A residential developer of single-family and empty-nester homes is interested in having 63.5 acres annexed from Plain Township to New Albany.

CORRECTION: The site being considered for annexation from Plain Township to New Albany is west of Jug Street, not east. The report presented to City Council incorrectly indicated otherwise.

A residential developer wants to build an empty-nester housing development on land at Central College Road and Jug Street.

Homewood Homes has requested the annexation of 63.5 acres from Plain Township to New Albany.

New Albany City Council on May 19 heard a first reading of an ordinance that would annex the land, which shares a contiguous boundary with New Albany, according to the meeting’s legislative report.

The property is within the New Albany-Plain Local School District and is owned by Homewood Homes, according to the report.

The ordinance could be set for a second reading and public hearing June 2, according to the report.

Franklin County commissioners approved the annexation request Feb. 11, said council clerk Jennifer Mason.

Aaron Underhill, who provides legal representation for Homewood Homes, said the company has owned the property since 2006 and petitioned it for annexation to provide the land with access to city services and -- when they are extended to the vicinity of the property in the future -- public utilities.

Although the company plans to propose an empty-nester development in the future, the timing of the project is uncertain because sanitary-sewer and water-service infrastructure aren’t yet near the property, Underhill said.

Although New Albany plans to invest in infrastructure along and near the Beech Road area to the east, Homewood Homes leaders realize commercial economic development will drive the timing of those projects, Underhill said.

The property owner also is aware of the impact residential housing would have on the school district.

“The company is aware that the school district is an important consideration in New Albany when planning residential development and intends, when the time comes, to make sure that any development it proposes will not negatively impact the school district,” Underhill said.

New Albany-Plain Local Schools Superintendent Michael Sawyers said the school district doesn’t oppose the proposed annexation.

“The proposed usage options will not adversely impact the school district with significant enrollment of any type and will generate new revenue to benefit our schools in future years,” he said.

Council also voted 7-0 to approve an ordinance to expand a tax-increment-financing district north of Smith’s Mill Road, south of Central College Road and east of Kitzmiller Road.

A TIF is an economic-development mechanism available to local governments to finance public-infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.

A TIF locks in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation is approved, diverting resulting incremental revenue to designated uses, such as funding necessary improvements or infrastructure to support a new development.

Revenue that exceeds the locked-in valuation of the land is diverted from the entities that typically receive property-tax revenue, including school districts, parks districts, libraries and fire departments.

The district includes parcels within Franklin and Licking counties, according to the report and is classified as a non-school TIF, meaning that it wouldn’t negatively impact Johnstown-Monroe Local School District or the New Albany-Plain Local School District.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah