Zoning change could bring apartment development to Gahanna

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group

Gahanna residents will have an opportunity to weigh in on a proposed development that would bring 60 apartments to the city.

Gahanna City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, to consider a request from applicant Mitchell Rubin, principal broker/owner of Big Sky Realty LLC of Columbus, to change the zoning of 2.65 acres at 307-319 W. Johnstown Road from community commercial to multifamily residential to make way for 60 proposed apartments.

The meeting will include a public hearing on the request.

Those wanting to participate in the public hearing must notify the clerk of council via email at april.beggerow@gahanna.gov at least one hour before the start of the virtual meeting.

The meeting phone number is 1-513-306-4583 with the conference ID 212677951#.

This site-plan rendering represents a proposal by Big Sky Realty LLC of Columbus. Gahanna City Council will consider changing the zoning of 2.65 acres at 307-319 W. Johnstown Road from community commercial to multifamily residential for 60 apartments.

Big Sky Realty proposal for 307-319 W. Johnstown Road

Gahanna's Planning Commission voted 5-2 on Oct. 28  to recommend the change to council for Big Sky Realty's plans on 2.65 acres at 370-319 W. Johnstown Road from community commercial to multifamily residential district for 60 proposed apartments.

Voting in favor were chairman Michael Suriano, Thom Shapaka, Michael Greenberg, Michael Tamarkin and Thomas Wester. Bobbie Burba and John Hicks voted no. 

At the front of the property are two houses, according to David Hodge, attorney for the applicant. He said one of the houses had a pet-grooming salon on the first floor and a rental unit upstairs. Another house on the property is a rental, he said.

Behind the houses is a vacated auto-repair shop, Hodge said. The buildings are in disrepair and would be demolished, pending application approval, Rubin said.

A variance also has been requested to reduce the public-area requirement.

City code requires that multifamily projects donate land for recreation as part of the rezoning process, according to city documents.

The applicant has proposed providing a dog park that is open to the public. 

City planner Michael Blackford recommended approval of the application and related legislation, noting the city’s land-use plan that was adopted in 2019 and that identified a need for new housing opportunities. He said new multifamily developments were identified as a priority for the city.

“The proposed rezoning appears to be in character with existing development and consistent with the recommendations of the land-use plan,” Blackford wrote in a planning-staff report.

The proposed development, should the zoning change be approved, would be a roughly $6.5 million investment for Big Sky Realty, said Carrin Wester, city communications manager. 

“It’s an area of town that is significant to the city, as it’s a prime entryway into Gahanna,” said Laurie Jadwin, Gahanna mayor. “This is an opportunity to provide much-needed housing and encourage smart, thoughtful development in the future. It will be a vast improvement but will have little to no impact on current traffic flow in the area.” 

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla