In addition to the Seattle House Apartments, Metro Development also had a proposal for a second complex in front of Delaware City Council at Monday’s meeting. The proposed Highpoint Place Apartments would include 160 units on roughly 17 acres of land located directly west of the Village Gates of Delaware apartment complex and north of Bowtown Road.
The 160 units would be split between 80 one-bedroom and 80 two-bedroom apartments over seven buildings. Six of the buildings would be three-stories tall, or 42 feet, with the building closest to the existing houses along Bowtown Road only two stories. Amenities proposed include a pool, office space and equipment, a cardio center, and an outdoor grilling space.
Similar to the Seattle House proposal, the one-bedroom units would 678 square feet, with the two-bedroom units totaling 933 square feet. During the meeting with the Delaware Planning Commission, Metro Development Vice President Joe Thomas said that, like the Seattle House development, the expected price range for the apartments would be $900 to $1,200.
At an earlier point in Monday’s meeting when discussing the Seattle House proposal, council voiced concerns over the development not meeting the minimum requirements stipulated in the R-6 base district code. Those requirements include a minimum square footage of 800 for a one-bedroom apartment and 950 for two bedrooms, as well as a maximum building height of 35 feet.
The proposed development includes a rezoning amendment that would shift the land from R-6 Multi-Family Residential District to R-6 PMU, which would add a Planned Mixed Use Overlay District.
“The difference between the (Seattle House Apartments) and this is that this is really about clustering the development in more of the open space area to leave some of the tree lines and the large stand of trees on the north side of the property,” said City Development and Planning Director Dave Efland.
“We could just go under the existing zoning. We could qualify for the density bonus and get to 10 (units per acre) anyways,” said Steve Cuckler, who is representing Metro Development. “The good thing with this development, and by working with (city) staff is we’re able to preserve those trees.”
Cuckler added, “The other thing we’ve done here is the nearly $700,000 (potentially) spent on future Ferguson Avenue for future road connections as part of the city’s thoroughfare plan. My client is willing to build that as part of the overall project cost.”
At the meeting with planning commission earlier this month, the development proposal was not recommend for approval to city council by a vote of 4-3. Among the chief concerns expressed by commission members were the narrowness, estimated to be approximately 15 feet wide, and the overall condition of Bowtown Road and the effects added traffic would have on it. In the presentation to council, Thomas said he had his engineer and survey crew take a look at the road. Thomas said the results showed the road to be almost 19 feet wide at any point, and that there should be no issues with two-way traffic going down Bowtown Road.
Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce President Holly Quaine advocated for the approval of the development, as she did for the Seattle House Apartments. Speaking to council about traffic concerns, Quaine said, “You built a community, people want to live here. We can’t build this amazing community and then close our doors because we have transportation issues.”
She went on to say, “Those are challenges. Those are things we find solutions for.” Quaine urged council to “take the credit and responsibility of continuing to build responsible growth in a community you built that is so amazing that people want to live here … We need to find solutions to bring them here, not reasons to not bring them here.”
Because planning commission voted not to recommend approval of the proposal, a super majority vote of five favorable votes would be needed by council for the development to be approved. A third reading will be held at the next city council meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, in the city council chambers at City Hall.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.