Gaslight Square office building on horizon in Gahanna

MARLA K. KUHLMAN
mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

A new 2-story medical-office building called Gaslight Square is coming to 4297-4301 Johnstown Road, following the Gahanna Planning Commission's unanimous approval of a final development plan and related legislation.

During a teleconference meeting May 27, members voting in favor of the legislation included chairman Michael Suriano, vice chairman Michael Greenberg and members Bobbie Burba, John Hicks, Thomas Shapaka, Michael Tamarkin and Thomas Wester.

Michael Blackford, Gahanna city planner-zoning administrator, said the building would be about 16,000 square feet on just under 3 acres.

He said a portion of the property was annexed in 2018 and rezoned in 2019 to suburban office, which permits a variety of professional and medical-office uses.

The property is south of Beecher Road and north of Mifflin Township.

Blackford said the 2-story building would have single-level wings on each side, with parking at the front, side and rear that meets code.

He said it was known during the rezoning that a dentist would be among the building's occupants.

Applicant Shawn McAllister of Upper Arlington-based Shawn McAllister Architect Inc. said the entire second floor would be used by the dental practice and main floor users are thus far undetermined.

He said the building's lower wings would have a metal roof and the main building would have a shingled roof and tan brick.

He said the building's designer had expressed concerns about safety, and that was the reason for a variance request to increase outdoor lighting.

Blackford said the lighting standard is almost impossible to meet while still providing enough lighting to provide pedestrian and vehicular safety.

He said lighting is one of the most commonly requested variances, and the city staff has proposed a code change to reduce the number of variance requests while protecting adjacent properties from light pollution.

Blackford said the property's proposed use is consistent with the future land use, zoning and development of adjacent properties.

In other commission action, an application unanimously was approved for a new 125-foot cellular tower at Academy Park off Cherry Bottom Road.

David Hockey of Cary, North Carolina, was the applicant for Tower Co/Verizon Wireless.

Blackford said the tower site would be on the west side of Cherry Bottom Road in Academy Park.

He said the area is largely residential and the pole would be 600 feet from the nearest property.

"There's a plethora of screening," Blackford said. "It provides a nice separation from the monopole."

Hicks asked if the tower site is where something currently exists, such as a baseball or soccer field.

Blackford said it isn't.

The pole would be south of the baseball diamond in an area around the biking-walking trail.

"I support being able to service the residents and improve coverage," Hicks said.

Suriano concurred, citing the proximity to the nearest house. He said residents have especially relied on cellular services during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as many residents have been working from home.

The commission also approved a design review application for property at 611-625 Eastgate Parkway.

Proposed code changes -- for privacy fences in a side yard and the second front yard of a corner lot -- are being recommended for city council approval, as well as lighting changes to modify where lighting measurements are taken.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla