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Apartment annexation moving on

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A proposed apartment development on Columbus’ west side has been approved for annexation.

The Flats of Columbus, a 130-unit, one-story apartment development planned on a 23.2-acre property behind Menards on Carr Hill Road, earned its initial approval in a split vote by the Columbus City Council.

Council members Ryan Brand, Frank Jerome, Tim Shuffett and Jim Lienhoop voted for the annexation, with Dascal Bunch, Frank Miller and Kenny Whipker voting no. The vote was the same when the council was asked to rezone the development from agriculture preferred zoning to multifamily with commitments.

Questions about drainage on the property were brought up by farmer Jim Daily of Garden City Farms. Nearby residents also questioned whether there is adequate stormwater drainage on the parcel where the apartments are to be built. In slides that were shown on a screen in the council chambers, standing water was visible on farm fields in the area.

Jeff Bergman, the city’s planning director, told council members that the drainage issues, which have been debated before the city’s plan commission and now before the council, might end up as a civil matter between the farming operation and the big-box stores that are a part of Columbus Crossing.

Redwood Acquisition, the Ohio-based company planning The Flats development, will be required to address stormwater coming off its property and meet city requirements, Bergman said. However, that was not relevant to the annexation or rezoning request that was being heard Wednesday night by the council, Bergman said.

Redwood is being required to build the apartments 2 feet above the 100-year flood plain fringe level, Bergman said. The company also is being required to build a fence along the south-southwest property line to separate it from the property line it shares with single-family homes there.

A buffer yard is being required between the apartments and the single-family homes with any trees in the area to remain or be replaced if they are removed during construction. The company has agreed to include a sidewalk extension, including curb ramps and signage, to finish a pedestrian crossing at Carr Hill Road, north of the intersection with Morgan Willow Trace.

The project is now in a 14-day waiting period before coming before the council for a second and final time.

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