Powell City Council is weighing a proposal from TJ Elite Properties, LLC that, if approved, would see the development of a parcel located at the corner of Bunker Lane and Sawmill Drive.
During Tuesday’s meeting, council held the first reading of a final development plan that would split the parcel into two separate pieces and would include the construction of an Ivybrook Academy (day care) branch on the northern parcel.
The site was previously approved as a commercial component of the Powell Grand final development plan in December of 2015. Along with the Ivybrook Academy branch, the second parcel would include a commercial component that has not yet been determined.
TJ Elite Properties, LLC was first before the city in September of last year when the Planning Commission reviewed a sketch plan of the proposal. The proposal progressed to a preliminary development plan review by the commission in January, with the final development plan proposal being recommended to council for approval last month.
In total, the site spans 2.25 acres, with the proposed Ivybrook Academy branch covering 1.17 acres. The academy, which serves as a half-day preschool day care, would include a 6,920-square-foot building and a 2,885-square-foot playground. The southern remaining portion of the site, which is set aside for retail use, would include a 5,650-square-foot building.
Following the presentation of the proposal by City Development Planner Elise Schellin, Councilman Brian Lorenz took issue with the signage and construction equipment already staged on the site of the proposal, calling it “a bit presumptuous and unsightly.”
“Why are we having construction trailers on properties when we’re not even through the planning and zoning process,” Lorenz asked.
Brian Burkhart of Civil and Environmental Consultants, the engineer for the proposal, said Ivybrook Academy is pushing to be opened by Sept. 1 of this year, which is why the contractors are on the site “before they should.”
“Free advertising and things like that make our town look unsightly,” Lorenz told Burkhart. “And I get it, I work in planning and development. But it’s just not appropriate for our community.”
Councilman Frank Bertone called the goal of Ivybrook Academy opening by Sept. 1 “incredibly aggressive,” adding that while the city typically moves quickly, “sometimes we’re a little glacial.”
“I’m not saying that’s the issue here, I just want to make sure the applicant has an understanding of what the timelines are,” Bertone said.
Ivybrook Academy has its lone location in Dublin, with plans for a Gahanna branch also in the works. According to its website, the academy is already enrolling students for the Powell branch.
The second reading of the ordinance will be held at the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5.