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Published: Wednesday, 10/4/2006

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A developer is seeking approval for revised plans for a housing development in Springfield Township, where residents in May rejected a zoning change for a subdivision at the same location.

Charles Grass of Kountryside Land Development Co. Inc. in Whitehouse, has asked for a zoning change that would permit him to develop 49 lots for villa and single-family detached dwellings at 6901 Garden Rd. The zoning change would be from agricultural to suburban residential with a planned unit development.

Earlier this year Springfield Township trustees approved Mr. Grass' request for a zoning change for a subdivision at that location, but opponents, concerned about property values, traffic congestion, and the impact on Springfield schools, were successful in getting the zoning overturned.

Mr. Grass is seeking approval of plans for a different type of housing development, and last week the Lucas County Planning Commission recommended that Mr. Grass' zoning change request be approved.

The proposed Garden Glen development is consistent with the township's land-use plan, and the suburban residential district zoning for the property is comparable to the classification of other properties in that area.

At this point, no organized opposition to Mr. Grass' plans has surfaced, said Don Feller, president of Feller, Finch & Associates in Maumee, who also was involved with Mr. Grass' earlier proposal for the Garden Glen development.

Under the revised plans, Mr. Grass is proposing a development that would be tailored toward active, older adults. Such a development wouldn't exclude children, but it likely would draw "empty nesters," reducing the impact Garden Glen would have on Springfield schools' enrollment.

Such a development would create less traffic too, and traffic would occur at off-peak times, Mr. Feller said.

Garden Glen, under the revised plans, would feature a considerable amount of open space, said Mr. Feller, noting that most of the property adjacent to Carmella Gardens would be open space and a pond, rather than developed lots.

Robert Seger, Springfield Township's zoning inspector, said the Garden Glen plans this time are quite a bit different because a planned unit development is being sought. That means that the township would have more control over the development plan. Under a PUD, a developer would receive approval for a specific plan with a specified number of lots, Mr. Seger said.

The zoning change request will be considered by the township's zoning commission during a public hearing; the zoning commission will make a recommendation to trustees who will conduct a final hearing on the matter, Mr. Seger said.

The zoning matter is scheduled to be heard Oct. 10 by the township zoning commission, but Mr. Feller has asked for a deferral until November because he is unable to attend the October meeting.

If the zoning change is approved, work on the development could begin in late winter with homes under construction in the summer, 2007, Mr. Feller said.

Contact Janet Romaker at:

jromaker@theblade.com

or 419-724-6006.



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