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City Council held a public hearing during its April 23 meeting for the rezoning of four parcels on Carter Drive. All of the parcels are currently zoned General Commercial; three are located on the north side of the street and one is on the south side behind East of Chicago Pizza.
Mayor Tom O’Leary explained the owner of those vacant parcels is interested in building apartment units there and the zoning must be changed to Residential Multi Family in order for the project to move forward. The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended the rezoning.
Grant Giltz, the property owner, added that the land has been on the market for over 10 years and he has not found a buyer. His company is now looking to add to Galion’s housing stock. If the project moves forward, they would construct two apartment buildings containing a total of 36 apartments, both one and two bedroom. The estimated cost is $4.3 million.
“It’s a great location. You can live, eat, work and play,” Giltz said.
Three neighboring property owners commented during the hearing. A summary of the discussion is below.
Q: Will the apartments allow government-subsidized rent?
A: No. Rent will be approximately $800 per month for a one bedroom. The target market is healthcare employees, teachers, young professionals, and retirees.
Q: Is there a demand for high-end apartments in this price range?
A: Many Galion area employees live outside of the community because they cannot find housing to meet their needs.
Q: What type of buffer will there be for the neighboring properties to the north?
A: There will be a 25-foot setback from the northern property line that Giltz intends to keep as open grass. A garage will be built immediately south of the setback, running east to west, in order to help block car headlights.
During legislation, council unanimously passed Ord. 2019-27 as a final reading to approve the rezoning. This is the first step to make the apartment project possible. In May, council will consider a tax abatement for the project through the Community Reinvestment Area program.
Council also authorized bidding for the 2019 paving program as well as the traffic signal project at the State Route 598/Brandt Road intersection.
Regarding the latter, O’Leary commented it is the most urgently requested public improvement in the community.
Several state purchasing contracts and bid authorizations were also approved. State purchasing will be used for additional playground equipment in Heise Park and bids will go out for associated concrete work. State purchasing will also be used for prefabricated restrooms in Heise Park and on the Depot campus.
Ord. 2019-25 appropriated $350,000 to the Capital Outlay fund. Councilman Bill Comerford explained this is the first payment from the sale of the South Street Commerce Center. The building was recently purchased by Mosier Industrial Services for a total of $1,008,000.