Rezoning approval may lead to new bank branch

JCB cleared a hurdle to construction of a new branch bank on Columbus’ north side when the Columbus Plan Commission unanimously approved a request to rezone two properties adjacent to the former Dolly Madison plant.

The properties, located at 3761 Central Ave. and 2801 Central Ave., are currently surrounded by parcels zoned commercial regional, areas likely to support businesses serving customers from beyond city limits.

However, these two properties and another plot north of the proposed bank site form an island of parcels zoned commercial community, areas likely support businesses serving primarily Columbus residents.

City zoning ordinances prohibit construction of a building on mismatched parcels.

Banks are not only acceptable uses for both zoning designations, however, but ideal ones, said Susan Haskett, chief administrative officer of Seymour-based JCB.

JCB plans to construct a branch directly adjacent to a proposed Kroger Marketplace grocery at 3060 N. National Road.

JCB president and CEO David Geis said the company would be working closely with Kroger on coordinating the two construction projects. This could require trading several parcels with the grocery chain. However, these trades would be much easier if all of the parcels carried the same zoning designation, Haskett said.

Jeff Bergman, the city-county planning director, said this was the easiest zoning recommendation he has ever made, before endorsing the proposal. This measure simply clears the way for construction of a bank on property already zoned for commercial use, Bergman said.

With little discussion, the Columbus Plan Commission voted to endorse the rezoning. The Columbus City Council is scheduled to consider the matter at its Feb. 2 meeting.