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Opinion

Copley resident questions development plans

1/23/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

On Jan. 8, the Copley Township Board of Zoning Appeals granted Ryan Homes permission to build on mature woodland, which is supposed to be protected under an ordinance requiring 50 percent of the trees to be spared or reforested. Ryan Homes let their original plans for Phase 4 of the Hillside Development expire and did not renew them before this ordinance was put in place. Now they are being allowed to develop and leave only 22 percent of the trees instead of the required 50 percent. I really wonder why Ryan Homes is allowed to sidestep the rules after they were at fault for letting their plans expire?

Most of the residents of Westmont Boulevard, who have lived here for decades, will now have to endure the loss of their beloved woods, not to mention the constant noise of trees being cleared, roads being put in and houses being built right in our backyards.

It is a sad day when supposed rules to protect our dwindling forests are abandoned just for the sake of a few more dollars in property taxes. I don’t think developers will be satisfied until every square foot of Copley Township is built upon, and so far, it looks like they’ll have their way.

Becky Pressley, Copley

 

Editor’s note: According to Copley Planning Director Matt Springer, roads and utilities had already been stubbed in for Phase 4, with that last phase approved in 2008, just before the real estate market collapsed, which caused the developer to put the project on hold. During that time, the township adopted new development standards requiring 50 percent be left wooded in certain residential developments. When Ryan Homes needed to renew its plan, which had expired, the Copley Board of Zoning Appeals granted the variance based on “hardship.” Springer said this was due to the amount of money Ryan Homes had invested in the stubbed roads and utilities already in place for Phase 4.

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