2007-01-13 / News

Bounds Farm plans presented

By Scott Rawdon

B U C K E Y E L A K E - Representatives for a proposed residential development of the 118-acre Bounds Farm property presented their plans to the Buckeye Lake Planning and Zoning Commission and a crowd of curious residents Tuesday night at the Tri-County Rescue and Dive Team building. While the crowd was treated to new information about the development, they also learned they will need to be patient before all their questions are answered.

Commission member Karen Cookston was clear the intent of the meeting was not to make a decision regarding whether to approve the development plans, but rather for the commission to hear the presentation, then decide within 35 days to recommend to the Buckeye Lake Village Council to approve the development plans, to approve them with revisions, or to deny the plans. The council makes the final decision whether to approve the development. Cookston said she wants the community to be "comfortable and excited" about the project.

Attorney Connie Klema, who represents the developer, gave some residents their first look at a layout for the "Residences at Maple Bay," a 144-lot single family development that constitutes roughly half of the entire 118- acre project; the other half is the "Landings at Maple Bay," which features 176 condominiums and water access to Buckeye Lake via man-made canals. Klema said the developer is honoring the community's request that there are no more than 320 residences total on the Bounds Farm property.

Klema said the proposed La n d i n g s a t Ma p l e Ba y condominiums would be developed by Epcon Communities, which also developed The Villages of River Oaks in Heath. The Landings at Maple Bay condominiums are proposed to be Epcon's Nantucket style, $250,000 and higher. There is no developer chosen yet for the Residences at Maple Bay, or is there a price range selected.

Commission member George O'Donnel said he appreciated Klema's professional presentation, but he wanted to be sure that due diligence is given to the project's archeological study. Within the Residences at Maple Bay site may be a solstice structure, placed there by an ancient civilization. If authentic, it uses the angle of the sun to determine the first day of winter.

O'Donnel was clear that he is not against the development, however, he hopes that if there is a solstice structure on the property, the structure would be preserved and not become a driveway. The structure, he said, could make a good feature for the development.

Joel Brown, with the Columbus engineering firmof EMH&T, said the site's archeological survey is on-going. Currently, there is no definitive proof that the suspected solstice structure is authentic, but it will continue to be studied. Denison University professor Michael Mickelson offered to assist the study.

Many of the residents' questions focused upon plans for Picnic Point, which is part of a 2.1 acre waterfront property in the process of being annexed into the Village of Buckeye Lake from Licking Township. The developer proposes to use the land for water access to the canal flowing through the Landings at Maple Bay. Klema said that the Licking County Commissioners approved the annexation, but it will be another 60 days before the annexation goes before the Buckeye Lake Village Council for its approval.

Klema said her presentation to the Buckeye Lake Planning Commission did not include details of Picnic Point because it's not yet officially part of the village, so it can't be considered by the planning commission until it's annexed. She said plans for the Picnic Point area are not complete.

Klema assured that plans for Picnic Point will be presented in more detail once the property is annexed, and public comment will be considered before anything is changed.

Also discussed were the ongoing plans to build a bridge on Hunts Landing Road to span the proposed canal. EMH&T Principal Scott McClintock said his firm is working with the ODNR, Licking County, and other agencies to determine the bridge's design.

It will take seven or eight months to obtain the necessary permits for the proposed Hunts Landing bridge. Mallory Square developer Jim Van Ostran asked that traffic access to Mallory Square is maintained during bridge construction.

With the exception of 100 units within the Landings at Maple Bay, much of the development is on hold until public water is available, presumably from a proposed village operated Buckeye Lake public water system. One hundred condominium units will be serviced by Licking County Water and Wastewater until ten years after Buckeye Lake Village water is available.

Cookston reiterated that she hopes the community is happy with the development. Its plans are available at the Buckeye Lake Village Offices,the Licking County Planning Commission, and they'll be displayed on Cookston's back porch over the weekend.

In other planning commission news, Angel Laughlin replaces commission member Kay Allen, who resigned citing health reasons.

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