2016 Annual Report
The community development department is responsible for administering the City’s building and zoning codes as well as property maintenance code enforcement. The department consists of three full-time staff, which includes a director, a zoning and code compliance officer and a building and development office manager. In addition, there is a part-time special projects coordinator as well as support from the community and information services staff and an inspector in the public works department. The City contracts for building, engineering, electrical and plumbing plan review and inspections with outside agencies. In addition to building permitting, the community development department is also responsible for strategic and long-range planning, economic and business development and general community development projects. It provides staff support to the Planning Commission, Landmarks Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals.
An updated General Development Plan for the Village Section of the Vintage Club of Montgomery was approved by the Planning Commission in May of 2016. The City originally approved the establishment of the Vintage Club Planned Development in 2006 for approximately 15 acres along Montgomery Road north of I-275 to allow the creation of a mixed-use village with residential and commercial uses. The updated General Development Plan is a reflection of months of work by the developer in order to meet the expectations of the City and the residents of the Vintage Club while working with the current market conditions. The final product will be an attractive mixed-use development with retail, office, restaurants and condominiums that will complement the existing homes and The Christ Hospital Health Network medical office building.
On the southern end of the City, work continues on the planning of the Gateway Redevelopment Area (GRA). This mixed-use project will feature a unique blend of an urban-suburban lifestyle and will include professional office, boutique hotel, condominiums and a restaurant row built around a new community green. As part of the project, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) approved and awarded funding for a grant application submitted by the City for an Interchange Modification Project at Montgomery Road and Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway. The project includes construction of a modified two-lane roundabout, the installation of a traffic signal in and around the interchange and would also include demolition of the existing bridge at this location. The project would have a safe and positive impact on traffic while opening up more land for redevelopment. The OKI grant of $6,000,000 represents approximately 70 percent of the total estimated construction cost of $8,600,000 and the project is currently programmed in the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) fiscal year 2020.
Twin Lakes Senior Living Community began work on a building addition to the main campus, 9840 Montgomery Road, in 2016. The addition will include 45 additional independent living apartments and a new club-like dining venue, which will be located adjacent to a new auditorium/community room. A retail component along Montgomery Road will be added as a second phase and could include a restaurant/retail site along the Montgomery Road entrance to the Twin Lakes campus, which was approved by the Planning Commission in December. Twin Lakes is hopeful that construction on the main campus expansion will be completed by fall 2017. A new residential subdivision, Orchard Trail, began construction in 2016. The new 29 lot, single-family, detached subdivision is on the site of the former Montgomery Swim and Tennis Club on Orchard Club Drive. Camden Homes will be developing the site and building the homes. The new subdivision will feature high-end, empty-nester type housing with a pocket park and a walking trail.
There were other positive developments in the City during the year, including the opening of ten new businesses. Construction of a new pre-owned vehicle sales building for Columbia Acura/Hyundai was also completed in 2016. The new building will allow for Columbia Hyundai to begin sales of the new Genesis brand at the store located at 10987 Montgomery Road. Skyward Academy located at the Montgomery Presbyterian Church at 9994 Zig Zag Road will also be expanding their student enrollment from 45 to 60 students. Skyward Academy is a private school designed to address the academic and independent living skills of students on the autism spectrum and/or with other learning issues.
Four commercial building permits for new construction and expansion were issued in 2016; however, two of these building permits were for additions to existing multi-family residential units at Twin Lakes. One new building permit was issued for the construction of the new pre-owned vehicle building for Columbia Acura/Hyundai. The final commercial building permit for new construction was issued for the addition to the Main Campus at Twin Lakes. The total value of improvements for new commercial construction, expansion and additions was significantly higher than in 2015 due in large part to the building addition at Twin Lakes Main Campus. The total value of new commercial, commercial additions and alterations was $31.7 million in 2016 versus $9.7 million in 2015.
The residential sector was busy in 2016 with the building department issuing 34 permits for new homes and 78 permits for residential remodeling/room additions. The total value of residential construction was estimated at $22.4 million. The City issued 24 demolition permits in 2016, which nearly mirrors the number of demolition permits issued in 2015 of 23 permits. A record 30 residential demolition permits were issued in 2014. Since 2001, there have been a total of 233 teardowns in the City.