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Council OKs South Arlington Road rezoning

12/12/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Councilmen France, Colopy receive praise for years of service

GREEN — Despite Green City Council’s past opposition to plans for a particular property on South Arlington Road, members agreed to at least no longer oppose a zoning change for the land in question to keep the matter from advancing in court.

An extensive discussion was held during the Dec. 10 Planning, Community and Economic Development Committee meeting regarding litigation brought forth by Redwood Management and property owners Josephine Murdocco and Jeffrey and Julie Davis.

At the regular meeting, which followed the committee meeting, Council unanimously agreed to accept a consent agreement to rezone 12.36 acres located on the west side of South Arlington Road, north of Boettler Road, from R-1 (Single-Family Residential) to R-2 (Multi-Family Residential).

Councilman Gerard Neugebauer (at large) explained Council, at the Nov. 27, 2012, meeting, did not approve an ordinance to change the zoning classification of the land.

The rezoning would have opened the door for the construction of Phase II of the Emerald Ridge subdivision, located on land next door to the proposed site, city officials said.

Redwood Management representatives told Council last year the company planned to construct 16 buildings, containing 81 units of ranch-style homes with two bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage at the site.

At the time, Council members Neugebauer and Jim Colopy (Ward 1) voted in favor of the zoning change, while Dave France (Ward 2), Joel Reed (at large), Ken Knodel (Ward 3) and John Summerville (Ward 4) voted against it. Councilman Chris Humphrey (at large) was absent from the meeting.

Neugebauer said the city’s current long-range plan does identify the land in question as a suitable site for multi-family homes.

Law Director Steve Pruneski explained the opposition believes Council denied the zoning change because it was tied to a concept plan they did not like. They are arguing Council relied on the wrong criteria when considering the rezoning, he said.

The approved agreement OKs the rezoning, but Redwood must begin the site plan process again with the city Planning Department, Planning and Zoning Commission and Council, Pruneski said.

Also during the Dec. 10 meeting, Council honored Colopy for 10 years of service on Council and France (Ward 2) for 16 years on Council. This was the last regular meeting for Colopy and France, as their terms expire Dec. 31, and they both reached their term limits. Colopy, a 1999 Green High School graduate, began on Council in 2004, and France, a 1970 Green High School graduate, began on Council in 1993, after serving more than two decades as a volunteer firefighter for the community, city officials confirmed.

Mayor Dick Norton praised the two men for their strong decision-making and dedication to strengthening the city.

France gave accolades to the employees of the city and said he is thankful to have been part of keeping Green prosperous.

At the regular meeting, Council additionally:

• approved the 2014 annual operating budget, totaling about $34.6 million, with a six-month reserve fund carryover;

  • agreed to request the Ohio Department of Transportation declare a reasonable and safe speed limit for Mount Pleasant Street between Frank and Pittsburgh avenues (Mayfair Road) to be 45 mph, as opposed to the current 55 mph speed limit;
  • amended the codified ordinances to adopt the most recent edition of the Ohio Fire Code as the applicable fire code in the city;
  • approved applying for Federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) or Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Funds programmed by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) to improve or construct several projects within the city;
  • approved establishing a street lighting district for Kings Ridge, Phase IV Subdivision, at the expense of the developer and future residents.
  • agreed to continue to hold legislation that would vacate the unnamed, unimproved right-of-way known as Tim Drive, which abuts Berna Road, so the matter can continued to be worked out in court;
  • heard the second reading of an ordinance changing the zoning classification of property containing approximately 61.24 acres of land located at 1745 Koons Road from PD-1 (Planned Development) back to R-1 (Single-Family Residential). A public hearing on the matter is set for Jan. 14 at about 7:05 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Central Administration Building (CAB), 1755 Town Park Blvd.;
  • heard the second reading of legislation to amend the table of allowed uses contained in the Land Development Code concerning automotive like uses in an Industrial area. A public hearing on the issue is set for Jan. 14 at about 7:05 p.m. at the CAB; and
  • introduced legislation requiring taxicabs and transportation services operating in the city to conspicuously post their fare rates;

In other city business, France announced Council will have several appointments to make in 2014. He said there will be one opening on the Design Review Board and two appointments on the Historic Preservation Commission. Those interested should contact Council Clerk Molly Kapeluck to learn more about the requirements for the openings. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 18.

Norton announced residents will see an increase in their trash collection bills from Kimble Co. in 2014. He explained customers will pay $10.96 a month for unlimited trash and recycling collection, up from the 2013 rate of $10.24.

Council will meet Jan. 2 at 5:30 p.m. for its organizational meeting and Jan. 14 for its regular meeting, starting with committee meetings at 5 p.m. and the Council meeting at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the CAB.

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