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Zoning request is withdrawn by Sylvania Twp. trustee candidate

A Sylvania Township trustee candidate has withdrawn his request to rezone property to build a two-story office building, a project that was rejected by planning officials and opposed by some residents.

Jim Schwerkoske, president of JMS Real Estate Industries, wanted to rezone 2.42 acres along McCord Road from rural residential to office research for a 32,000-square-foot office building with a parking lot for 149 vehicles. His company owns and manages about 20 office buildings.

Mr. Schwerkoske withdrew his zoning request during a meeting with township trustees last week. A unanimous vote from the trustees would have been needed to approve the rezoning.

He said his withdrawal had nothing to do with his candidacy.

“It was too much of an intrusion in the neighborhood,” said Mr. Schwerkoske, 42, who has taken out petitions but has not officially filed for the township trustee seat. “The township zoning commission thought it was too big. I'm not one to really force something. That's why the people are on the board to make decision for the community on the whole.”

Mr. Schwerkoske said he plans to scale back the project.

In May, the Lucas County planning commission said the project intruded on adjacent residential property and was contrary to the land use plan for commercial zoning for McCord Road. The commission also said the project would set an “undesirable precedent for additional commercial development to the south.''

Township zoning commission officials rejected the plan in June.

Some people who live in the neighboring 142-unit Carrietowne subdivision opposed the project. But supporters said the development would increase the township's tax base.

“He's trying to take residential and agriculture property and turn it into commercial property,” said Thomas Terrill, president of the Carrietowne Homeowners Association. “Trustees are of the opinion the more tax base the better. But how many people are going to stay here?''

He said residents moved to the subdivision for peace and quiet.

Thomas Zarse, a Carrietowne resident, said Mr. Schwerkoske's development could reduce property values.

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