Letter: Rezoning for development will result in overcrowding

From: Alice Sechrest


On June 6, the Columbus City Council voted for rezoning to allow higher density of homes for Arbor Investments. I understand some of the factors involved, but there are major issues that I find disturbing.

I thought that their actions would:

  • Subject our/their “community” to a loss of space in yard and home to satisfy a demand for increased tax base
  • Place undue damage on existing homeowners in terms of valuation of their property and an insurmountable traffic on a daily/never-ending basis
  • Give a developer an extra bonus, as well as set a precedent for the next developer by changing to a high-density zoning, thereby supplying homes and yard space at a minimum of space allowed.

Property zoned as “residential: single family 2” permits 3 1/2 houses per acre and has a minimum lot area of 10,000 square feet. When zoned “residential: single family 3” it permits five houses per acre and the minimum lot area is 7,200 square feet. That is a loss of 28 percent for each family.

To me, a home is so important to a family — a place to have, to grow, develop, enjoy, raise a family, grow old, a place to call home. Overcrowding does not help or enhance any of these. We all know that.

Traffic — who is addressing traffic? Mike Campbell, Arbor Homes vice president, offers a roundabout at Lowell Road and County Road 200W and reiterates the entire development of 300 homes would not be built at one time.

Before any car, out of approximately 300 to 400 a day, will hit Lowell Road or Princeton Park streets it has to hit County Road 200W. Doesn’t matter that the subdivision is not fully completed on Day 1; time does not stand still, it will happen and the only source for traffic is adjoining homeowners’ ground.

I don’t see where Arbor Investments plans to use its ground, so how much of my ground are you going to be looking for unless you settle this question with Arbor now?

Our mayor says we may not realize their existing rights; we do. He says supply and demand — that’s business, and that ”by the time the additional houses are built in the next six years, substantial improvements to Lowell Road should be completed.” The mayor says, “We’re not ignoring the residents there.”

We say, they don’t all need to come out of County Road 200W. And I do not want to give up my road frontage when it all happens.

Look in your own backyards, your homes. Size is important – especially 28 percent.

I recognize that Arbor purchased the property, knowing what the zoning was, as well as the traffic issues, so there has to be more recognition on its part to make this a part of our community; at least, keep it as it was when Arbor purchased the ground. Establish road improvements on County Road 200W coming out of Arbor grounds, not current homeowners’.