Fate of Fairlington Heights condominium project in the hands of the Upper Arlington City Council
Facing opposition from neighbors, the Upper Arlington City Council is expected to determine the fate of a proposal to build 22 “luxury” condominiums at the corner of Riverside and Fairlington Drives this month.
Council is due to consider a rezoning application for the proposed Fairlington Heights condominium complex at its June 13-27 meetings.
Upper Arlington City Council Speaker Brendan King said the council will not vote on the issue until at least June 27, after three readings and three opportunities for public comment. The first reading was scheduled for June 6.
The Upper Arlington Zoning and Planning Board voted 4-2 on May 18 to authorize the rezoning and allow the project to proceed.
A simple majority vote of council would approve or reject the proposed rezoning.
Currently, three single family homes occupy the 1.92 acre site; the land is zoned R-1b, which allows for single-family residences.
Moment Development founder Ohm Patel requested that the land be rezoned to RCD, a Residential Community Development District so he could build seven two-story units with master bedrooms on the first floor. He also wants to build 15 three-storey townhouses. He said the condos would be marketed at an average price of around $750,000 per unit.
Each unit would have an attached two-vehicle garage, for a total of 44 resident spaces, in addition to 19 on-site guest parking spaces for an overall total of 63 parking spaces.
Many residents who live near the proposed condo site are not in favor of the project. More than 300 people signed a petition asking the BZAP to refuse the rezoning, and 12 residents spoke out against the project at the May 18 meeting.
The petition states that the condo project “would encroach upon and be totally inconsistent with single-family neighborhoods and residences on Donna and Fairlington Drives.”
“I think that’s totally irrelevant,” Donna Drive resident Jack Siebert said. “I think you are really trying to degrade our neighborhood.
“Putting 22 condos where there used to be three houses – I just don’t see why you’re trying to degrade our neighborhood so badly. Please don’t change our neighborhood so drastically.”
Many neighbors said they objected to the proposed 44-foot heights for townhouses and were concerned about building 22 condos — 11.5 per acre — on such a small lot.
They also expressed concerns about how the project could affect traffic on their residential side streets and along an already busy Riverside Drive.
“There are 22 houses between Fairlington and Kioka (Avenue) on Donna Drive,” said Donna Drive resident Matt Britton. “You’re talking about putting 22 houses on (three) lots. It’s not a similar density.”
Patel and Upper Arlington development manager Chad Gibson said the project had been scaled down from the original proposal of 29 condos to 22 and from 2.43 acres to 1.92.
They added that the site would not only have an 8ft fence and tree line to protect it from neighboring homes, but would act as a transitional buffer for future developments in the corridor which would also need to be taller and denser than existing properties. .
“The project has evolved significantly since you saw it last fall,” Gibson said. “Residents were involved and made a significant contribution.
“We think the project is better thanks to their contribution and, of course, that of (BZAP).”
Gibson and Patel said the number of guest parking spaces was increased from 13 to 19 and rooftop balconies were reconfigured on the south sides of the proposed condominiums to improve privacy from surrounding neighbors.
“We changed the orientations of the rooftop terraces,” Patel said. “Now we put it on the first floor or on the south side, so the whole second floor blocks any view to the north.
“We’ve made sure it’s still a convenience for the condo user, but it has no impact on the neighbors,” he said.
BZAP members did not provide comment ahead of their votes on the proposed rezoning. Shannon Tolliver and Kevin Carpenter voted against the rezoning.