A final development plan for Jerry Spears Funeral Home, 5471 Frazell Road, is coming soon.

The plan is expected to be considered by the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Hilliard Municipal Building, 3800 Municipal Way.

If approved, it will be the final step in an effort that began almost a year ago when Spears sought the rezoning necessary to repurpose the former Parkside Community Church, 5505 Hyde Park Drive, into Jerry Spears Funeral Home.

Bob Spears Jr., one of three family owners of Jerry Spears Funeral Home, said the funeral home could open as soon as February but as late as May.

"We are hoping to open as soon as possible but the issue is going to the weather," he said.

Interior work could begin immediately but outdoor work, including the closure of the parking lot entrance from Hyde Park Drive and the construction of a new entrance from Frazell Road, would be weather dependent, as would be the landscaping to be added, Spears said.

"I'm not sure how much of that can be done in frigid temperatures," he said.

The address of the 2.4-acre parcel was changed to Frazell Road with the rezoning to allay the concerns of neighbors who feared that GPS-based driving directions would send visitors onto the residential Hyde Park Drive. Access to the parking lot of the parcel also was changed from Hyde Park Drive to Frazell Road.

The final development plan was able to advance after the funeral home owners waited out a mandatory 60-day period for the rezoning to become effective after Hilliard City Council approved it July 9.

Council's decision came seven months after the rezoning application was submitted to the planning and zoning commission.

The commission initially recommended that it be rejected but then, after citing "a procedural error" on a vote by commission member Tracy Nixon, acted to reconsider it and eventually issued a recommendation in favor of the rezoning in April.

Many residents attended meetings of the commission and council to voice opposition to the proposed funeral home.