Reynoldsburg Planning Commission held a special meeting March 12 to again recommend approval of a new city zoning code.

City Council on March 9 sent the zoning code back to the commission. Council members are expected to vote on adopting the new code at the Monday, March 23, meeting.

The commission last month sent a unanimous recommendation to council to approve the revised code, the city’s first major overhaul in 50 years, but council sent it back for mostly minor revisions, which the commission approved.

In addition, commissioners at the March 12 meeting reaffirmed their recommendation for a zoning-map change of about 24 acres on Taylor Road and East Main Street from suburban residential (SR) to residential medium (RM) zoning.

SR zoning allows for traditional single-family homes with off-street parking but also accommodates “multiple forms of single-family development, including attached single-family dwellings,” according to the code. RM zoning introduces a “more diverse range of housing options, including two-family buildings, townhomes, row houses and apartments.”

The code calls for future developments in the RM zones to be “well-integrated with surrounding uses while allowing for more compact development to accommodate growth.”

City officials said they expect to receive a proposal soon for a multi-family project on the site.

“That project right now would not be a permitted use under the SR district,” said city attorney Chris Shook.

Commission member Steven Hicks said the property was a “head scratcher” because it was in between retail uses and will help “finish off a failed condo development.”

“I think it’s an appropriate use for residential medium,” he said.

The commission made other minor adjustments to the proposed code, including removing cemeteries as conditional uses in residential areas, specifying the “ideal standard parking size” of 9 feet by 18 feet, and made child care centers conditional uses in Innovation Districts.

Based on the 2018 comprehensive plan, the new zoning code strives to create mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods with higher densities near certain “corridors,” along East Main Street, including the intersection of East Main and Brice Road.

It includes special development considerations in areas like Olde Reynoldsburg and classifies about 3,200 acres, mostly around the Interstate 70/270 interchange, as Innovation Districts.

Those districts are intended for new “economic centers that will serve Reynoldsburg and surrounding communities.”

The code encourages the reuse of commercial areas and recommends moving new retail developments closer to the street, with parking at the rear.

For more information on the new zoning code and map, go to reynoldsburgcode.com.

editorial@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNews