More news about the MI Homes development of the Bigham Farm
The AVRA was in attendance at the Westerville Planning Commision Meeting, August 27, 2014. Myself, Renee Hunt (AVRA Treasurer, Karen Spiller (Secretary) and Rand Paselk (Immediate Past President) were present. Representatives from River Trace and the Overlook were also in attendance.
My duty for the evening was to see the plan and to offically let the commision know that Annehurst is interested in what is being presented. I also let them know that concerns that had been voiced to me in regards to traffic, density of housing and the future plans for Metzger Park. I asked the commission to not rush the process and give time for our residents to be informed of the plan.
I have since been informed that MI Homes is not on the agenda for the Westerville Planning Commission until the October Meeting. I would assume that is a good indication that MI Homes is reviewing the suggestions from the planing commission and the ones that residents had voiced. At the next meeting an “improved” plan will be presented. If you want to be involved I encourage you to attend the meeting. It is planned to be on the October 22 planning meeting agenda. This is an open meeting and if you plan to speak it is best to be there at 6:30 so you can be sworn in. If you cannot attend, please send any comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would like to send comments to the commission prior to the meeting.
See below my notes from the August Meeting:
Mr. Hooper of the parks and rec stated that the City of Westerville does not have a plan at this time to develop the additonal space proposed for Metzger Park. There will be an opportunity for residents to get involved with the plan of the park expansion at a public meeting in the future.
I was a little surprised that the topic of cut through on Granby West was not addressed more than it was. The emphasis seemed to be on Hanawalt Rd with the mention of moving the road farther away from the creek. Also possible elimination of the cross street in the loop on the west end of the property to reduce cut through. There is an interesting split in the road near the access from Hanawalt that has short distances being one way. The concern was raised that residents that live on the westbound side would most likely go the wrong way down to Hanawalt. If you are concerned about the increase of traffic on Granby, please let me know or attend the meeting.
Density or size of the lots
Many negative comments about the lot size and density were made. Also the lack of arcitecture on the sides of the homes was discussed.
Council seemed to be impressed by the use of greenspace. I noticed that the greenspace was “sprinkled” throughout the development. It seemed the greenspaces are in areas that would be hard to build on due to topography and possibly “unbuildable”.
Paul Johnson, planning commission member made some great comments to the fact that this is one of the last places in Westerville where high end housing can be developed. He was taken back by the proposed out of the box housing and thought the area is the perfect palce to do something unique. The overall concensus was to table the request. MI Homes seemed to jump at the opportunity to go back and take another look at the plan. We are lucky to live in Westerville and have officials that do the due dilligence to maintain the quality of our city. Again I encourage you to attend the meetings so you can see first hand the process in action and get your voice heard.
staff report August 2014: https://www.westerville.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentID=16494
link to planning commision agenda from August 2014: http://www.westerville.org/index.aspx?page=389
Link to article in this week news about Bigham Property http://www.thisweeknews.com/content/stories/westerville/news/2014/09/02/planners-table-proposed-73-acre-housing-project.html