The Oliver: Townhomes, apartments OK'd for development on Lancaster Avenue in Reynoldsburg

Kelley Youman
ThisWeek
The Oliver, a development of more than 80 apartments and townhomes on 4.5 acres at 1170 Lancaster Ave., was approved Nov. 5 by the Reynoldsburg Planning Commission.

More than 80 apartments and townhomes are coming to Lancaster Avenue after the developer’s second application won approval from the Reynoldsburg Planning Commission.  

The commission unanimously approved a major-site plan Nov. 5 for the Oliver, a community of 56 apartments and 32 townhomes on 4.5 acres at 1170 Lancaster Ave. 

The one- and two-bedroom apartments range in size from 615 square feet to 998 square feet, according to plans submitted to the city. 

The two- and three-bedroom townhomes include attached two-car garages and range in size from 1,870 square feet to 2,350 square feet. 

Plans include preserved wetlands space, sidewalks within the complex and a dog park that would be open to the surrounding community. Also planned are 132 parking spaces, not including the townhome garages. 

The apartments will be rented, and the townhomes sold to private owners.  

Developer Michael Oliver of Principle Homes LLC withdrew the project’s first zoning application in September after concerns about incomplete materials, including a traffic-access study and a facility-demand worksheet for water and sewer services. 

The planning commission initially had tabled that application in August after more than a dozen residents spoke against the development, citing concerns over traffic, flooding and whether three-story buildings fit the character of the surrounding neighborhoods. 

The second application, submitted Oct. 21 with a traffic-access study, facilities-demand worksheet and other supporting documents, met the requirements of the city’s zoning code, officials said.  

“People need to be open-minded that this can be a really good change for Reynoldsburg,” planning commission member Steven Hicks said. “It’s going to come with some growing pains, but ultimately, I think Reynoldsburg is going in a better place and projects like this are helping us get there. Every suburban community is feeling a lot of these pressures. There’s a shortage of housing in central Ohio … we need to accommodate growth and this is a very high-quality project.”  

Oliver purchased the property from Grace Apostolic Church to the south on Lancaster Avenue. The site is zoned residential medium.  

In a September email to city officials, Grace Apostolic pastor Robert Linder said the congregation is “grateful for (the Oliver’s) commitment to our area and willingness to invest in our neighborhood.” 

Despite the church’s support, several neighbors opposed the project at the Nov. 5 meeting. 

Richard Hentz, who lives on nearby Bryden Road, said more than 500 people have signed a petition on change.org urging the planning commission to deny the development.  

“Is anyone listening to the neighbors – the people who really live here?” he said. “The apartments would look good at (state Route) 256 and Livingston – just not on Lancaster Avenue.”  

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