Update: Housing Authority board votes unanimously to halt controversial apartment project

The board of directors of the Housing Authority of Columbus voted unanimously this morning to withdraw a rezoning request that would allow it to build a controversial apartment complex in north Columbus.

Close to a dozen residents of the area between Moon Road and Maple Ridge crowded into the small board room, forcing the authority to bring in extra chairs – something that rarely happens at authority board meetings.

After a brief executive session, the board opened the floor to the residents and five chose to address the board.

George Corradino, David Woodard, William Murtey, Linda Kennedy and William Cox expressed concerns about increased population in the area, increased crime, noise and the threat to property values the proposed complex might bring.

After the presentations, board vice chairman Trip Tomlinson made a motion to withdraw the rezoning request made last week, while reminding the residents that it is inevitable that eventually, that land will be developed, whether it’s by the authority or by a private developer.

“Something is coming that way. It’s already zoned multi-family,” Tomlinson said. “So a lot of your concerns about something being built along those buffers, whether its by us or someone else, are likely to happen in the future, anyway.”

The board then voted to withdraw the request made last week before Columbus Council.The zoning change would have made possible a 200-unit complex that would operate, at least at first, with no Section 8 subsidized housing. Eventually, Williams said, some subsidized housing might be included.

The complex would have abutted a small neighborhood, Cooper Springs, that is just outside the rear entrance to Maple Ridge. About half the houses on its southern-most street, Cooper Branch Road, would have faced a row of three-story apartment buildings, which would look down into their back yards.