Accepting the landscape and architectural plans for the proposed Champion Apartments has been put off until August.
After a heated discussion on the nature of the development, Plain City Planning and Zoning Committee members decided to table accepting the design plans Wednesday evening.
The decision was made to give residents the opportunity to speak directly with Champion representatives regarding their concerns.
“If the residents can have a conversation with Champion and detail some of those issues, we can come back and make the recommendation based on that,” zoning board member and councilman, Darren Lee said. If a compromise can be made between the two parties, their recommendation for acceptance would go to village council.
The planned apartment complex would go in the lot directly west of the Shell gas station along Perry Pike.
Aside from not wanting the apartments to go in at all, chief concern from residents included the buffering zones around the complex and a possible increase in traffic.
Champion designers plan to line the property with spruce and pine trees on the northern, western and southern borders.
“If you only put in 6-foot trees, that’s barely taller than a person,” said village resident Robert Timmons. “I can still see over-top of that.” Timmons lives west of the development site off Perry Pike and said the front of his house would face the complex. He also expressed concerns that the traffic study done on the intersection of Perry Pike and U.S. 42 didn’t take into account how busy the area near Der Dutchman can be.
“That study was done and missed one of the busiest weekends the Dutchman has had,” Timmons said. Representatives from Champion, including those involved in the traffic study, said the formulas used to calculate the rate of traffic followed ODOT standards and took into account an increase in traffic over the next 10 years.
“These are going to be homes. If a business went in there, a store or a restaurant, that would be even more traffic,” said Mayor Darrin Lane. “At least with apartments, there wouldn’t be the constant flow from a business.”
Chavvah Laudon, a resident who also lives on Perry Pike, said she would prefer the apartments not go in at all.
“I live on Perry Pike so, of course, I don’t want the apartments there,” Laudon said. “But I also talked to a lot of other people to see how they felt about it and they’re shocked. Some don’t want them either.”
Mayor Lane said that the village has to take into consideration what’s best for all residents and the decision is made on that basis.
“I hear people that don’t want them but in equal measure, I hear from the same amount of people that do,” Lane said. “Ultimately, the decision is what is best thing to do to help our town and that’s what we plan to do.”
The issues will be addressed and voted on by board members in August. Planning and Zoning meetings are on the first and third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. They are open to the public.