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Copley trustees update zoning map

8/15/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Copley Township is nearing the end of a nearly four-year process of updating its zoning book, according to township officials at the Board of Trustees’ Aug. 7 meeting.

The rewrite is 99 percent complete, according to Planning Director Matt Springer.

During that meeting, trustees held public hearings on six proposed changes to the zoning book, after which they approved all of the amendments.

The major rewrite is done, although trustees may continue to see some minor updates in the near future, according to Springer.

With one exception, the changes approved at the meeting were housekeeping items, according to Springer.

The major change was to update the township’s zoning map to reflect already implemented text portions of the zoning code.

Several redundant zoning districts were consolidated, said Springer.

C-3 and C-4 districts were combined into a C-GR (Commercial General Retail) district, and I-1 and I-2 districts were put together into an I (Industrial) district.

Also, a new overlay district will be reflected on the updated map, the Copley Circle Mixed-Use Compact Development District.

That district consists of 65 parcels, of which 52 are classified as Commercial General Retail, 11 as Industrial and two as Commercial Office Retail, said Springer.

In total, there were 25 nonconforming uses located in the district, he added.

Each of the properties will retain their underlying zoning uses, said Springer, but will also have a live-work component allowed in addition.

“That’s really what spurred this,” he said. “By creating this district, they are no longer considered nonconforming uses,” he said.

Other zoning changes approved included:

  • adding a definition of Architectural Review Board (ARB) and clarifying the definition of common drive;
  • revising a section on accessory buildings in the Industrial District to provide for accessory uses;
  • allowing expansion of legal nonconforming structures of 10 percent or less of the structure’s square footage;
  • authorizing the ARB to conduct site plan reviews; and
  • authorizing the ARB to approve or deny tree preservation plans.

In other business at the meeting, the board approved:

√ a renewal of an agreement with Lydia Wochna, an independent contractor providing fire prevention and safety instruction;

√ a resolution to have the Summit County engineer perform a drainage study to determine the hydraulic adequacy of the culvert pipe under Lethbridge Drive during heavy rain events;

√ two purchase orders, pending documentation, to D’Attoma Concrete and Excavating Inc. to repair trench drains at the fire station and for catch basin repairs on various township roads; and

√ a change order for the Service Department to repair the road base on Wedgewood Drive due to damage from the July 10 rain event.

Also at the meeting, Fairway Park Luxury Apartments’ Regional Property Manager Nancy Merrill and Leasing Manager Chris Smith pressed trustees for answers on what to expect now that the closure of Rothrock Road by Fairlawn has been determined legal.

“We are more than ever concerned about the traffic congestion the proposed Wal-Mart is going to bring to the area,” said Merrill, who asked trustees for a traffic study. She said 308 families live in the community, with the only entrance or exit to it from Rothrock.

“We have just grave concerns that we’re going to be trapped,” she added.

Smith wanted to know what the township is going to do to ensure the safety of children who get on and off the bus at Fairway Park and Rothrock Road and requested a traffic light be installed there.

“Are Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart being built across the street? Is Rothrock Road going to stay closed?” he asked.

Trustees offered a tight-lipped response, since the issue is still in litigation. They have filed an appeal in the 9th District Court of Appeals, they said.

Trustees set a public hearing for Aug. 21 beginning at 6 p.m. for a text change in the zoning resolution regarding fences. The hearing will take place at the beginning of their next regular meeting, held at the Copley Township offices, located at 1540 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

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