Properties in Woodside area seek annexation, rezoning

Two property owners of land near Woodside Northwest Industrial Park are seeking to have their lots annexed into the city of Columbus and rezoned for future industrial use.

On Tuesday, Columbus City Council passed both the annexation and rezoning ordinances for this request on first reading. Ordinances require two readings for full approval.

Per a memorandum from Planning Director Jeff Bergman, the adjoining properties, owned by Amanda Blanton and Melissa Sailor, total 12.26 acres on the west side of County Road 300W, north of State Road 58. A staff report from the planning department specifically identifies the location as 6370 and 6720 South County Road 300W in Wayne Township, where unoccupied single-family residences are currently in place.

Blanton and Sailor are requesting to annex their properties into the city and rezone them from Agriculture: Preferred to Industrial: Heavy.

“These are the northern-most two of the 10 rural residential properties along 300W that, over time, have been essentially surrounded by industrial zoning,” Bergman stated.

The two women do not have specific plans for the properties’ redevelopment or a buyer lined up, he said. At present, they are seeking to “better position the properties for a future industrial development.”

Both the annexation and rezoning request were sent forward with a favorable recommendation from the Columbus Plan Commission, Bergman said. The rezoning recommendation comes with commitments. As stated in the ordinance, these include buffering, right-of-way dedication and restrictions of certain industrial uses of the subject property.

Furthermore, the ordinance states that “No use other than agriculture or single-family residential shall occur on the subject property until adequate industrial access can be provided.”

The ordinance adds that this would likely be accomplished one of two ways. One would be to improve the entire length of 300W on both sides between Deaver Road and State Road 58. The other would be to provide primary access to the subject property from 58 “via a new access created through the adjacent property” at 4650 West County Road 450S.

“I think the intent, all along, that started with Woodside Northwest was to have access to those industrial properties come off of 58 instead of 300,” Bergman told city council at Tuesday’s meeting. “… The thing that complicates that is the need to have a secondary access in case of emergencies, which resulted in Tuttle Drive then coming over to 300W there at Woodside Northwest. So we are picking up industrial traffic on 300.”

Improvements to 300W will be “critical” for the area’s future, he said.

Bergman also noted that, likely due to an error of some kind, the planning commission’s recommended commitments did not include improvement of 300W along the properties’ frontage. At his request, city council voted to amend the rezoning ordinance to include this requirement, which identifies the improvements as “widening to a 12-foot travel lane with a 2-foot curb and gutter”.