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Published: Wednesday, 4/12/2006

Seniors' condos depend on zoning change


Senior citizens in Pemberville soon may have a condominium development built just for them if village council approves a zoning change.

Developers from The Woda Group LLC of Columbus would like to build 24 housing units for seniors age 55 and older to rent on the south side of Perry Street, which is a dead end, said Tom Simons, vice president of acquisitions.

But to do so, council will have to rezone 3.12 acres of undeveloped farm land from agricultural zoning to R-3 multifamily residential zoning.

If approved, Mr. Simons said it would cost $400 to $650 a month to rent the housing units that would measure between 1,000 and 1,400 square feet in the proposed Marigold Park.

"It would free up a lot of single-family homes in the community for families," Councilman David Miesmer said.

Mr. Simons said each condo would be a one-story unit, stick-built with one or two bedrooms, full amenities, and an attached garage.

"Pemberville is just a wonderful community," Mr. Simons said. "It's got everything that seniors and retiring seniors would want as far as pharmacies, groceries, and churches."

The village's plan commission considered the zoning change yesterday, and council will hold the required public hearing on the zoning change at 7 p.m. on Tuesday before the regular council meeting at 7:30.

Early last month, council passed a resolution supporting the proposed Marigold Park development by a 4-2 vote. Councilmen Eric Campbell and Mark Mullholand were opposed.

While he said he was not opposed to development, Mr. Campbell said he's heard concerns from residents regarding more condos in the village and the fact that agricultural land is shrinking.

"I support wise, smart growth," he said. "We have areas in the village that could be developed that are not being approached, and there have been a lot of concerns voiced over condos. A lot of people are mentioning that we should change the name of the town to 'Condoville.'‚óŹ"

Vickie Knauss, 45, of 420 Perry St. said her biggest concerns over the development that may be built diagonally to her home were the increased traffic and loss of the country feel.

"The appeal was, we were in town, but yet not," she said. She's lived in the home for about three years. "The dead end street was an appeal because there's not a lot of traffic. My concern is there's going to be a lot of traffic back here."

If the land had to be developed, she said she'd rather see a few single-family homes instead of a development of condominiums.

"I would rather have them do that than have 25 families living back here," she said. "[If not] we would end up losing our appeal for what we bought the house for in the first place."

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