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Published: Thursday, 5/25/2006

Reaction mixed on landscaping of industrial area

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

If a Northwood developer follows through on the site-plan revisions and changes recently approved by the city's planning commission, several Rossford residents said they'd be OK with it, while others aren't sure it's the right move.

The revisions call for an eight-foot fence to be built atop a six-foot buffering mound to shield a handful of residents living on Jennison Drive in Rossford's Arbor Hills from a heavy industrial area in Northwood that abuts their backyards.

"By putting up the mound and a fence, I believe that will help along with planting some trees along both sides of that fence," said Ahmad Saleh, 916 Jennison.

There are three buildings in the industrial area off Fairfield Drive, and developer Hugh Moore of Moore Acquisition and Development Inc. has told city officials he would like to build two more on the remaining eight acres.

The Rossford residents said they've been having issues with the warehouse 72 feet from the backyards of several of them who live on the north side of Jennison. Though they're aware the nearby property is zoned for heavy industrial use, a handful have been going back and forth between Rossford and Northwood city council meetings to vocalize a host of problems with noise and the insufficient buffering, and cite the problems as the source for a decline in their property value.

Some have said trucks wake them up in the mornings and others complained that the five-foot dirt mound that exists between their backyards and the park is insufficient buffering and also may be on an easement owned by Toledo Edison that may have to be dug up in the future.

Northwood Mayor Mark Stoner said he discussed the concerns with Mr. Moore, who recently submitted a revised site plan to the city's plan commission addressing the issues and several violations the city identified, including vehicles parking in areas not approved for parking and Dumpsters with no screening.

After discussing the matter for about 90 minutes, the seven-member Northwood Planning Commission recently approved the site plan's changes with a 5-1 vote. Member Craig Kohring voted against the measure and member Tom Foor was absent.

The revisions stipulate that a higher mound be built 10 feet farther from the residents' properties with low, easy-maintenance ground cover on the residents' side. An eight-foot stockade-style fence will be built atop the mound, and six-foot pine trees staggered every 25 feet on both sides of the fence.

Not all residents were happy to hear of the decision, including Patricia Hummer, who has lived at 918 Jennison for almost nine years.

She said the mound seems too high and she's concerned aboutthe type of fence that is slated to be built. "The six-foot mound sounds a little overkill, and on a windy day, we'll see if that little fence will stay."

But others, including Mr. Saleh, said they think the decision was an amicable one.

"If they stick to that decision, this probably - to the best of my knowledge - will make the neighborhood a little bit at ease," Mr. Saleh said. "If they really follow up on that, it will make things a lot easier."



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