[ back ]
Council wants to implement higher design standards for condos
To discourage developers from building more apartments in Reynoldsburg, the city council will implement higher design standards for condominiums, Councilman Mel Clemens said at the Nov. 2 meeting.
"We have a large supply of apartments in the city of Reynoldsburg that need repair," Clemens said. "We also have a large number of condo units that are being rented and leased."
The higher design standards would make the units more expensive to build, therefore the homes would be too pricey to rent, Clemens said.
"A lot of people moved to the condos to retire in a community with a homeowners association," Clemens said.
Instead the condo owners find themselves surrounded by renters, Clemens said.
The council cannot by law ban the developers from converting their units to apartments, Clemens said.
Council President William Hills said that the developers convinced the courts that they would "go broke" without converting their condos to apartments.
Building Industry Association (BIA) of Central Ohio Executive Director Jim Hilz said that the developers want to sell their condos, but the economy forces them to lease the units instead.
"Ideally, the developers want to sell them, turn the community association over to the buyers, and move on," Hilz said.
Originally the council considered placing a moratorium on the construction of apartments and condos, but developers could challenge the ban in court, Hills said.
The higher design standards would include limiting the number of units to four per acre, retaining 30-percent green space, and using 75-percent traditional materials such as brick, stone and stucco, Clemens said.
The new standards would not affect currently unfinished developments unless they change their site plans, Clemens said.
"But one day we will annex into Etna Township as Reynoldsburg moves east," Clemens said. "I want something on the books to protect what's going to happen."
Hilz said the BIA has concerns that the new standards are too high, especially the 75-percent traditional materials requirement.
"We want to work with Reynoldsburg and maybe see a middle ground," Hilz said.
In other business, Augustin Munyemana asked council for a special exception use permit that would allow him to operate a U-Haul business near Main Street.
Munyemana plans to operate the U-Haul business behind the Marathon gas station he owns at 6748 E. Main St.
Clemens said he had a problem allowing rental truck storage along a street that the city spent $15 million to beautify.
If approved, the permit would allow Munyemana to park three trucks and two trailers behind the gas station.
Clemens said if customers could park trucks in front of the gas station it would become a code enforcement issue.
"I guarantee that I would call the zoning officer every time I saw a U-Haul sitting out front," Clemens said. "I don't want to see them."
Munyemana said he would instruct his customers to return the trucks to the back of the business during the U-Haul's hours of 9 a.m. and 12 a.m.
It is possible that a customer from out of town would return a truck to the Main Street business after hours by leaving a key in the drop box, Munyemana said.
However, that possibility is unlikely because the national U-Haul company would inform customers that the Reynoldsburg location was closed and that the Whitehall location is open, Munyemana said.
Yet, if despite the warning, a customer did return a vehicle after hours and parked the truck in view of Main Street, the gas station remains open from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., Munyemana said.
The gas station employees would move the truck behind the store, Munyemana said.
If the U-Haul was left during the four hours that the gas station remained closed, then the truck would not be moved until employees returned to open the station at 5 a.m., Munyemana said.
"It would be a problem for us to have the trucks in front of our store," Munyemana said. "We need parking places for our customers and employees."
Clemens said the council would review the business within three months to ensure compliance.
[ back ]