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Monday, July 28, 2014
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Published: Monday, 6/30/2014

Bedford Twp. panel OKs unit rezoning

17-acre parcel near Sterns Rd., Lewis Ave.

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

TEMPERANCE — A 17-acre parcel north of Sterns Road and west of Lewis Avenue is poised for development as high-end residential rental units after the Bedford Township Planning Commission recommended approval of the necessary zoning change.

The developer, Richard Batt, told the panel last week that his complex would have 118 single-story units, ranging in size from 1,100 to 1,400 square feet, with rents starting at $1,200 per month. With six to seven units per acre, it would be considered a low-density development, he added.

He described the units as “an empty nester product.” Each unit would have two bedrooms, two baths, and an eat-in kitchen.

He said his firm, Redwood Acquisition LLC, had similar developments in Oregon and Monclova Township.

Most of the units would have a two-car garage. No street parking would be allowed, he said, and there would be an on-site manager.

Mr. Batt said the average age of his tenants is 58.

They tend not to travel at peak hours, and are “less of a burden on the schools,” he explained.

George Oravecz, the developer’s engineer, told the planning board, “We don’‍t build projects. We build neighborhoods.”

Mr. Batt said his project represented an investment in excess of $10 million and that he would like to break ground in late fall or early spring.

Nobody spoke against the proposed project at the public hearing.

One nearby resident, Judy Golliber of Indian Road, said her home backed up to the project site. After meeting with the developer, she said, she was “very much in favor” of it.

Planning commission member Paul Pirrone, who is a township trustee, said, “I live very close to this, and I’m excited it’s going in.”

The vote was 6-0 in favor of the requested zoning change, which would give the property an RM-2 classification for multiple family residential.

The rezoning would comport with the township’s master plan. The rezoning request next goes to the Monroe County Planning Commission for a recommendation. The final decision rests with the township board.

The subject property is part of a larger 43-acre parcel, owned by Whitman Ford, which was involved in a legal battle over rezoning.

The dispute ended up in Monroe County Circuit Court more than three years ago.

The court nullified a voter referendum that had overruled a township board action changing the zoning classification.

The board turned down a later rezoning request to C-3 general commercial for the site of the former Ford dealership after hearing residents’‍ concerns that it would be the location of a Walmart.

Contact Carl Ryan at: carlryan@theblade.com or 419-724-6095.



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