There’s a new housing development going on Scott Farms, and residents have some concerns.
Sarah Ozminski, of POD Design in Columbus, spoke to the City of Marysville’s planning commission about the project Monday night.
The neighborhood will be a Redwood Living development. According to Ozminski, there was an older version of the plan where the company tried maximizing the number of units on the property. That plan had 164 units, and since then, Redwood has reworked the plan and reduced that number to 143 units.
The goal for the new site plan was to lower density and to create an “identity.” About 42 percent of the development will be open space.
“That will always remain as open space for the residents,” Ozminski said.
There will be pedestrian paths throughout the development, with a pond to the southeast. The developer will preserve the trees on the eastern part of the property that borders a creek.
Ozminski said Redwood’s targets are generally empty nesters and young professionals, with rent costs around $1,450 to $1,700 per month.
Ozminski said Redwood has hosted two neighborhood meetings with residents of the Scott Farms development to get feedback.
Board member Tim Schacht expressed concern that the plan only shows one entrance into the development.
Shawn Goodwin, of civil engineering firm American Structurepoint, said his company has used information from a study of the area in 2009 to estimate current traffic. While the new study shows a traffic signal is warranted, it won’t necessarily snarl local traffic if one isn’t installed.
“Either way, it’s going to work,” Goodwin said.
Scott Farms Boulevard resident Barry Scott was also worried about potential traffic problems.
“We’ve always known something was going to be built there, and we’re relieved it’s housing, not a commercial entity,” Scott said. “But the traffic is downright scary.”
Scott said a traffic light is needed, “right now.” He said turning left on Route 4 out of Scott Farms can be dangerous. While the speed limit on Route 4 is 50 miles per hour, Scott said more often than not, drivers are going faster than that.
He said traffic also backs up significantly during certain parts of the day.
“My hope is that if construction’s going to happen, a light goes in immediately,” Scott said.
Deer Run Drive resident Bill Lowe, president of the Scott Farms homeowners association, said he’s been talking to Redwood for more than a year about the project.
Lowe said the concerns he’s heard from residents have centered on traffic. Specifically, residents want a traffic light at Scott Farms and Route 4.
“Any way that could be expedited I know would be a benefit to 354 homes that are in Scott Farms,” Lowe said.
Lowe also expressed concern that the development could cause more traffic cutting through Scott Farms to get to County Home Road.
That said, he said his talks with Redwood have been good.
“They’ve been very forthcoming and open regarding their plan with this property,” Lowe said.
Schacht said he’d like to see the developer work with city staff in some way to fix the traffic problems in the area concurrently with the development.
Goodwin said his company will continue studying the area, and will talk with the city about potentially getting a new signal installed.
Schacht asked why the developer decided to go with a planned unit development (PUD) rather than rezone it to be residential. He said the density isn’t high enough to warrant a PUD, which are generally used for developments that mix uses or have other unusual features.
Goodwin said the decision came from a desire to have the development’s layout locked down.
Ozminski reiterated the development’s more creative features are the use of open space and walking trails, which she said, “aren’t standard features for Redwood products.”
The sole dissenting vote came from Alex Rozanski, who said the development doesn’t line up with the city’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan, which calls for the site being multi-family housing rather than empty-nester housing.
In other board news:
-The Planning Commission got some 2019 organizational business out of the way. It elected Alex Armitage as chair, Tim Schacht as vice chair and board representative Alex Rozanski to city council.
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