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Trustees continue hearing on Broadview rezoning request

3/14/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

The Richfield Township Board of Trustees held a public hearing on a request to rezone a corner of Broadview and Boston roads before the March 7 meeting, and the hearing will continue March 21.

Sam Petros and Neil Brennan applied in November 2012 to rezone the property on the southeast corner of that intersection from R-1 (Rural Residential) to C-1 (Local Commercial).

Before the owners and opposing residents debated the issue, Zoning Inspector Laurie Pinney said the township Zoning Commission and Summit County Planning Commission had recommended trustees deny the request.

Petros explained he and Brennan have struggled to find a viable use for the property since they bought it in 1996.

After an attempt to use the property as a nursery found little success, the owners made a similar rezoning request in 1998. The trustees turned down the request, leading to a court battle.

“We lost the lawsuit because we couldn’t prove that we had sewer and water,” Petros said. “Now we have that.

“I’m a homebuilder, he added. “If I could use it for residential, I would. I’m asking for a rezoning for an economically viable use for the property.”

Broadview Road resident Kelly Clark asked trustees to deny the rezoning request.

“That intersection is extremely dangerous,” she said. “There are three or four good accidents there a year.’

Kate Sivak, of Boston Road, also asked the trustees to deny the rezoning.

“If you wanted a commercial building, you should have bought a commercial building,” she told the property owners.

She also said she didn’t want to see a “strip mall” in that part of Richfield, but Petros said he and his partner want to see a drugstore on the property.

“We need a drugstore in that area,” he said. “It would create 60 jobs; a drugstore wants that space; and the building would fit the rural character of Richfield. It’s a natural commercial corner.”

Trustee David Wyatt said he “wasn’t keen on spot zoning” and wanted to make sure the township followed its comprehensive plan, which its officials worked on for several years.

The public hearing took place the morning of March 7, so the trustees scheduled another hearing for March 21 at 6:30 p.m. for those who were unable to attend in the morning. Like the March 7 hearing, it will take place at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road, but it will take place in the mayor’s chambers, not the Council chambers.

In other news:

  • Fire Chief Jason Mihalek said his department hired Geoffrey Kouzas and Christopher Null as part-time fire medics.
    Mihalek also mentioned a resident was able to escape a fire in his home recently because he had a working smoke detector.
  • Police Chief Keith Morgan said his department is preparing for Safety Town, which will take place at Hillcrest Elementary School during the week of June 17. He also said his department recently hired part-time officers Stephanie Thomas and Stephen Vari.
    Morgan also followed up on the trustees’ recent discussion of the rules about hunting in the township.
    “As long as you have written permission from the homeowner and are 300 feet away from a residence, you are able to hunt,” he said. “That’s what some people like about living in a township. For others, that’s one of the drawbacks.”

The next Richfield trustees’ meeting will take place March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.

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