“Please pull forward.”
Brandon Feller often hears those three words repeated from the Westfield Shopping Center car wash on state Route 37.
They’re “burned into my memory because I can hear it from my property,” the Lantern Chase subdivision resident said during a Delaware Planning Commission meeting Wednesday.
Feller said he questioned whether residents would “pay a premium” to hear such noises while living at the proposed Burr Oak Commons apartments, located between his subdivsion and the shopping center.
The commission approved for Delaware City Council consideration a rezoning amendment, conditional use permit and preliminary development plan to allow Treplus Communities develop the 20.06-acre site to build the apartments for residents ages 55 and older.
Burr Oak Commons would have a commons building and 25 single-story buildings, which will have 92 apartment units combined. It also includes the continuation of a bike path along state Route 37.
The apartments would range from 1,100- to 1,600-square feet. If successful, older residents would have a place to rent with a flexible, carefree living space that is in compliance with the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995.
“We really want people to have the opportunity to age in place,” said Jane Arthur Roslovic, a managing member of Treplus Communities. Treplus is developing two other similar communities in Dublin and Pickerington.
Roslovic said the Delaware property fits their niche. She said the site selection is the most important part of their process.
“We developed, we build, we hold and we manage our properties,” she said.
Suburban towns need more housing to retain 55-plus residents who want to enjoy the city’s amenities, Roslovic said.
Treplus will market the properties to that age demographic, but the 1995 housing law allows younger residents to occupy 20 percent of of the units. It would have some staff members on-site and a concierge service to assist residents for events and daily tasks.
Feller was among other residents who voiced an array of concerns about the development including the impact on local wildlife, a pedestrian connection between the two neighborhoods and the amount of mounding to buffer the two properties.
“The best and highest use of that property is what it is today, which is vacant,” he said.
“I would urge a no vote,” he said.
Resident Matt Marquis opposed an emergency access drive being built adjacent to his home because of privacy concerns.
Development plans show the site could be accessed from state Route 37 or the shopping center. But there is a “pinch point” area near those access points the city wants addressed, according to city records.
The two parties are reviewing alternatives with a decision to be made before a final development plan is considered for approval.
Additionally, commission member Jim Halter addressed concerns about the wildlife with some levity.
“What happens is they all come to my yard,” he said.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.