The 68-acre development is in southwest Harlem Township.

Courtesy | Harlem Twp. Zoning

GALENA — The Harlem Township Zoning Commission met Feb. 6 for a hearing to rezone 68 acres from Agricultural Residential to Planned Residential Conservation District.

The applicant is Columbus-based SREI Fund IV, LLC, which has requested to sell 24 custom-built homes on property that currently has no physical address. The Gazette was told it is in the southwest side of the township, bordered to the north by Gorsuch Road and to the west by Harlem Road. The development would be called the Conservancy at Duncan Run.

The Delaware Regional Planning Commission gave conditional approval for the PRCD Overlay in January. “The conditions are lots one and two that front Gorsuch Road are not to be part of the subdivision and must be created through the No Plat Approval (NPA) process; a sidewalk must extend along at least one side of all subdivision streets; and a Traffic Access Study must be submitted and approved by Delaware County Engineer’s Office prior to approval of the final plat,” the meeting minutes said.

There was commission member discussion about handling storm water and runoff to Duncan Run and the wetlands already in place, as well as landscaping and lighting. It was determined that nearly 34 acres would be open space, with nearly 1.5 acres per lot. It was agreed to change the square lot footage and height restriction for the subdivision. There would be a homeowner’s association. The roads would be the township’s responsibility.

Members of the public were concerned about water management upstream from the subdivision, and whether the developer could deviate from the original plan. There was a question regarding the use of septic systems in the development, and the response was “that sewer lines are preferred, but not an option at this time… traditionally once sewers are available, the county will require the sewers be used in a subdivision.” Another person said Harlem should raise the bar for its subdivisions to be better than they are in neighboring communities.

The hearing was recessed to Feb. 27. At that meeting, it was said changes were made to the overlay development plan that didn’t change the overall design of the subdivision.

“There were two modifications made to the development plan which included removing the trail connection to the north and identifying a 200-foot setback from Harlem Road for the first house in the development,” the Feb. 27 minutes said. There were also updates on drainage and vegetative strategy in the open space.

The commission discussed language changes on the plan for clarification, as well as the location of septic fields. The hearing was recessed to March 6. At that time, amendments had been made to the application and development plan. The applicant’s representative, Joe Clase of Plan4Land, explained the changes on March 6. Amy Dutt of Urban Wild then explained the landscaping, and how the HOA would maintain the development.

Zoning Commission members then unanimously approved the application, which then went to the trustees. They voted to receive the application and set a hearing for April 19. The trustees unanimously approved the rezoning at that time.

Also at the Feb. 6 meeting, a Johnstown resident said he wished to rezone about 8.5 acres he owned in the township for splitting his lots. He left the meeting without submitting his application.

Commission members are Chair Mike Kabler, Vice Chair Joni Manson, Brittany Hoperich, Virginia Lewis, Tom Nied, and alternate Bruce Hamill. Also present are Director of Zoning Mike Cannon and Zoning Inspector Matt Kurz. They meet in the Township Firehouse, 3883 S. State Route 605, Galena.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at the above email address.