Residents still will have the opportunity to learn more about the $275 million Alton Place mixed-use development at a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, in Hilliard City Council chambers, 3800 Municipal Way.

Citing "an extraordinary amount of working parts," Glen Dugger, an attorney representing developer Dwight McCabe and the McCabe Cos., asked council Nov. 25 to continue a public hearing until Dec. 9.

"We hoped to have a developer's agreement before you today," Dugger said. "But that's not the case. That is not commentary on any lack of effort on the part of anyone. There is just an extraordinary amount of working parts (and) degree of difficulty (with this project)."

Alton Place would be on 343 acres north of Roberts Road and west of Alton Darby Creek Road. The land was annexed into Hilliard in February 2009.

Legislation rezoning 343 acres from rural residential to a Hilliard Conservation District and adopting a developer's agreement with Dublin-Cosgray LLC had a scheduled second reading and public hearing Nov. 25.

After Dugger indicated the development hinged on financial commitments that would be in jeopardy after the end of the year, council members acted to advance both ordinances – the rezoning and the developer's agreement – for a third and final reading Dec. 9 but also allow a public hearing typically reserved for second readings.

Dugger did not respond to requests for comment on the nature of the development's financing.

Councilman Nathan Painter said he would not agree to "uncouple" the rezoning from the developer's agreement because the practice, when done previously, was not optimal.

"We need to have a finalized developer's agreement to have an effective public hearing on the matter," council Vice President Pete Marsh said.

Dugger said although there are variables, he is "acutely aware" of the timing and hopes to have a developer's agreement finalized by Dec. 9.

Three residents addressed council Nov. 25. They included Gary Thornton of Alton Darby Creek Road, who said an easement would extend into the footprint of his residence and, more immediately, the development could cause contamination of the septic system and water well at the residence.

Council members did not discuss or provide public responses to those concerns Nov. 25.

McCabe describes Alton Place as a "cradle-to-grave" development, with housing options and on-site amenities for people in all stages of life.

As proposed, Alton Place has 148 single-family lots and 297 attached residential units. About 32 acres will be used for commercial development and about 172 acres would remain as open space.

A signature feature of the development would be a "wharf front" of residences built on the shores of a lake, McCabe said.

On May 9, the planning and zoning commission voted 5-0 to recommend that council approve the rezoning, after which work began on the developer's agreement.

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