Delaware City Council member Kent Shafer defended his positions on a planned residential housing development during council's Oct. 28 meeting.

He said he was responding to comments made during the Oct. 14 council meeting, when members debated whether 52-foot-wide lots are appropriate for the city.

A portion of the lots in the proposed Winterbrooke Place subdivision north of Peachblow Road would be 52 feet wide.

Also discussed Oct. 14 was whether the Winterbrooke Place preliminary subdivision plat should have three readings at successive council meetings before it's approved.

Council voted to suspend that requirement Oct. 28 and approved the plat on its second reading.

"When disagreement turns into a personal attack (on) somebody's personal integrity, I have a problem with that," Shafer said Oct. 28.

Council member Lisa Keller on Oct. 14 said, "What I see forming is a very disturbing trend of developers trying to influence not only this council but elected bodies throughout Delaware County." She did not name any individuals.

Shafer on Oct. 28 said he wanted to know if anyone could show he has "done anything improper or requested anything improper ... because I don't think that's the case. I've never had anyone, whether it's a person who supports my campaign or otherwise, ask me to do anything improper or do any special favors for them. ... I don't sacrifice my integrity for anything."

City actions that delay approval of residential housing developments increase the costs of home purchases for city residents, he said.

He said studies cite a shortage of residential housing in central Ohio and Delaware County. A shortage of a commodity in demand will increase prices, he said.

Economic development depends on businesses wanting to move to Delaware, Shafer said. Businesses want workers who live in the city, and those workers have to be able to afford to live in the city, he said.

"The more we drive the price of housing up, the less likely that is to happen," he said.

Shafer said he is concerned that young 20-somethings starting their careers might never be able to afford a house in the city.

Before he was elected, he said, he had conversations with builders and developers who said they wanted the city's approval process to be fair, consistent, predictable and completed in a timely manner, which he said hasn't always happened.

He said council's Oct. 14 treatment of Winterbrooke Place was an example of inconsistency. The plan was well-vetted during two presentations before the planning commission and planning department, he said.

"People who contribute to my campaign, I believe, do so not because they expect something from me, but they understand that I get these issues and I'm willing to stand up and do the right thing," he said.

Shafer's seat is not up for election Nov. 5.

An Oct. 14 motion that would have allowed a vote on the Winterbrooke Place preliminary subdivision plat failed when only four council members voted to suspend the rules requiring another reading of the measure at a later council meeting.

City attorney Darren Shulman said five "yes" votes were required.

Voting not to suspend the rules were council members Lisa Keller, George Hellinger and Jim Browning.

On Oct. 28, Keller and Hellinger voted against taking taking the issue to a final vote. In the vote to approve the plat, only Hellinger dissented.

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