Commission approves subdivision plat plan

Plans for a new subdivision in east Columbus are moving forward.

The Columbus Plan Commission has given preliminary plat approval to Joli Development for 19 acres of property at 3272 Taylor Road. The plat is for a new subdivision, which was previously referred to as Sunset Trails but is now called Windstar Woods. It is projected to include 89 lots and three common areas.

City/County Planning Director Jeff Bergman told The Republic that plat approval means that the commission has approved developers’ layout of new streets, lots and sidewalks “as being consistent with the city’s minimum requirements” and approved the included public infrastructure.

The commission also voted to allow a requested modification regarding the distance of a new intersection — Windstar Way and Taylor Road — from the intersection of Fairlawn Drive and Taylor. The staff report noted that while ordinances state that intersections are to be 400 feet apart on minor arterial streets such as Taylor, the applicant is proposing a 363-foot distance between the two intersections.

Additionally, the plat approval included revisions and technical notes from planning staff, certain provisions regarding a required tree preservation easement, and a pedestrian connection on the west side of the subdivision.

“The plan commission determined that in the tree preservation easement on the lots that are to be sold as home sites, the developer and any future lot owners are basically only required to retain any mature trees that are over 4 inches in diameter, with the important distinction being that they can clear out any kind of vines or underbrush or those kinds of things that happen to be on the property,” said Bergman.

For the portions of the easement that are in a common area and the preserved woods, these areas are to be kept “in a natural state,” with underbrush left in place. However, it would be acceptable for the developer or a future homeowners’ association to add a nature trail if they felt so inclined.

Commission member Laura Garrett’s motion for plat approval also included a pedestrian connection between Windstar Court and Berkdale Drive.

The Windstar Woods development has attracted many comments and concerns from members of the public since a rezoning request was initially brought before the city’s plan commission in May.

These concerns have included density, lot size, having more than one backdoor neighbor behind their own lots, how much green space would be provided, increased traffic and potential strain on schools.

Columbus City Council voted in July to rezone the 19-acre property from Residential: Single Family 2 (RS2) to Residential: Single Family 4 (RS4) with a number of commitments.

Compared to the rezoning request, there were fewer public comments at the commission’s Sept. 14 meeting, said Bergman. Most of the remarks were in regards to a planned street connection between the new subdivision and Skyview Estates, said Bergman. A group of neighbors from Skyview were requesting that the connection, which would expand the stub street of Moonlight Drive, not be made.

“The developer, Joe Conner, indicated that was not something that he was open to, that he did want to make that connection,” he said. “And planning commission agreed with the developer.”