City of Upper Arlington, Ohio

Proposed five-story J. Liu Restaurant & Hilton Home2 Hotel

Updated September 26, 2017

revised jliu

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Appeal Scheduled

On September 15, 2017, Ms. Amanda Hicks filed an appeal of BZAP's decision to approve the Final Development Plan and variances for this proposal.  The appeal will be heard by City Council on November 13, 2017 at 6 PM in Council Chambers.

August BZAP Update

At the August 28, 2017 Board of Zoning & Planning hearing, the Board voted 5-2 to approve the Final Development Plan for this proposal.  The approval includes five variances and six conditions.  Should the public vote to deny the rezoning of this property in November 2018, this approval would become void.

Granted Variances:

1) To Article 5.04(D) to permit an increase in the maximum development coverage from 80 percent to 86 percent; (Previously granted; decreased to 85.7 percent);
2) To Article 5.04(D) to permit an increase in the maximum building height from 48 feet to 73’-3” feet; (Modified and previously granted at 63 feet; plans show 62’-3”);
3) To Article 5.04(D) to permit an increase in the maximum floor area ratio from 0.70 (53,361 SF) to 1.2 (92,800 SF); (Previously granted; variance reduced from 1.3);
4) To Article 5.04(D) to permit a decrease in the minimum number of required parking spaces from 373 to 159 spaces; and (Previously granted; parking increased to 162
spaces); and
5) To Article 6.07(I) to permit a decrease in the minimum interior parking lot greenspace ratio from eight percent to 4.7 percent. (Previously granted at 6.1 percent but variance increased due to revised calculation)

Approval Conditions:

1) That the applicant continues to work with the City Engineer on all related aspects of the project, including the relocation of the sanitary sewer, improvements to stormwater systems, water pressure studies, streetscape enhancements, traffic improvements, etc.;
2) That the applicant submit easement vacation requests for City Council review for the 20-foot wide and 15-foot wide easements in advance of any utility installations;
3) That the applicant continues to work on a final landscape plan with the City Forester and neighbor at 2520 Westmont Boulevard (Dedyo). A fence parallel to Westmont Boulevard is to be installed to connect the existing Dedyo fence to the proposed fence;
4) That the applicant collaborates with the City’s Cultural Arts Manager on the installation of public art along West Lane Avenue;
5) That all properties be combined with the Franklin County Auditor prior to a final zoning inspection; and
6) That if the rezoning of the five Westmont Boulevard properties be denied via referendum, that any development plan and variance approvals will become void.

July BZAP Update

A final development plan application was submitted on June 26, in advance of the July 10 BZAP Work Session and July 24 hearing.  Several revisions have occurred since the Preliminary Development Plan approval, including:

  • Number of stories reduced from six to five;
  • Building height decreased from 73'-3" to 62'-3".  One-level parking garage is 16' tall;
  • Second floor connection added between the hotel and parking garage;
  • A total distance of 73'-5" from the north property line to the one-level garage;
  • Number of hotel rooms has increased from 118 to 123 and number of parking spaces from 159 to 162;
  • Right-turn-in only has been added near the north end of the property in conjunction with other public improvements; and
  • Public improvements include: New Westmont Boulevard streetscape north to Northam Road (new treelawn, street trees, and sidewalks), narrow median island near northern boundary of the development, and mid-block pedestrian crossing island on W. Lane Avenue.

Staff's response letter, dated June 30, includes several other issues- see documents below.

The City received a "notice of intent to file a referendum' on July 6.  Should a referendum effort be successful, any related development plan and variance approvals would become void.

City Council Review of Rezoning Request
The rezoning portion of this application is scheduled for review by City Council on  the following dates:

  • Monday, June 5 Council Conference Session
  • Monday, June 12 City Council Meeting
  • Monday, June 26 City Council Meeting (postponed)
  • Wednesday, July 5 Special City Council Meeting (approved 5-2)

All meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the Council Chamber, 3600 Tremont Road.

May 24 Westmont Boulevard Open House
View the Meeting Presentation
In response to this project and traffic concerns raised by some residents in the surrounding neighborhood, the City’s Engineering Division has reviewed a traffic impact study provided by the developer for the area. Subsequently, with the assistance of consultants from Burgess & Niple, Staff has developed a series of possible public improvements designed to facilitate pedestrian accessibility and improve the aesthetics of the Westmont Boulevard roadway, while also slowing traffic speeds. At the meeting, the City Engineer, Community Development Department and Burgess & Niple representatives were on hand to review and discuss these options. The proposals were subsequently made available online via Open Town Hall from May 25-June 9, allowing for interested residents to share their thoughts.


April 17 Board of Zoning & Planning Update

At the April 17, 2017 Board of Zoning & Planning hearing, the Board voted 5-1 to recommend approval of a rezoning application for City Council's review- likely to occur in June.  The Board also voted 5-1 to recommend approval of a preliminary development plan application with 5 variances and 13 stipulations.  Should the rezoning be approved, the applicant must go back to BZAP in order to obtain final approvals.

Granted Variances:

  • To Article 5.04(D) to permit an increase in the maximum development coverage from 80 percent to 86 percent;
  • To Article 5.04(D) to permit an increase in the maximum building height from 48 feet to 63 feet;
  • To Article 5.04(D) to permit an increase in the maximum floor area ratio from 0.70 (53,361 SF) to 1.3 (98,731 SF);
  • To Article 5.04(D) to permit a decrease in the minimum number of required parking spaces from 373 to 159 spaces; and
  • To Article 6.07(I) to permit a decrease in the minimum interior parking lot greenspace ratio from eight percent to 6.1 percent.

Approval Stipulations:

  • That the building be limited to five stories in height, with an overall height comparable to the 55-foot tall The Lane and Homewood Suites development to the east.  This can be accomplished by relocating the sixth floor hotel rooms to the north side of the building and slightly expanding the building’s footprint toward the north.  The building and parking garage should also to be connected via second floor walkway;
  • That the applicant continues to work with the City Engineer on all utility aspects of the project, including the relocation of the sanitary sewer, improvements to stormwater systems, water pressure studies, etc.;
  • That the applicant continues to work with Staff on the design of a mid-block crossing with a pedestrian refuge island and pedestrian-activated beacon along West Lane Avenue;
  • That the applicant continues to work with Staff on the design of a median, chicane or other traffic calming device installed on Westmont Boulevard, near the northern property line to demarcate the neighborhood and minimalize any potential cut-through traffic;
  • That the northern (second) driveway on Westmont Boulevard be limited to exit-only traffic and be designed to accommodate truck traffic;
  • That a right-turn in only be considered along Westmont Boulevard near the northern end of the site to further limit northbound traffic;
  • That the applicant continues to work on a final landscape plan with the City Forester and neighbor at 2520 Westmont Boulevard (Dedyo).  A fence parallel to Westmont Boulevard is to be installed to connect the existing Dedyo fence to the proposed fence.  Off-site plantings are also recommended;
  • That the applicant collaborates with the City’s Cultural Arts Manager on the installation of public art along West Lane Avenue;
  • That halo-lit signage be utilized on the building and that all signage be designed to not be visible from single-family homes located north of the site;
  • That directional control shields be added to any outdoor lighting fixture located along the periphery of the property;
  • That the future building be eligible for LEED® or similar certification and that the applicant continues to look for ways to reduce impervious coverage and add greenspace to the site (rain gardens, green roofs, etc.);
  • That all properties be combined with the Franklin County Auditor no later than six months after the approval of a final development plan; and
  • That if the rezoning of the property be denied by City Council, that any development plan and variance approvals will become void.

Background
On Monday, March 20, 2017 Shanghi Enterprises LLC submitted a Rezoning application to facilitate the redevelopment of 1640 W. Lane Avenue and five other properties (northeast corner of Lane Avenue & Westmont Boulevard, adjacent to The Lane) to the City's Community Development Department.  The application includes rezoning five residential lots (R-1c, One-Family Residence District) to PMUD (Planned Mixed Use District - Lane Avenue).  The proposed development includes a ground floor J. Liu Restaurant, with five stories of 118 Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel rooms located above.  Surface parking and a one-level parking garage are proposed on the north side of the building, providing 159 on-site parking spaces.  A Preliminary Development Plan, which includes additional details about the proposed building and site plan, was submitted on March 27, 2017.

The Rezoning and Preliminary Development Plan are scheduled for BZAP review at the April 3, 2017 Work Session and formal meeting on April 17, 2017, where a vote could be taken.  Both meetings are held in Council Chamber, 3600 Tremont Road, at 6:30 PM.  Should BZAP issue a recommendation on the Rezoning application, it will then be scheduled for three City Council Readings.  City Council's decision does not go into effect for 30 days.  Should BZAP approve the Preliminary Development Plan application, the applicant will have to go back to BZAP in the future in order to obtain Final Development Plan approval.  Once the Final Development Plan is approved, there is a 21-day appeal period that must lapse before Building Permits could potentially be issued.

Please continue to check this website for project updates as they occur.  If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Planning Division at [email protected] or 614-583-5070.  

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site plan



Date of Record: 2017-09-26