Rezoning request rejected for Dublin Gateway senior community at Hyland-Croy and Post roads

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group

The future of a proposed senior-citizens community at the northeast corner of Hyland-Croy and Post roads is in doubt after Dublin City Council on Dec. 8 rejected the required rezoning for the plan to advance.

The applicant, Schottenstein Real Estate Group, proposed to build Dublin Gateway, 90 single-family residents and 150 residential units on the 45-acre parcel that was annexed into Dublin in January 2018.

Schottenstein Real Estate Group sought to rezone the parcel from rural to planned-unit development.

This preliminary plat illustrates the Dublin Gateway, a proposed senior-citizens community from Schottenstein Real Estate Group.

Dublin staff members recommended approval of the rezoning application to the Dublin Planning Commission on April 30, but planning commission members did not concur, instead recommending that City Council reject the application.

“Based on the commission’s independent consideration of the staff report, review criteria, applicant testimony and public comment, the commission made a recommendation of disapproval to City Council” on the rezoning and the preliminary development plan, said Lindsay Weisenauer, a public-affairs officer for Dublin.

A supermajority of five of City Council’s seven members would have been required to overturn the commission’s recommendation, but only two members – Ward 1 representative Greg Peterson and at-large member Chris Amorose Groomes, who also serves as mayor – voted in support of the proposal.

Nichole Martin, a planner for Dublin and the case manager, outlined the proposal Dec. 8 and summarized the findings of the commission, as well as the background of the proposal, which was introduced about eight years ago.

Related story:Dublin commission sends senior-housing developers back to drawing board

Martin said the planning commission considers 16 criteria when making a recommendation, and seven of the 16, which were outlined in the commission's report, were not met.

The commission’s report included concerns about the proposed project’s compatibility with the surrounding area, building heights and setbacks within the development and traffic flow, Martin said.

At-large council member Andy Keeler said the proposed development “was too dense," and Ward 3 representative John Reiner said the plan “doesn’t meet what the planning commission envisioned."

At-large council member Christina Alutto indicated the applicant needed to go the extra mile to achieve council’s blessing.

“Just saying we comply with the plan isn’t good enough,” said Alutto, apparently referring to comments from Don Hunter, senior vice president of acquisitions for the Schottenstein Real Estate Group.

Hunter said the proposal aligned with the city’s thoroughfare plan and the Northwest Glacier Ridge Area Plan.

After it appeared that most council members did not support the proposal at the meeting, Hunter responded.

“You have mischaracterized the product, the results and the fruits of the labor of eight years by saying nothing changed, he said. "This plan evolved specifically based on the feedback from stakeholders. You say we are asking a lot, but the party that is asking a lot is the city of Dublin.

Referring to a freeway interchange planned near the intersection of Hyland-Croy and Post, the city gave Schottenstein “a Rubik’s Cube” to solve and then “used it against us,” Hunter said.

A $48.6 million redesign of the U.S. Route 33 and state Route 161-Post Road interchange is in the planning stages. The project design is expected to include "loop" entrance ramps that would alleviate left turns necessary to access those ramps and roundabouts at the exit ramps instead of traffic signals.

Related story:Dublin seeks feedback on U.S. Route 33-Route 161-Post Road interchange

“It is disappointing to hear this response after this many years of work," Hunter said.

Ward 2 representative Jane Fox called for a vote on the application Dec. 8, but Groomes asked whether it could be tabled.

Laura Comek, an attorney for the Schottenstein Real Estate Group who was speaking via videoconference during the remote meeting, first told Groomes a postponement would be accepted.

However, she then was instructed to ask for a vote by someone who was off camera.

On the video, Comek identified the person who "overruled" her as "Mr. Schottenstein" and told council that Schottenstein Real Estate Group wanted to proceed with a vote.

The 5-2 vote rejected the measure, along with two other pieces of legislation tied to the rezoning request.

When asked on Dec. 8 how the Schottenstein Real Estate Group would react to the rejection, Comek replied she was not authorized to respond and referred the question to her client. She also did not respond to an inquiry specifying which "Mr. Schottenstein" she had been referring to during the videoconference.

Hunter did not return calls seeking comment.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo