Harper’s Pointe cleared another hurdle Wednesday evening as Powell’s Zoning and Planning Commission unanimously voted in favor of Arlington Homes’ development plan for the former Powder Room’s 8.75-acre site.
“My passion is to build a plan that is magnificent, stunning, mind blowing,” said Len Pivar, owner of Arlington Homes. “I want it to be really, really impressive.”
The property was rezoned as downtown residential from a planned commercial and residential by city council in November. The property, a former shooting range, is located off of East Olentangy Street and Beech Ridge Drive.
Pivar said work on the property could start late this year, pending final approval from Powell City Council.
“We still have to go through council for two meetings,” Pivar said. “We still have to do our final engineering.”
The real work wouldn’t happen until “the beginning of (next) year,” said Todd Faris, Faris Planning and Design LLC.
Pivar said he had purchased the property in the past year, but has been involved with it on contract since 2013.
“We’ve spent a fortune,” Pivar said. “We’ve spent $300,000 in engineering and legal fees.”
Development of the property was halted due to a pending court case.
Brian Ebersole filed a writ of referendum Feb. 9 with the Ohio Supreme Court forcing the city to add language so the ordinance had to be sent to the ballot.
The court denied a writ of mandamus Feb. 14 that would compel Powell to place the referendum on the May ballot for voters to decide whether to let Arlington Homes build Harper’s Pointe.
Pivar lives in Powell and said his plans are to build small English-style homes of stucco, wood and stone on small lots. He said the homes would cost around $400,000 for empty nesters who are looking to downsize. He added that one of the homes will have an elevator allowing access to the full house from the basement to second floor.
Harper’s Pointe will be within walking distance to downtown Powell keeping it from adding to traffic. Pivar earlier said Arlington Homes’ traffic study showed a 50 percent reduction in traffic.
“This development is adding to the traffic,” said Dave Betz, Powell Director of Development. “However, it is adding less than the previous zoning.”
Betz said the zoning staff approves of Arlington Homes’ development plan and recommended the commission approve it.
Charles Johnson, Powell resident and semi-retired real estate developer, spoke during public comment in the meeting.
“The most notable project that I had done was Bartholomew Run,” Johnson said. “Although it was a very successful development, it would have been a lot more successful if this project was across the street.”
“This is going to fulfill a tremendous void in the Powell area as far as single-floor patio homes,” Johnson said. “Everyone is getting older and they want to stay in Powell. I don’t think this is going generate new traffic, it’s going to capture what’s already here.”
According to Pivar in an earlier report, the developed property could bring $350,000 annually to the Olentangy Local School District without adding children since the homes will be marketed primarily to empty nesters. He said the city could also gain $2.6 million in property tax revenue, according to county auditor estimates.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.