Delaware County officials and other representatives discussed a proposed Berlin Business Park before a packed house last week in the Berlin Township Hall.
The county and Columbus-based engineering/architecture firm Burgess & Niple said the park would be a “2,000-acre master planned development, including Residential, Commercial, and Light Industrial projects along U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 west of Interstate 71.”
Currently zoned for residential use, the proposal would add an overlay on those areas that would also allow for light industrial and small manufacturing companies to diversify the tax base.
The areas affected are south of Baker Road, east of Sweeney Road, north of Curve Road, west of North Old State Road and extending over Dunham Road. A separate area covers North and South Three B’s & K Road from roughly Africa Road to Fourwinds Drive.
Delaware County Economic Development Administrator Rob Platte provided a short presentation, prior to letting the audience question officials around the room for an hour on April 18.
“My interest is in making sure things are done right,” Platte said. “This is an effort by the township and the county to get way ahead, to protect what’s already here and control what comes here.”
Platte said the smart development could prevent establishing overly commercialized areas like Brice Road in Franklin County, and U.S. Route 23. He also said that the township could choose to do nothing, but that might lead to annexation by the City of Delaware or soon-to-be city of Sunbury.
On hand to field questions included officials from the county, regional planning and sewer, Olentangy Local Schools, ODOT, and the Berlin trustees. Although held at the township hall, this was not a trustee meeting, there were no public comments, and no action was taken.
There will be additional public meetings, and the proposed project will be a multi-step process.
The Berlin Business Park Planned Mixed Use districts are described as “A DelCo Ready Partnership Project made possible by the following: Delaware County Finance Authority; Berlin Township Trustees; and Delaware County Commissioners.”