The lots for the Piatt Road development are currently empty. Across the street is Olentangy Berlin Middle School and further back, Olentangy Berlin High School.

Gary Budzak | The Gazette

At a Berlin Township Zoning Commission meeting held earlier this year, there was a public hearing regarding the rezoning of 15.2 acres on Piatt Road from Farm Residential to Planned Residential District.

The applicant, Powell-based CBS Construction LLC, requested to build 22 single-family homes on the site. An additional 3 acres on the same parcel was requested to be rezoned from Farm Resident to Planned Commercial and Office for a commercial building and parking lot.

The project was simply called Piatt Road in the plan.

“The standards in the application show just one use in that district which is a daycare, and he has committed to adhering to the zoning resolution’s requirements,” said Todd Faris of Hilliard-based Faris Planning & Design, in the Jan. 24 meeting minutes. “Mr. Faris said there are no specific plans for a daycare center, and his client is going to market that if the zoning is successful. There are really no facilities like that in this area, which is why it was deemed a good use for this frontage.”

A traffic study stated, “there is not much traffic generated by the residential subdivision and that no turn lanes will be required,” the minutes said.

Zoning Commission members said they liked the idea of a daycare in the area, but “asked that the new Berlin middle and high schools be considered, and this appear to be more like a campus area to make it a part of the community.” There were also concerns about traffic generated near the entrance.

There was some concern about the density by the commission members, but they noted, “this is a unique property in that it is small and sandwiched between others” such as the Glenmead subdivision and were “inclined to allow the density in exchange for the provided amenities. There is a huge electrical tower that limit the development of this parcel.”

A member of the public said “he knows daycares are needed, but he questioned the wisdom of putting it that close to powerlines. He has been zapped on his bike by overhead power lines in the past, he explained.”

Other members of the public said they were concerned about the density of the development. After further discussion by the commission, Faris asked for a continuance, which was granted for March 14.

On March 14, Faris said nine changes were made to the application based on the BZC and public requests. Among the changes was removing vinyl to have all-natural materials on all four sides of the buildings, reorganizing of lots and reduction to 21 units, the shelter was increased from a small octagon to 20-by-20 and the potential daycare would look like the schools. Only one divergence, lot size, remained.

A commission member said they “would like to see one more lot removed to get closer to the 1.85 units/net acre” density, the minutes said. Another member seconded that change. Another member said, “the plan looks much nicer than it did last time.”

After a recess, the BZC unanimously approved the rezonings with the following conditions:

• One lot will be removed from the south side of the development; the total number of homes will be 20.

• The mailboxes will be moved to the crosswalks.

• A two-rail fence will be added to both sides of the pedestrian walkway leading to the playground.

The commission consists of Chairperson Jerry Valentine, Vice Chairperson Darcy Kaplan, Angela Brown, Keith Goshia, Jenny Sloas, and new alternates Jasper DeChristopher and Tara Shields. Also present were Zoning Inspector Jake Bon, Assistant Zoning Inspector Sherry Graham, Zoning Secretary Cathy Rippel and Zoning Clerk Lisa Knapp. They meet in the township hall, 3271 Cheshire Road.

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