NORTH ROYALTON – Two housing developments that have stalled in years past are attempting to move forward after presenting tweaked plans to Planning Commission last week.
During the Feb. 6 planning meeting, an early, preliminary, conceptual sketch-plan approval was being sought for the Quarry Park subdivision, a Greg Zillich development consisting of 20 homes proposed between the North Royalton Family YMCA and Lisa Lane off State Road.
In addition, developer Bob Nottrodt was seeking final site plan approval and preliminary plat approval for another phase consisting of 13 homes in the Indian Trails subdivision off Abbey Road at the southern end of Shawnee Circle and Chippewa Path.
Both projects received the approval they were seeking, but not before residents and city officials shared their thoughts on the projects.
Quarry Park has been stalled for many years after the Board of Zoning Appeals denied some of the variances the developer was seeking in 2012 pertaining to front and rear yard setbacks. At the time, plans called for 29 homes and setback variances that reduced the footage in the front, rear and side yards. Residents had concerns then about the number of homes proposed, the overall layout and design, and impact on stormwater, traffic and property values.
Residents’ issues last week mirrored 2012’s despite the number of homes and variances proposed being reduced.
The concept is 20, one-story homes on the western half of the property – a cul-de-sac street – and preserved wetlands on the eastern half. Though concept approval was granted most agree the project needs more work if it is to move forward.
“We just approved a very preliminary sketch plan which initially has addressed a lot of the previous concerns, but there is still much work to be done by the developer,” Council President Larry Antoskiewicz, who chairs the Planning Commission, said after the meeting. “We are always concerned about water when it comes to any development, and we know that area has had some issues, it has wetlands in the back, but the initial sketch plan does meet the code. We need to wait for more finalized drafts of the subdivision before we make any other type of decision.”
Ward 4 Councilman Paul Marnecheck, who expressed concerns about the project seven years ago, spoke up during the latest meeting. Though the project does not lie in his ward, it is just over the outskirts.
“Though this was an introductory design, I still feel he has a long way to go. He needs to come up with concrete answers to these questions, we need specifics. My questions are the same as theirs,” he said, after the meeting. “I need science, and I need data.”
Studies from the Army Corps of Engineers regarding wetlands and the quarry, as well as more in-depth stormwater review will be required at future meetings.
Zillich declined to comment.
Like Quarry Park, plans for another proposed phase of Indian Trails also had a reduction in the number of homes planned to now 13. Again stormwater was one of the main concerns expressed. The project was tabled last year as the Army Corps of Engineers needed to review plans to determine if the land was suitable to build on with identified wetlands in that area. The agency has since signed off on the project.
At that time, the Planning Commission had also asked the developer to lower some of the catch basins in the existing phase that were found to be a foot to 18 inches above grade and so were not adequately draining water. It was determined last week, that work had not been done so planning granted approval contingent on this work being completed by mid-May.
Mayor Bob Stefanik also requested that a meeting be scheduled between existing Indian Trails residents, nearby residents and the developer to discuss issues pertaining to the homeowners’ association and what the developer must do before the association is turned over to the residents. That meeting will be hosted next month.
Plans call for the addition of retention basins, mounding between the new and existing homes and swales to address stormwater concerns, which Antoskiewicz said should improve the stormwater situation for some of the neighbors that abut the development.
Nottrodt said he is willing to work with residents.
“We’re going to try to work with residents to solve some of their water issues and put a two-foot earth mound between Woodridge residents and phase two of Indian trails,” he said.
Planning Commission member Jessica Fenos was the sole no vote citing issue with the catch basins not being rectified as was requested back in May.
“I wasn’t comfortable approving phase two knowing that they hadn’t taken seriously the concerns of the city and those of the property owners in and around phase one,” she said. “In my view, if you want to develop in North Royalton and you don’t take the issue of stormwater seriously, then the development doesn’t belong here.”