City Seeks to Rezone Property It Owns

City of Pickerington officials are considering rezoning property that the city owns at 8185 Pickerington Road for a planned residential and commercial mixed-use development. Photo by Toby Scofield

February 14, 2023
By Rachel Scofield

At its meeting on February 14 (7:30 p.m. in the Pickerington City Hall Council Chambers), the Pickerington Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss rezoning city-owned property off Pickerington Road to allow for a mixed-use development.

The commission is comprised of officials appointed by the Pickerington City Council to research and discuss issues related to property rights. In rezoning cases, the commission members research each request then vote whether to recommend proposed changes to council. 

The property in question is located at 8185 Pickerington Road near where it intersects Busey Road.

The Wetherells sold the farm to the Roshons.

Many locals refer to the nearly 214-acre property as the Wetherell Farm because for the majority of the twentieth century, it was the home of the Wetherell family and their dairy. See Looking Back at the Wetherell Dairy

On April 1, 1988, the Wetherells sold their farm to the Roshon family.

The Roshons sold the farm to the city and the city agreed to sell the buildable residential lots to Braun Holding LLC.

In 2018, the Roshons had still not found a company to develop the land into residential lots, so they offered the land for sale to the city.

Doing business as “Pickerington Holding LLC” the Roshons sold the property to Pickerington for $3,300,000 plus an “assignment price” of $467,000.  City Manager Greg Butcher said that assignment price “allowed the city to purchase the property.”

Pickerington then entered an agreement to sell the buildable residential units on the property to “Braun Holding LLC” for $8,000 per developed lot. The number of lots will be determined by the final development plan.  Then, the lots would transfer to Braun, Butcher said.

The purchase agreement stipulated that the city would annex the property, then rezone it for a planned residential and commercial mixed-use development.

Ordinance 2018-33 stated that it would be in the city’s “best interest to obtain the property to provide for industrial, commercial, distribution and research facilities for the purpose of creating or preserving jobs and employment opportunities.”

The ordinance further states that the development would benefit the local economy and provide housing.

Pickerington annexed the property.

Pickerington could not directly annex the Wetherell farm because the land did not originally border the city. By law, for a parcel of land to be annexed, it must share five percent or more of its property line with the municipality to which it is being added.

The pond located at the corner of Pickerington and Busey Roads are part of the property. Photo by Toby Scofield

In 2018, the Pickerington city limits ended about a quarter of a mile north of the property.

Per the Fairfield County Auditor’s website, on August 15, 2019, Pickerington annexed nearly 13 acres at 8349 Busey Road which extended the city limits to a 280-foot strip adjacent to the Wetherell farm.

On June 9, 2019, the city annexed the first 14 acres of the Wetherell farm, then on February 6, 2021, Pickerington annexed the remainder.

The city discusses rezoning the property.

“When 8185 was in the unincorporated part of Violet Township it was zoned R1 which is Single Family Residential (moderate density),” Councilman Brian Wisniewski said. “This zoning allows for residential as well as the following commercial properties with conditional use permits: churches and cemeteries, community halls and buildings, governmental buildings, hospitals, health clinics, nursing, and retirement homes, assisted living, etc.”

It also allows for schools, colleges, universities, museums, public recreation buildings, etc.  

“At the time the city purchased this property, it was in the process of being acquired by a residential developer,” Wisniewski said. “It was going to be 100% residential with it being a planned residential district with a higher density than city zoning. Had the city not purchased this at the time it is likely this property would already be built out with single-family homes.”

No final decisions have been made yet regarding this property.

The bridge on Busey Road over Sycamore Creek borders the property to the North. Photo by Heath Scofield

“I suspect there will be several more discussions between staff members, staff and elected officials, legal, and P&Z members before anything is finalized regarding this property,” Wisniewski said. “I still have questions I want to get answers to regarding this property.”

The 2024 construction of a new interchange at Pickerington Road and State Route 33 will drive development to this part of the township and further down 33.

“Development is coming,” Wisniewski said. “Canal Winchester and Violet Township have approved the construction of warehouses on Basil Western headed towards Pickerington Road. There is no reason to believe this development will not continue to proceed towards Pickerington Road, especially with the interchange being constructed.”