Tag Archives: Hoover Reservoir

Why did southern Delaware County grow so fast?

newspaperA local newspaper reporter called me this morning to discuss the housing growth that has occurred in southern Delaware County this decade. I’m usually nervous about talking with the media for fear of being mis-quoted. I hope he doesn’t do that.

After our conversation was over, I thought more about why the growth has occurred into southern Delaware County. I think there are several events that occurred that set the stage for it.

  • I-270 made it easy to go from one suburb to another. Businesses (jobs) built up around the various interchanges. Suburbs located inside 270 were land-locked with limited room to expand further housing.
  • Suburbs, like Dublin or Powell close to the freeway, had room to expand their borders. They also had easy access to the freeway with major roads such as Rt 315, Sawmill Rd and Rt 33 already in place.
  • Lewis Center’s growth was impacted when Banc One (now Chase) built the huge employment center and the nearby Polaris Mall was added, both outside of I-270. Old State Rd provided access to that employment so many housing subdivisions were built off of that road.
  • Golf Courses have played an important part to the housing growth as well. Dublin already had Jack Nicklaus’ huge Muirfield Village but then Arnie’s Tartan Fields was built north of Muirfield. Powell began with Wedgewood, then added Scioto Reserve and Kinsale (Golf Village). Shamrock and Safari are nearby, but they are not lined with homes the way the other courses are.
  • The southwest part of the county contains both the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. I’m not a geologist but it seems there is more variance to the terrain between the rivers, providing more opportunity for the wooded, ravine lots that many home buyers like.
  • The southeast part of the county has the big water reservoirs with Alum Creek and Hoover. Both offer boating opportunities, albeit they have different motor restrictions.
  • Dublin and Powell already had groceries and retail, but those types of commercial buildings have expanded to keep pace with the housing. Dublin added Perimeter Mall and Powell added the shopping at Powell Rd and Sawmill Pkwy.
  • Some of the northern most housing developments in the Lewis Center area were several miles from groceries, gas stations, and fast-food eateries, but with the recent addition of some new stores along Rt 23 at Lewis Center Rd, that is changing.
  • Columbus State Community college recently opened along Rt 23 and Ohio Health is at a certain stage of providing convenient health care for the area.
  • More growth along Rt 23 between Powell Rd and Cheshire Rd was on the drawing board but it has been put on hold due to the economic downturn.
  • Southern Delaware County is primarily served with four school districts: Dublin, Olentangy, Westerville and Big Walnut. Olentangy covers the largest geographical part of the southern part of the county.

Like thousands of others, I’ve found the county to be a great place to live and work. If you would like to join us, give me a call and we’ll go house shopping.

A magnificent garden … recession or not!

Have you planted your salad garden yet this spring? I noticed my neighbors added a small garden box a few weeks ago and were adding the plants over the weekend. I suspect more such gardens were created this year as people try to be more frugal AND to have better tasting veggies. Vine ripened tomatoes and peppers simply have so much more flavor. Now if you’re REALLY into gardening, you can build a large deer-proof enclosure if your deed restrictions allow, as this home has. This garden was designed by a landscape architect.

It contains raised beds for easier tending to the plants. Some boxes have covers that can be closed to protect early plants from late frosts that might damage them. That’s fresh spinach eagerly growing in the sunshine. The walkways between the beds provide mud-free paths. April 26,09 005 The unique home that is connected to this magnificent garden also has a special plant preparation room complete with concrete floor and a sink for easy clean-up. Pretty cool, isn’t it! April 26,09 003 There is also another room that provides a cool place to store the produce, such as potatoes and onions, for the winter.

Water fun in southern Delaware County

Today I had to traverse from one side of southern Delaware County to the other … something I do frequently. Since I wasn’t under a specific time limit, I took some time to take photos (see below) around the three main areas for boaters. It was a rather warm day in the high 80’s, so being next to water seemed like a good thing to do.

I first had to be up near Hoover Reservoir which extends from the east side of Westerville northward to the west side of Galena and beyond. I stopped at the southern part where the dam spillway is to snap photos. There were LOTS of Canadian geese there resting close to a picnic shelter. Given the “mess” they make, actually having a picnic there certainly wouldn’t be very appealing. There were also quite a few seagulls and brown ducks as well.

Northward on Sunbury Rd where it crosses over the reservoir, I stopped at another boat launch site to take some photos of the backside of some homes across the water. A couple of the homes have installed the huge rocks along their water frontage to prevent erosion. Others haven’t, and the erosion is obvious. There are many waterfront homes along Hoover. Because of a specific agreement with the City of Columbus, the water level can’t be raised as high as originally planned because the city would be responsible for taking the owner’s land away. (That’s why there are no waterfront homes along Alum Creek – they learned a lesson!)

Then my errands took me westward on Big Walnut Rd, so I took a brief side trip up Africa Rd to a boat launch on Alum Creek Reservoir. Not many people there, in spite of the warm day. However, it is a weekday, so most would be working. Or perhaps, the gas costs have curtailed some of the time spent on the water.

Back down Africa Rd to Lewis Center Rd which goes past the bottom of the Alum Creek Dam then northward along the west side of the reservoir. On this side of the lake, there are campgrounds, a beach, and a couple boat launches. One of them is for the sailing club. There’s something inherently peaceful about a sail boat, even though they were moored.

Also, on this side of the Reservoir is the Dog Park. Of course, I HAD to stop here. It was the busiest place … but it WAS a great day for the dogs to enjoy a swim. I wasn’t dressed appropriate to go inside the beach fence and potentially be subjected to “shake-baths”, so I stood outside the area. All I saw was large dogs, but then I heard a familiar sounding bark & snappy growl and knew there had to be a doxie somewhere. Sure enough, there was a short-hair … letting the big guys know who was REALLY the tough guy on the beach. I later learned his name was Scooter.

Continuing on with my errands near Powell, I went to the boat launch at O’Shaunessy on the Scioto River, which is just south of Home Rd off of Riverside Dr. Again, only a couple boaters in the water. As I was walking back to the WEENR-mobile, I noticed a bunch of carpenter bees were taking advantage of some flowering weeds to gather nectar. Better they spend their time here, than boring holes in nearby homes.

Since I seldom get any time off from real estate, I really enjoy the opportunity for these side jaunts to reconnect with nature and for a brief period of time forget about all the details of the real estate business. I need that once in a while to recharge the batteries.

Birding temporarily replaces real estate business

I took advantage of today’s sunny day to take exterior photos of the new listing near Hoover Reservoir that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. It’s a heavily wooded, ravine lot and the owner’s have many bird feeders around the 3 acres.

To get a good shot of the back of the home, I had to go to the other side of the ravine in order to get the entire home in the camera’s frame. (It’s a big home). I had prepared for this by wearing layers of winter clothing and my boots to navigate the snow.

As I was standing in the midst of the brambles, I heard quite a bit of chatter from all the birds overhead. Then there was silence! At that point I saw a small falcon swooping around the ravine, frightening all the song birds.

I tried to capture a photo, but the falcon flew too fast. As I watched it fly, I noticed in a nearby thicket, were 6 male Cardinals. I’ve not seen so many Cardinals in such a small space. They were gorgeous! I had to use the zoom setting to avoid frightening them away, so the photo isn’t as clear as I would like.

Copyrighted Cardinals

Hoover Reservoir is a great attraction for birds … and people, too!

I had an appointment on the east side of Hoover Reservoir recently, near the intersection of Sunbury Rd and Red Bank Rd. Just south of this intersection is an inlet area called the Twin Bridges launch ramp. Although the day was chilly and brisk, I decided to stop and snap a couple photos.

Copyrighted Twin Bridges launch ramp at Hoover Reservoir

The homes that are all along this huge reservoir are fairly pricey since waterfront property isn’t very plentiful in central Ohio. The homes on this east side of Hoover can be quite expensive (over $1 million),  elaborate and luxurious. Much of the terrain near the water is heavily wooded, ravined and quite private, whereas the homes on the west side of the reservoir have open flat lots.

Hoover is known to have a wide variety of birds and waterfowl. Near the area of this photo is Mud Hen Marsh, west on Big Walnut Rd. It’s an area of wetlands where you might see warblers, herons, ducks, woodpeckers and occasionally Bald Eagles.

Along the Twin Bridges area, there is a wide selection of ducks, plus, several Turkey Vulture roosts. A lot of Canadian geese were in the water when I was there.

If you look carefully in the left-center of the photo, you’ll notice that there seems to be an inlet going in between the ravines. Next week I’ll be listing a home that’s just past the end of this inlet. The home has a small stream at the bottom of its ravine that flows to this inlet. It’s quite a scenic area.

Hoover Reservoir also offers fishing but is probably best known for the sail boats. Speedboats aren’t allowed as motors can be no larger than 6hp. It’s very peaceful and serene watching the sailboats quietly float on the water with the pretty terrain of the east of the reservoir in the distance.

If you think this would be an area you would enjoy living in, be sure to check next week for the awesome home that I’ll be listing and posting here for you to see. It’s unbelievable! .