Area residents expressed their concerns with the latest plans for the Delaware Golf Club at 3329 Columbus Pike during a City Planning Commission meeting Wednesday.
According to a concept plan, 61 acres within Delaware city limits would be redeveloped to include: 208 multi-family units in the southeast corner; 62 twin single-patio condominiums on the northern border; seven commercial/office outparcels along U.S. 23; and the installation of a roundabout and traffic signal.
City Planning Director David Efland that, unlike previous plans submitted by T&R Development, the proposal does not include requests for big-box retail stores or annexation of land in Delaware and Liberty townships, and it preserves a lake and two wooded areas.
“The biggest change is lighting impacts on Perkins Observatory,” Efland said. “In the intervening seven years, the applicant has worked with Ohio Wesleyan University to sign an agreement for reduced lighting.”
Attorney Thomas L. Hart said there would be a light meter used to monitor how much light is being produced by residences and businesses, and excessive light could result in zoning violations.
“What happens when Clark Griswold turns on his Christmas lights?” asked commission member James Halter, referring to a movie character.
Hart said a commercial business would be more likely to produce excessive light than a residence.
“We believe there are clear benefits to the city, which will lead to employment, recreation, shopping and housing,” Hart said. The added residences and businesses are needed to keep the golf course viable, he said.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, several area residents expressed a variety of concerns. Among them were that the golf course would be reduced to a 13- or 9-hole course, and eventually those holes would also be developed. Some were concerned about traffic flow, the future of a private sewage treatment plant, the loss of green space and a fitness activity, living next to retail businesses, and the historical value of the course, designed by Donald Ross.
Another resident complained that because of Perkins and the Golf Club, her cul-de-sac had no lighting, sidewalks or backyards, creating safety issues.
Jay Rundell, president of the neighboring Methodist Theological School in Ohio, said it was willing to be part of any conversation, but has not given its blessing to the plan.
Efland said that a traffic study and stormwater analysis were among the steps needed before a formal application could be filed. Hart said the Golf Club intended to file for a formal rezoning. The property is currently zoned as an agricultural district or open space, which does allow for some other uses.
“I don’t know if it’s a good plan or a bad plan,” Halter said. “There’s too many unanswered questions.”
Since it was a concept plan, there was no formal action taken by the planning commission.