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Published: Wednesday, 4/6/2005

Sylvania: Controversy remains over Little Road site rezoning

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A revised plan for a residential development on Little Road just east of Centennial Road calls for a significant reduction in housing density, but its closeness to a quarrying operation is keeping controversy alive.

An attempt at a zoning change for the property last year resulted in public hearings in Sylvania Township crowded with nearby residents complaining about the proposed density of the development - which began at 160 units and was reduced to 116 units.

Arguments against that proposal also came from members of the Sylvania Board of Education and City Council. Township trustees unanimously voted against the zoning change.

The new application submitted to the Lucas County Planning Commission calls for the creation of 49 lots, most of them on two cul-de-sacs running south from Little.

Although the density of the project has been reduced significantly, one of the primary reasons the Lucas County Planning Commission staff recommended against approval, remains.

The property abuts more than 50 acres of land owned by Hanson Aggregates Midwest, a quarrying operation, said John Nagy, a commission planner.

While the company has said it has no immediate plans to use the property, he said company officials would not rule out quarrying in the future with the possibility of blasting at the site.

The property is zoned for heavy

industrial use.

Planning commission staff has not recommended a decision on the new request yet, but noted that the same conditions exist now that earlier led to a recommendation against the zoning change, Mr. Nagy said.

George Oravecz is the consulting engineer for the developers, but was unavailable for comment

At prior hearings, Mr. Oravecz said that heavy industrial is no longer an appropriate use for the land, because nearby property has been developed for residential use.

He had argued that the original plan had been an appropriate zoning step toward the commercial property that faces Centennial.

The property abuts Sylvania on the east and officials said at the last round of hearings that they would annex the property if development requires the use of city water.

Barbara Sears, president of council, said the city's position is unchanged.

The property is in the city's water district, she said, and the city has a long-standing practice of requiring annexation for its water customers.

She added that such an annexation could be a step toward the annexation of the commercial property on Centennial.

The Lucas County Planning Commission is scheduled to hear the matter April 27.



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