GERMAN VILLAGE, Ohio (WCMH) — Plans to develop the Giant Eagle site in Schumacher Place, a stone’s throw from German Village, will now move to the next step.
The Columbus South Side Area Commission passed 9-2 a motion in a meeting on December 1 to move The Pizzuti Companies’ plans to a special meeting of the full area commission on December 8, at 6:30 p.m, on Zoom.
They also passed a request for a variance on parking from 428 spaces to 263, and a variance the on minimum building line from 25 feet to 0 feet.
The commission heard testimony from residents, three for, and three against the proposal, as well as from: The Pizzuti Companies, and residents’ groups in German Village, Schumacher Place, and Merion Village.
Some people from the neighborhood associations, particularly the residents of its next door neighbor German Village, have vociferously protested the development. Residents have put up signs showing their disapproval of the plans. These depict a massive white building that is very different from The Pizzuti Company’s official renderings of the project.
Curtis Davis, Zoning Chair for Area Commission, said that commissioners have been attacked during this process. “The folks that have attacked me, that have attacked commissioners, that’s not acceptable,” he said in the Zoom meeting during closing remarks.
“I’m disappointed in folks who have attacked and misled and done multiple things that are not ethical,” he said in the meeting.
Initial plans from The Pizzuti Companies asked for 330 units, which was reduced to 279 units and then again to 263 units. These will come with 263 parking stalls, creating a 1:1 ratio of residential to parking.
On Jaeger Street, 17 spaces will be added, with a 50-feet queue lane added along Whittier Street to Grant Avenue. The Pizzuti representative at the meeting, Jon Riewald, said the new plans reduce density by 20 per cent and show that they’ve responded to height concerns.
Brenda Gischel, of the Schumacher Place Civic Association board, said the group supports responsible development but had concerns over density, height, and parking. When the group took a vote of 405 residents, 390 voted against rezoning, and 15 voted for it, she said in the meeting.
“Schumacher Place asks the zoning committee to vote ‘no’ and support our vote against the rezone,” Gischel said in the Zoom meeting, explaining that the group supports a height of 35 feet, not 60 feet. Change in height would directly effect neighbors on Kossuth and Ebner streets.
“Many of them have invested time and money in landscaping their yards, and this will affect the sun exposure for the residents’ properties,” she said.
Gischel said they would support a reduced height, and a smaller structure that was respectful of the neighborhood.