With the annexation process underway for the 101-acre site located on Peachblow Road, directly east of the Belmont Place subdivision, Delaware City Council discussed its initial step — a resolution of services — at Monday’s meeting.
Earlier this month, the Delaware Planning Commission discussed a conceptual review of the proposed subdivision. Owned by Grden LLC, the property currently sits in Berlin Township. However, the property is also located at the very southeast corner of Delaware’s long-existing utility boundary, meaning the property would need to be connected to the city’s sewer and water services.
Council members voted 7-0 to approve water, sanitary, refuse, fire, police, and road maintenance services upon the pending acceptance of annexation.
Under the proposed concept, the majority of lots would range from 6,760 to 8,450 square feet, with 21 lots totaling 10,400 square feet. The proposed density of the subdivision, which has become a point of contention with prior developments, would be 2.41 units per acre.
The single access point would be off Peachblow Road and would extend north to connect with Winterbourne Drive coming south from the Communities at Glenross subdivision. A connection west to the Belmont Place subdivision would also be constructed.
While Monday’s agenda item was strictly to approve a resolution of services should annexation ultimately be approved, Councilwoman Lisa Keller took the opportunity to voice concerns about the overall fiscal impact annexation might have on the city, as well as the subdivision’s concept.
“I don’t see how we can’t factor in what this will end up costing us, because we are basically saying we’ll provide services to extra land that’s not already within the city of Delaware,” Keller said. “So, we’ll be taking on new roads, we’ll be taking on new citizens in this land to provide police and fire services to.”
She added, “Without some ballpark (estimate) of what that will cost us versus what the net benefit is, it’s difficult for me to analyze whether we want to annex new property.”
Keller said she was concerned the city didn’t have adequate funds to fix roads as it is, and also pointed out the property north of the proposed subdivision is zoned R-2, which requires 70-foot lots. Grden’s concept plan featured 123 lots that are 65 feet wide and 102 lots that are 52 feet wide.
Attorney Michael Shade, who is representing Grden LLC, reminded council the resolution of services was just a procedural task and didn’t bind either side to annexation.
He added, “If you decide this is not something you want to pursue, then I think this council and this local government has to make a decision on releasing this property from your utility service area. Because you are then barring the applicant from staying in the township and getting services.”
Addressing Keller’s concerns, City Manager Tom Homan said the city could provide a report on the fiscal impact the annexation would have on the city well before any deadline for decision on annexation.
With the approval of the resolution of services, the annexation petition must go through the Delaware County Commissioners. Once they have approved the annexation, the city will have 120 days to make its final decision.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.