

Construction of a 1,711-square-foot Swensons Drive-In restaurant at 4810 Cemetery Road is expected to begin soon after Hilliard City Council granted the final necessary approvals.

City Council on June 24 voted 4-1 to approve a final plan and a planned-unit-development modification required for its construction.

Tom Baker voted against it, and council President Kelly McGivern and Les Carrier were absent.

“I don’t like the location," Baker said. "There are better locations in the city."

The location is on the north side of Cemetery Road and immediately west of the driveway for J.W. Reason Elementary School, 4790 Cemetery Road.

Read the full story in the June 27 edition of the ThisWeek Hilliard Northwest News.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo

The Great Food Debate playlist

Listen to ThisWeek’s podcast series devoted to all things food-related in central Ohio:

Looking for more?

Get in on the discussion by joining our new Great Food Debate Facebook group.

Check out our Staff Q&A, which is updated weekly.

Construction of a 1,711-square-foot Swensons Drive-In restaurant at 4810 Cemetery Road should wrap up in roughly four months after Hilliard City Council granted the final necessary approvals this week, according to Tim Reardon, one of its developers.“We can’t wait to start feeding Hilliard residents,” Reardon said.City Council on June 24 voted 4-1 to approve a final plan and a planned-unit-development modification required for construction of the Swensons.Tom Baker voted against it, and council President Kelly McGivern and Les Carrier were absent.“I don’t like the location,” Baker said. “There are better locations in the city.”The location is on the north side of Cemetery Road and immediately west of the driveway for J.W. Reason Elementary School, 4790 Cemetery Road.Reardon said construction is underway and expected to take about 120 days, which would put a potential completion date and opening near the end of October.City Council’s final decision comes nearly a year after Swensons first made its proposal to city officials.The Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission on Aug. 9, 2018, rejected Swensons’ request for a planned-unit-development rezoning, but its developers, Reardon, a managing partner of New Start Development, and Jamie Moore of Dublin-based Crawford Hoying, advanced the proposal to City Council even with the commission’s 6-0 negative recommendation.On Jan. 28, Hilliard City Council voted 5-2 to reverse the commission’s recommendation and approved the PUD rezoning. Baker and Nathan Painter voted against the PUD rezoning.After that, the developers were required to submit a final development plan that did not require council approval, according to city planner John Talentino.That included the developers working with Hilliard City Schools leaders on logistics details, including the placement of sidewalks.Other changes included relocating a basin and a change in the height of the restaurant’s roofline, Talentino said. Those changes required that the plan be resubmitted to the planning and zoning commission, he said.On May 9, the planning and zoning commission recommended approval of the PUD modification by a 4-1 vote. Brent Bergefurd, Chris Lewie, Tracey Nixon and Scott Movshin voted in favor of the PUD modification, and Bill Uttley voted against it. Jay Muether and Mayor Don Schonhardt were absent.“This is asking for trouble,” Uttley said about allowing full turning access from Cemetery Road to and from the Swensons parking lot.The development plan calls for a gate at the rear of Swensons that would be set on a timer and close as students arrive and depart each school day, but it otherwise would remain open to allow access between Swensons and the J.W. Reason school driveway. Swensons also will have a driveway from Cemetery Road.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 development.
kcorvo@thisweeknews.com@ThisWeekCorvo