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Arshot's good neighbor agreement still under way
In June, the Southwest Area Commission voted in favor of Arshot Investment Corp.’s plans to redevelop the land at the Cooper Stadium site and turn it into a state of the art automotive research and technology center with a half-mile oval track. They cited economic development as their primary reason for approval, but noted the developers’ willingness to enter into a good neighbor agreement was a key factor as well.
In the months since the approval, the developers and the commission have been working together to draft a good neighbor agreement, but the commission recently found out they cannot legally enter into one.
“There are a number of drafts on the table, and we’re still drafting amongst ourselves, but we have to make sure that it’s enforceable, that is has teeth,” said commissioner Stefanie Coe at the Oct. 20 meeting. “The agreement doesn’t help if it doesn’t have teeth.”
The solution they found was to establish a civic association, which they hope to do by the Nov. 17 meeting. The commission said the civic association would be able to hold the developers liable if they do not live up to their promises within the good neighbor agreement, something an area commission can not do.
According to Coe, some of the highlights within the preliminary good neighbor drafts include noise enforcement, local residents being given first priority for jobs, a community fund for educational needs, and working with Green Lawn Cemetery so the events taking place at Cooper Park do not interfere with funerals.
Since they are still drafting the agreement, Coe said the commission welcomes any ideas residents may have. They requested residents contact them at www.columbusswac.org to send in their suggestions.
Residents speak out
The commission also got feedback regarding the proposed Cooper Park Complex during the meeting.
Lynne Merrill, owner of the nearby Canonby Court Apartments said she sees only positives with the redevelopment, and Roy Seabrook said it would decrease the crime in the currently vacant land.
Carol Andreae, a member of the Green Lawn Cemetery board of trustees, said she does not believe the two 30-35 feet sound barriers the developers said they would place around the half-mile oval track for noise suppression would work as they have “not been tested in reality,” and would greatly disturb the cemetery and residents living nearby.
Arshot attorney George McCue said they would continue working closely with impacted neighbors and neighborhoods regarding the project.
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