When Grove City officials held their 2020 goal setting discussion on Feb. 18, two of the key objectives they identified were making progress on developing strategies for roads and other infrastructure to support development in corridors that are ripe for development.
Those areas include the state Route 665/U.S. Route 62, Hoover and Zuber roads and state Route 104 corridors.
The Routes 665/62 area includes about 1,000 acres up for potential development on the north side of Interstate 71 along with a large box building with about 200,000 square feet of space to the west, development director Kyle Rauch said.
The city is looking at what the corridor needs for future development from a utilities perspective as well as a transportation and lane-use perspective, Rauch said.
A sanitary sewer on the east side of I-71 "needs to be punched through" and some sanitary sewer service lines are located to the south adjacent to the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio's landfill, he said.
The Seeds and Zuber roads area encompasses about 300 to 400 acres that could be developed and additional sewer line work is needed there, Rauch said.
"We're looking to work with EMH&T (a central Ohio engineering and surveying firm) on a comprehensive sanitary sewer master plan so we can show how those tributaries will develop," he said. "Normally, that's where development will follow."
Some projects are already underway along Seeds Road, Rauch said, including Becknell Industries' construction of a 210,000-square-foot building on 21.17 acres at 6275 Seeds and LogiTech's office and manufacturing facility under construction off Seeds, just east of I-71 and near the interchange with Route 665.
In total, in these corridors of the city, "we could expect 11,000 jobs," he said. "Right now, the city has 21,000 employees working in it. This is the future economic base."
The Grove City 2050 strategic plan adopted in January 2018 does not recommend housing for this area, Rauch said.
"We want to see jobs," he said. "(The) 2050 (plan) recommends a mixture of uses. There is some large user considerations, but we're also looking to see some tech flex and office use in the northeast corridor of the city. There's not one answer."
For perspective, the 1,000 acres at Routes 665/62 is the equivalent of about four-and-one-half Beulah Park developments, Rauch said.
"So it's not just one use or one user," that will be developing the corridor, he said.
The city could engage with the Ohio Department of Transportation for a study of the northeast area of the city later this year, although no money has been budgeted for the city's share of the study's cost, Rauch said.
Over the last year, residential projects council approved for the Route 104 area has resulted in residents expressing concern about whether the roadway can handle the additional traffic the developments would bring.
In December 2019, council approved the development plan for Sugar Maple Commons, a 105-unit luxury apartment development for residents age 55 and older.
In March 2019 council approved the development plan for Farmstead, set to include 415 single-family houses and 120 single-family attached units on a 209.5-acre site on the west side of Route 104 and north of Scioto Meadows Boulevard.
Council member Roby Schottke, chairman of council's land and zoning committee, has proposed a committee of the whole project "to bring interested parties together to propose a strategy for the state Route 104 corridor."
The participants could include city officials, representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, developers and residents, he said.
The ultimate outcome would be "a workable concept" for development along Route 104 from Stringtown Road to Route 665, including any changes or improvements needed for Route 104, Schottke said.
It would be important to manage expectations, since 104 is a state route and therefore "an ODOT highway," Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said.
ODOT likely has a large amount of information it has gathered about the Route 104 corridor, he said.
"We can continue to approach them and discuss with them, but it really is going to be driven by ODOT," Stage said.
"Our situation is that we are approving developments and we have no idea what a total strategy in that corridor should be," Schottke said.
The information that ODOT and any other entity or person has should be brought together to help guide a strategy, he said.
The first step should involve council and the administration deciding on "a shared vision of what 104 should be," Councilman Ted Berry said. "Should it be a natural highway or a natural scenic byway? What should it be? What should it look like? What type of zoning do we see in the future?"
The process could involve preparing two or three options and inviting the public to give its feedback, Berry said.
Once a shared vision had been crafted, the city could then go to ODOT with its ideas for the corridor, he said.
Grove City 2050 recommends the roadway should remain a two-lane road with turning lanes installed where appropriate, Rauch said.