COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Safety concerns, traffic problems, and just plain ugliness.
Those are the top reasons people living on and near McNaughten Road continue to push back against a proposed apartment development on the far east side.
Those residents voiced their concerns during an at-times very heated meeting Tuesday night with Far East commissioners.
“There has not been a proper risk assessment for this development,” said one woman.
“Nobody is out there seeing what we have to deal with on a daily basis,” said another resident.
A developer wants to put in a complex including 216 apartments on McNaughten Road, bringing in a nearly $20 million investment to this Far East neighborhood.
McNaughten Road is the same street where 11-year-old Elizabeth Robertson-Rutland was hit by two cars and killed while walking to her bus stop last month.
A traffic danger families said will only get worse if the development is built.
“Our biggest concern is safety,” said resident Teresa Wasserstrom. “McNaughten Road is already a very stressed and dangerous thoroughfare.”
Attorney Mike Shannon, who represents the developer, said they’ve already done a traffic study and have taken their plans to Columbus City Council multiple times.
“We have passed muster with all of them,” Shannon said.
He said the project would also bring much-needed sidewalks to the area, and they are working with experts to help with other concerns.
“I am not going to disagree with a sanitation engineer or a traffic engineer or a stormwater engineer,” Shannon said. “You have to have specialists in all these areas.”
Some residents remain unconvinced and hope Columbus City Council takes into account traffic and safety before changing where they call home.
“We are hoping the city does a comprehensive study of what is needed,” said resident Mark Herman.
The development commission is scheduled to meet on Nov. 14.
If it approves the development, the project will then go to Columbus City Council for approval.