April 4, 2016

HARRISON TOWNSHIP ZONING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

4-4-2016

     The meeting was called to order by Chairman Kelly Spriggs at 7:00 pm.  This meeting is for the purpose of reviewing and voting on an application for rezoning 122.687 acres in Harrison Township.  NorthPoint Development is requesting a change in zoning from Agriculture/Residential to Rickenbacker Business District.  The acreage is South of Airbase Road and is between Lockbourne Eastern Road and SR762E (Ashville Pike)

     Present were:  Kelly Spriggs, Ronde Brushart-Cook, Trevor Younkin, Lisa Darnell, Matt Rayburn, Debi Hulse and Doug Czako.  Also present were visitors:  Peggy Egbert, Keila Marlowe, Gwenn Marlowe, Ryan Marlowe, Frank Miles, Tom Camden, Sherri Camden, Rosan Ward, Larry Arthur, Darryl Buckler, William J. Brown, Cary Coffey, Denice Coffey, Nancy Taylor, Mary Davis, Jeff Davis, Teresa Santmyer, Ron ell, Trent Carr, Lawrence Hayes, Carol Hayes, Junious Scott, John Darnell, Jules Henson, and Walter Kuhlwein.  Present representing NorthPoint Development was:  Brent Miles, Bob Gude, Dave Robinson and Nate Green.

Debi called the role of members and read the meeting Ground Rules.

Doug distributed a letter from Terry Frazier of Pickaway County Planning before the meeting.  All members read the letter.

     Brent Miles along with Bob Gude from NorthPoint Development of Kansas City, Missouri gave an overview of the proposed facility and NorthPoint Development.  They made references of current facilities as a guideline and expectation of this proposed facility.  NorthPoint builds Spec buildings and then finds tenants to fill them.  The tenants may add customized areas such as offices and other improvements after facility is built.  This makes the facility more attractive to a greater number of companies.

     NorthPoint just built an approximate 1 million square feet building at Rohr and Pontius Roads in Groveport.  They are ready to build another facility in Groveport.  NorthPoint believes Harrison Township is a good place for their investment.  The area is safe.  There is growth and has the intermodal and airport.  The JEDD plan and existing Rickenbacker Development makes the area attractive for developers.  NorthPoint has land in contract with 4 property owners.

     The proposed facility encompasses 122.687 acres.  They are planning to construct 3 buildings approximately 1 million sq. ft, 500,000 sq. ft., and 300,000 sq. ft.  They would be built in stages with the largest 1st.  The design is in accordance to the Design Standards of the Rickenbacker Design Plan.  The single entrance to the facility would be off Ashville Pike.  This will be a $100million project.  It could possibly create 500 to 1,000 jobs when completed.

     NorthPoint believes this is good for the tax base since Harrison Township would get 15% of the taxes. It would be good for the schools because it would generate tax money.  They estimate that after the abatement, there would be $700,000 to $1,000,000 in tax revenue.  There would be income taxes before the abatement, also.

     They are in the process of performing sewer, traffic and water drainage studies.

Speaking on Behalf of the Project:

     No neighbors spoke on behalf of the project.

Zoning Commission concern and questions:

     Ronde pointed out that this area is outside the purple area on the map.  This property is not currently in the JEDD.

     Kelly questioned if the Commission could recommend rezoning land which is not currently in the JEDD.  Nate Green from the Montrose Group which represents NorthPoint stated that the land needs to be rezoned before it can be placed in the JEDD.  Brent stated that the JEDD self imposes a 2 ½% income tax for workers or employees in the JEDD.  This would immediately start generating tax revenue.

     Kelly also asked what businesses would be there.  After they build the facility, how long is it before someone leases it?  Brent replied that in Kansas City, they usually lease them before completion.  They look at what companies are looking for space.  Before building, they look at having the correct size, location and market.  He pointed out that land around Rickenbacker and the Intermodal is in completion with Indianapolis, Cleveland and Cincinnati.  This is a very desirable location.

     Kelly brought up the fact that there are vacant facilities and land for lease in Groveport and around Rickenbacker.  Why aren’t the buildings full?  Why not build on land already in the Zone?  Bob Gude from NorthPoint answered that Duke and the Port Authority have a 50 year agreement.  NorthPoint has a different philosophy than Duke.  He also pointed out that a 1 million sq ft. building could have 1, 2 or 3 tenants.  The older buildings which are empty may not be desirable for companies The Clear Height used to be 18 feet.  Then it was 22, 24, 30 and 32 feet.  NorthPoint builds buildings with a 36feet height which is above the current standard.  E-commerce is on the rise.  They use the brightest light in the buildings as possible.  It is motion activated.  They have 25 year roof warranties.  They build concrete docks.  Their buildings have a long life span.  They build Spec. buildings or generic build.  These facilities are desirable to companies.

     The Entrance will only be on Ashville Pike.  There will be absolutely no entrance on Lockbourne Eastern or Airbase Roads.  There is a traffic study in progress.  The plan has not been finalized.  ODOT has the final say.

     When asked about outside lighting, they responded that a Photometric study will be done.  Near the building, the lights will be the brightest.  The light will slowly fade out towards the perimeter.  The lights will be directed down.  Pole lighting in the parking lot will face in.  The lighting will follow standards.

     Trevor asked about retention ponds.  NorthPoint will do a study.  Water conveyance is still being studied.  Ponds will be built.  The FAA has specific requirements for ponds.  Geese are a problem.  There are 3 options to deal with the geese.  1.  Build ponds with steep-sloped banks and vegetation that the geese do not like.  2.  Place balls in the water.  3.  Dogs.  Companies bring dogs to the area.  The dogs scare the geese away.

     Ronde asked about the current sewer system.  Columbus is to provide sewage system to members of JEDD.  NorthPoint would build sewage system for building and then tie into the system.  This is under design but there would be an underground sanitary line going north to Columbus.

     The Traffic Impact Study.  When will it be done?  What if ODOT doesn’t approve it?

     Kelly asked about the hours of operation of the facility.  Typically, their leases allow for operation 24/7.

Trevor brought up the water issue.  The Southwest corner of this property is wet.  What will they do about the water problem?  Answer:  All water from the facility will enter the ponds.  They are studying the area.  They hope to have a solution to solve today’s water problems.  This may help neighboring properties, also.  They think the drainage overall will be improved.

     The buildings will be built in stages.  The biggest one 1st.  It will have occupants before another is built.

     Lisa brought up the issue of surrounding homeowners.  She pointed out that they have talked to the 3 northern-most houses on Lockbourne Eastern Road. (Just south of Airbase Road).  Are they willing to sell and at what price?  Have they made a commitment to homeowners and the County?  NorthPoint said they talk with the Northern-most owners and go south.  When they get a, “no”, they don’t go any farther.  This is the same with homeowners on Ashville Pike.  This is outside of the JEDD.  The JEDD Can be expanded.  Any land annexed into the JEDD can be negotiable to benefit the area.

     Area residents were allowed to voice concerns and ask qu4estions to the Commission.  They were reminded to make statements brief, polite and direct remarks to the board.

Mary Davis, 10576 Lockbourne Eastern Road:  The JEDD allows 70% of money to go to Columbus.  The services are provided by Harrison Township.  We will need to maintain infrastructure.  She had questions about traffic flow and air quality.  How is this facility going to affect human senses?  Have there been any studies on residences in other area?  She is concerned about property values decreasing.  This affects future life in Harrison Township.  She wants to Commission to consider these facts before making a decision.  She also asked about mosquitoes and the retention ponds.  Would they be taken care of as well as snow removal, grass, upkeep, etc?  NorthPoint said they would negotiate to help homeowners and the school.  There would be a 15 year abatement.

Frank Miles, 10591 Lockbourne Eastern Road:  If there are going to be 500 employees, what roads will they travel?  They will be on Lockbourne Eastern Road and others.  There will be a big increase in traffic.  What kind of fencing will there be?  Will there be fences around retention ponds?  He has lived in his house for 45years.  He likes living there.  He likes the open spaces.  How is his life going to be affected?  He asked the board to consider this before something is done.  If they will make concessions, get it in writing.  With the storm water hire an engineering firm and have a specific site plan before the final decision.

Lawrence Hayes, 10290 SR 762 East:  He has been a truck driver for 30 years.  He questions 1 entrance for 500 employees and trucks.  Traffic will be a mess.  What happens in an emergency?  This area has water drainage problems.  He has standing water in his back yard.  He has questions about drainage, traffic and noise.  What are you going to do?  Ashville Pike will be a mess, a freeway.  NorthPoint- ODOT will only allow 1 entrance.  They will need to meet all requirements from the State of Ohio before getting a permit.

Gwen Marlowe, 10758 Ashville Pike:  She lives next door to the trailer park.  There is a stake next to her property.  What is going on?  If companies want to buy out residences, it should be at a fair price.  Answer:  That is a future project.  It is not this project.  The Board informed everyone about the Future Land Use Plan.  They stated it is on the Harrison Township Website and is available for the public to view at anytime.

Keila Marlowe, 10758 Ashville Pike:  she is concerned about traffic, noise and the wildlife.  What will happen to the deer in the area?  Answer:  They will develop a traffic plan.  This will be gauged on state standards.  They will submit the study.  The Intermodal creates a lot of noise.  Will there be more noise with more employees in the area?  The Intermodal is bright.  Will this facility be brighter?  Answer:  This facility will not be as bright as the Intermodal.  There is wildlife such as deer in the area.  Has there been a study on how wildlife will be affected?  Answer:  No study is required.

Denice Coffey, 10484 Ashville Pike: She is stuck in the middle between the Intermodal and this facility.  Her property backs up to the left side of the facility.  Her property value has already taken a hit.  If this is built, it will take another hit.  Answer:  NorthPoint started with the house on the North and made an offer.  They stop at the 1st, “No.”

Trevor asked NorthPoint if they were interested in other lands in the future.  No answer.

Teresa Stantmyer, 10021 Lockbourne Eastern Road:  She lives on the corner of Airbase and Lockbourne Eastern Road.  She has a concern about Spot Zoning. She asked the board to seek legal counsel to clarify problems with spot zoning.

Tom Camden 10145 Lockbourne Eastern Road:  He has issues with water drainage.  How will we live that close to an industrial park?  He reminded the Board that zoning is for the protection of residents.  In the future, he could be 1 of 3 houses in the middle of an Industrial Park.  He was told by Rickenbacker a few years ago not to worry.  Development would take time and he wouldn’t be there when it occurred.  It is the future, things change, they are here.  New projects will be coming.  This isn’t the last.

Rosann Ward, 10384 and 10354 Lockbourne Eastern Road:  She expressed concerns with water drainage.  She doesn’t want excess water in the fields.  She doesn’t want to look at warehouses.  How much dust will be generated?  She has a concern with the retention ponds.

Jules Henson, 4607 Airbase Road:  He stated that this area has a water issue.  We have a serious water problem.  The water table in this area is high.  A 1 million square ft building is about 25 acres.  Where will the water go?  The ponds will be full before it rains because of the high water table.

Darryl Buckler, 10472 Ashville Pike:  He stated no one made an offer on his house.  There will be a retention pond next to the trailer park.  How will you keep kids safe?  He asked them to make a reasonable offer on his property which would be fair market value.  He wants to be treated like the homeowners were on the other side of the road.

Nancy Taylor, SR 762 East:  Traffic is already difficult.  It is hard to get out onto Ashville Pike now.  With additional traffic, it will be worse.  Could they get soundproof windows?  Can there be privacy built around the property like a concrete wall or vegetation.  She is concerned with safety.  Is there going to be a bus line?  Will people be hanging around?  Could they buy out additional properties for another access road?  Will the water remain safe?  Answer:  Nobody has beard anything about COTA bringing a bus line.  They would have to come back for a specific plan for more access.  The water should remain safe to drink.  As for the present, no fences are in the plans.  They do plan for mounding and vegetation.

Trent Carr 10560 Lockbourne Eastern:  Trent is concerned about property values.  He is also concerned about the road and the traffic.

Board Discussion:

This land is in the Flexible Use Plan.

We will lose control if we don’t have everything covered.

We don’t have a traffic study.

NorthPoint interjected that someone in the state will be in control of things like traffic, pollution, lights, noise, etc.  The traffic and storm water studies will be coming.

This will create jobs.  It could create 500 – 1,000 jobs.

The land is not in the JEDD.  The JEDD says they need to be rezoned before being admitted into the JEDD.

Water is an issue.  The water tables are very high.  This is a huge issue.

Board to NorthPoint:  Can you guarantee that your tenants will follow guidelines with noise, codes, lights, etc.  NorthPoint answered, “Yes”

The Intermodal has made this area very appealing.  Business is and will continue to be interested in this area.  The current residents have concerns and need to live here.

Trevor made a motion to get more facts before making a decision.  Kelly asked, “will the facts make a difference with your vote?’  Board members all said, “No.” 

There is a lot of land for lease in the JEDD that is not in a residential setting.

Ronde called for a vote on whether to accept the application for rezoning.  This was 2nd by Lisa.  Voting results and reason for voting to accept or not to accept.

Kelly            Not to accept

Ronde          Not to accept

Trevor         Not to accept

Matt            Not to accept

Lisa             Not to accept.

Kelly:  Property is not in JEDD.  Residents are opposed; too many concerns     about          property and rezoning.

Ronde:  Pickaway County should be farmland.  There is empty land in the JEDD.  It is a residential area and we don’t know what could be there.  I need to protect my neighbors.

Trevor:  Concerned about control of water.  There is other land that could be used.

Matt:  There is too much available land.  There are empty warehouses.  Use these before building in residential areas.

Lisa:  Neighbors are against it.  There will be a loss of property values.  There are water issues.

The recommendation of the Harrison Township Zoning Commission to the Harrison Township Trustees is:  The Zoning Commission is NOT making a recommendation to rezone these 122.687 acres in Harrison Township. The Commission recommends that this land remain Agriculture/Residential.

Ronde moved to adjourn.  Lisa 2nd.  Meeting adjourned at 10:30pm.

Next meeting is our regular, stated meeting, Monday, April 11, 2016 at 8:00pm.

Debi Hulse

Harrison Township Zoning Commission

Secretary