City residents speak out against proposed Northwood project


After tabling discussions on the Northwood mixed-use residential development last month, Delaware City Council resumed considerations on Monday with a third reading and continuance of the Jan. 8 public hearing.

The ordinance includes a preliminary development plan as well as a rezoning amendment request by Metro Development for the construction of a mixed-residential development including up to 1,168 dwelling units spread across three subareas on the approximately 231-acre site located on the northwest corner of the state Route 521 and Byxbe Parkway roundabout.

Subarea A would contain up to 360 multi-family dwelling units on approximately 22.88 acres, while Subarea B would contain up to 357 single-family dwelling units on approximately 124.28 acres. Subarea C would contain up to 451 multi-family dwelling units on 83.38 acres.

Included in the development would be approximately 56.86 acres of open space and a clubhouse, dog park, and other amenities in both subareas featuring multi-family units.

The land is currently zoned A-1 (Agricultural District), and a conditional use permit is being proposed to place a planned mixed-use overlay district on the property as part of the rezoning to A-1 PMU (Agricultural District with a Planned Mixed Use Overlay District).

Metro would extend Byxbe Parkway in two segments north from its current terminus at the existing roundabout to service subareas B and C. The development would require a traffic impact study with acceptance by the city, county, and Ohio Department of Transportation. Metro would be responsible for any improvements and/or financial obligations deemed necessary by the city and county.

In the time since the second reading of the ordinance on Jan. 8, annexation of the 231-acre site has gone into effect, bringing the land under the city’s governance.

Neighboring residents of the proposed site have been outspoken about their concerns with the proposal, particularly the multi-family units included in the plan. Speaking on Monday, Philip Taraska, who lives on State Route 521, noted a petition for a referendum on the land annexation was signed by 1,125 residents over an 18-day span from Jan. 19 to Feb. 6.

“Overwhelmingly, registered voters signed this petition,” he stated. “They were not saying, ‘No, I will not sign it.’ And by the way, these signatures were collected from all four of the wards, and only about a third of them were collected from Kensington residents. I think too often that council and Planning Commission try to fit everything into the Delaware Comprehensive Plan and forget that the most important aspect in all of this is the voters they were elected to represent.”

Taraska then urged the council to vote against the rezoning amendment as it is “out of touch with what voters really want for the city of Delaware and the future of our region.”

Scott McVicker, a Kensington Place resident, added, “One of the things I don’t think this council is really taking seriously into consideration is where we’re going to fit all these new children in Delaware schools. Delaware schools are bursting at the seams. Where are you going to put them? There’s no new plan to build a new school, and all these children, with a small exception, are going to go to Delaware schools.”

Traffic impact remains one of the biggest concerns for residents in the area, and Kensington Place resident David Brickley stated, “I think it pays note to reiterate about the traffic concerns, particularly inside our existing neighborhood when they put the connector roads in. We’ve already got people driving like maniacs up and down Ashburn (Drive). When you connect all of these apartments together, people are going to be cutting through to go the back way into Delaware. Do any of you deal with that kind of situation in your current housing?

“I honestly think you need to take into consideration what the people of this city want, and it is very apparent they do not want more housing, particularly apartment complexes. I think it behooves you to seriously consider what we want because, to be honest with you, if you pass this, I think we should go out and start petitioning for you guys to not be elected again because you’re out of touch.”

Following the public comments, City Manager Tom Homan noted that many of the concerns residents have expressed during the meeting, such as traffic impact and stormwater drainage, are typically hashed out ahead of the final development plan.

Vice Mayor Kent Shafer closed the discussion by saying to the residents in attendance, “The concerns that many of you brought up tonight, these are all concerns with every project we do. We deal with traffic, we deal with stormwater; these are all parts of the development process. Where we’re at now is the very beginning phase of this. Your comments are important, which is why we provide these public forums. We will continue to provide a forum for you at the next council meeting when we consider these items again.”

Shafer added, “We are concerned about your worries and concerns about any new development, but keep in mind, as well, that landowners have rights, too, and we have to consider those rights. And we have to consider the overall needs of the city when we take these things into consideration.”

The next council meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 11, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Delaware City Hall.

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

No posts to display