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Richfield Council advances development projects

3/16/2017 - West Side Leader
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By Scott Kriska

Richfield Village is closer to finalizing two significant development agreements after a number of actions taken by Village Council March 7.

Council advanced agreements with Petros Development Group Ltd. and Group Management Services (GMS).

The agreement with Petros would develop the Ashton Village subdivision, which would create new residential properties on West Streetsboro Road across from the village government offices. Council passed an ordinance authorizing the agreement with Petros.

The Ashton Village development requires rezoning the proposed development area. Council heard third readings of two proposed zoning changes, one which would rezone only the Petros property, while the other would rezone adjoining properties as well.

Zoning and Planning Director Brian Frantz discussed the two resolutions to rezone the property. The Petros property would need to be rezoned on the north side of West Streetsboro Road between Humphrey Road and Robin Hill Lane from R-2 (Single-Family Residential) to R-3 (Cluster Residential District). Lots in R2 must be 2 acres for those not tapped into the water and sanitary sewer systems or 1 acre for those that are. Lots in R3 may be a half-acre or more, he said.

Frantz discussed nearby properties that could also be rezoned to R3 along with the Petros property. Rezoning a larger area is more in keeping with good zoning practices, he said.

In addition, Frantz noted that seven of the properties he is proposing be rezoned are currently below the minimum lot sizes but are legal nonconforming uses. The proposal includes properties on Robin Hill Lane to the west of the Petros property, but not the properties on Humphrey Road to the east where the owners object to the zoning change, he said.

Public hearings regarding the properties took place March 14 during a special Council meeting.

Regarding the other major development project, GMS is planning to purchase and develop 8 vacant acres with a 40,000-square-foot building to relocate and expand its operations in Timberlake Business Park. Council passed an ordinance authorizing the mayor and finance director to enter into a job creation income tax incentive grant agreement with the company.

Council also passed an ordinance declaring the GMS development to be a public purpose to make the project eligible for tax increment financing.

In other business, Council:

  • approved an ordinance declaring the Knopp House structure to be surplus property no longer needed for public use and authorizing the village to sell it. According to village officials, potential buyers have expressed interest in buying the house and moving it elsewhere in or near the historic district;
  • approved a motion to confirm the variance granted to Ohio Hardwood Furniture to construct a 14,000-square-foot building on the property of the former Parshall veterinary clinic as part of the company’s move to the village;
  • heard a third reading of an ordinance that would vacate the unimproved right-of-way known as Laddie Road; and
  • discussed at length the possibility of borrowing up to $4 million from Huntington Bank to fund capital projects. Council instructed Finance Director Sandy Turk to provide updated information on proposed projects and costs, including the costs of pushing needed projects to subsequent years.

The next regular Richfield Village Council meeting will be March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.

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