The Jerome Township Trustees approved final development plans for Subarea A and Subarea B to be built on the Jacquemin Farm property. Subarea A will be a 300 unit apartment complex and Subarea B is to be a senior living complex. Township officials said commercial development is expected in Subarea C, though no formal plans have been submitted.
The Jerome Township trustees have approved a final plan for the Jacquemin Farm property.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the trustees unanimously approved the final development plans for Jerome Grand and The Villas at St. Therese. The hearing was continued from Tuesday night because the developers wanted to make their presentation to the entire board.
An issue in the hearing was whether the final development plan was “substantially compliant with and consistent with the approved zoning plan for the property.”
The property — which lies on the west side of Hyland Croy Road, north of Weldon Road between Hyland Croy and U.S. 33, north of Weldon Road — was rezoned in 2015 to accommodate a mixed-use development in Jerome Township.
Attorney Don Brosius said the plan’s compliance with the zoning code is “the only thing” the board can rule on.
“That is what we are charged with,” Trustee Ron Rhodes explained. “That is all we can consider.”
Township officials explained that to residents in attendance. Barry Adler of Industrial Parkway facetiously congratulated the trustees on approving the plan, even before the final vote was taken.
“Congratulations on ignoring the concerns of neighboring residents,” Adler said.
He said the trustees had catered to developers and business “over residential concerns.”
Adler said the conduct of the trustees was “an affront to the very citizens who pay taxes and expect the township trustees to act in a fiscally responsible way,”
“You should be ashamed and held responsible for your financial dealings,” Adler said.
Attorney Peter Griggs called the comments, “out of order and not really relevant to why we are here.”
Brosius asked Adler if he had any comment pertaining to the hearing. Adler said he did and asked if he could address the trustees, but they denied the request saying he had already used his three minutes to speak.
Dublin resident Alycia Cassini said she lives about 300 feet from the proposed development, which she said “will have a direct impact on my family.”
She said she would be impacted by additional traffic on the road and her children would be forced to go to overcrowded schools.
She said she is not opposed to the development, but would like to see infrastructure improvement needs addressed before it’s built.
Cassini said she feels like much of the tension in the area is caused by mistrust.
“I feel like I’m in the crossfire between Jerome Township and Dublin,” Cassini said, asking the trustees, “not to let broken relationships direct decisions.”
Without discussion the trustees unanimously approved the plans, which represent two of the three areas on the farm.
Jerome Grand at Jacquemin Farms is planned as an apartment complex with 300 units in 32 buildings on 35.7 acres.
The Villas at St. Therese has seven buildings planned on 10.7 acres. The plan calls for a maximum of 250 beds, spread between a nursing care facility, a continuing care retirement community, independent senior living and condominiums.
“It’s all senior living, no matter what,” Catherine Cunningham, an attorney representing the project, told the trustees.
Officials representing the developers said they submitted a traffic study in June and are waiting to hear comments from the Union County Engineer’s office.
Union County Engineer Jeff Stauch has promised to have comments from the study by the end of this week. He said the study is complicated by the “on again, off again, on again, off again annexation requests.”
He said when the traffic study was initially completed, the Jacquemin Farm property had applied for annexation into Dublin. The study paired development at that property with development on the Gorden property across the street. Since then, the developers have withdrawn their request to annex into Dublin while the Gorden property has been annexed into the city.
Stauch said there are also questions about the order of the developments. He said the order they started and completed will have an impact on traffic in the area. The engineer said that either way, traffic will impact a number of intersections and roads that will need improved.
“There is a lot of back and forth and the key question is how is it going to be paid for,” Stauch said.
The developer has already pledged to contribute at least $500,000 to road improvements. The township has also reached an agreement to use tax revenue from the project to improve infrastructure in the area. Stauch said that agreement is “very broad” and does not detail how exactly the money will be used.
Jerome Township Zoning Inspector Mark Spagnuolo said the developers have said they will build commercial projects on the property, though no plans have been submitted.
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