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Grener Property Rezoning

Posted July 9, 2020 in City Council by Mary Smith

Do You Have Questions About the Grener Property Rezoning?

City Staff and City Council have received inquiries about the rezoning of the Grener property.

The four most frequently ask questions are:

The land being considered, commonly referred to as “Grener”, is located at the East side of Cosgray Road, north side of Heritage Rail Trail and west side of Leppert Road.  It is approximately 104 acres and is City-owned. 

What Does the Rezoning Allow For?

This rezoning (Ordinance 20-18) would add “data centers” as an additional permitted use on the site, providing the City the ability to market the land for this use.  Along with the rezoning is an overlay plan that any data center owner/developer would need to comply with in order to develop on the site.  This overlay plan includes requirements for the architecture (building facades), buffering of the site to screen any buildings from the adjacent streets, landscaping standards,  along with building and pavement setbacks.  All of these requirements place the City in a position to proactively set the development standards in place that would best serve our community and adjacent residents.  It allows us to say what we want the building to look like, how far it must be set back from the road and what level of landscape screening we will require.  

What are Next Step and Opportunities for Public Input?

As mentioned above, the rezoning currently before Council is a first step and only allows for a data center as a permitted use.  If the City would be successful in finding a data center prospect, several additional public meetings would be required before the sale and development of land could occur.  These are as follows:

  • A Real Estate Agreement with the Hilliard City Schools would be needed for the 20 acres owned by the Schools.
  • This agreement would need to be passed by both the Hilliard City School District Board and Hilliard City Council during a public meeting
  • This ordinance process includes a public hearing at the second reading of the ordinance.
  • If an end user is identified, a real estate agreement must be approved by City Council
  • This ordinance process includes a public hearing at the second reading of the ordinance.
  • If incentives are requested, an agreement must be approved by City Council and Hilliard City School District
  • Agreement must be passed by both the Hilliard City School District Board and Hilliard City Council during a public meeting
  • An end user is required to submit a final development plan to the Hilliard Planning & Zoning Commission
  • For this process public notices are sent to neighbors
  • A public hearing of the Commission is held for questions and comments

How Do I Learn More?

We encourage you to consider the following ways to become more educated about this legislation:

  • Read through the documents that were provided to Council. Those can be found here.
  • Listen in to the meeting. It begins at 7:00 p.m. on July 13 and is live streamed on Facebook. “Like” the City’s Facebook page and it will even give you an alert when the meeting is live. 
  • Ask questions and engage. Even with the limitations currently in place because of COVID-19, there are a few ways to do this. While we can’t be together in the same room having dialogue, we have tried to provide the next best alternatives.
  • Prior to the meetingThe public may email public@hilliardohio.gov. Comments and questions will be provided to City Council in advance and included in the formal minutes of the meeting.
  • In person: The public may ask questions and comment in person at City Hall during the public comments portion of the agenda and during second readings of ordinances. To participate in person, please be at City Hall by 7 p.m. and sign in at the front lobby. Speakers will be called into Council Chambers one person at a time during public participation. Speakers must wear a mask while in City Hall.
  • Facebook: We will stream the Council meeting live on Facebook. Those wishing to ask questions relevant to items on the agenda must provide their name and address, just as they would at in-person meetings. Relevant questions will be asked at the appropriate time during the agenda. Comments will not be read during the meeting, but they will be included in the formal minutes of the meeting.

This was purchased for needed parkland/athletic fields, so why would the City want to sell it for another use?

This land was purchased by the City in 2014 with the intent to develop it as athletic fields. In 2018, cost estimates for the needed infrastructure to develop the site as a soccer park were presented to Council showing preliminary costs of $20.5 million and total costs of approximately $38 million.  A significant portion of these costs related to the utilities and roadway needed to serve the site.  With an understanding of these costs, it became evident that the City would not financially be able to develop the site as originally intended. 

City Council understands the on-going community need for additional athletic fields.  With this goal still in mind, Council will have on their agenda for the July 13 Council Meeting legislation committing 75% of the net sale proceeds of Grener (if and when that land is sold) toward parkland development.  You can find this legislation (Ordinance 20-20) here .