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Published: Thursday, 9/4/2003

Zoning request is scaled down

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Vin Devers auto dealership has agreed to withdraw its request to rezone to commercial 2 acres on Skelly Road across from its business on Monroe Street, if the Sylvania City Council lets it use the property to store vehicles.

The storage is needed in conjunction with the proposed expansion of Devers' business, which will include a new showroom on Monroe Street on the property of the former Rentner Lumber Co.

Although the special-use permit needed for the use of the land would keep it zoned residential, it could only be used for that purpose if Devers left the site.

The proposal did little to mollify neighbors from the Corey Meadow subdivision in Sylvania Township south of the planned expansion.

Homeowners complained to a council committee that changing the use of the now-undeveloped property on Skelly would cause problems with drainage, increased traffic, and lower property values.

The vacant lumberyard is already zoned for commercial use.

Most residents have no complaints about the site, which is becoming weathered and dilapidated, becoming a dealership for luxury cars.

Their complaint is with rezoning the acreage to the west that runs to Skelly behind other Monroe Street businesses.

Dick Moses, a Sylvania Township trustee, said the property owners should be given some time to study the request for a special-use permit which, he said, they first learned of before the committee's meeting early last month.

He said the city and township have made progress in working together recently, and that he fears this conflict could become, “a backward step from our sense of community.''

Barbara Sears, chairman of the city's zoning and annexation committee, noted that the City Council could have approved the recommendation of the zoning commission to change the property to commercial, but instead, is concerned that the township neighborhood's interests be considered.

Dealership representatives responded to some complaints of potential noise by saying there would be silent paging of employees, although there would probably be some audible paging necessary for customers during business hours.

Directional overhead lights will be installed to reduce illumination in the neighborhood and there will be no overnight deliveries of autos, council members were told.

One of the most repeated concerns is what neighbors say will be car-haulers driving into the area and customers taking demonstration rides on Corey Meadows streets.

Mr. Moses said homeowners have suggested the possibility of making Skelly one-way onto Monroe Street to stop trucks and customers from entering the subdivision or blocking off Skelly where it enters the neighborhood.

He said that blocking off the street might pose a problem for emergency vehicles, although a nearby fire station would have almost equal access to the neighborhood from Whiteford Road, rather than coming off Monroe Street.

A committee hearing is scheduled later this month, after which a recommendation likely will be forwarded to the Sylvania City Council's committee-of-the-whole.

A final decision will be made by the City Council.



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