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Published: Wednesday, 7/27/2005

Monclova Township: Business center plans advance

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Plans are moving forward on the proposed Eclat Commerce and Business Center, which would create a development in Monclova Township with condominiums, retail stores, office buildings, and industrial firms.

Township trustees are tentatively scheduled to vote Aug. 15 on zoning changes to allow the southern part of the 120-acre development. The trustees rezoned land north of U.S. 20A and east of Strayer Road to accommodate the office building section of the business park.

The other portion of the Eclat center, located around Strayer on the south side of U.S. 20A, is slated to include several types of development that require zoning changes.

Plans call for a commercial center along U.S. 20A with a grocery store and other types of shops, such as a bookstore and gift shop. South of the stores would be an area for light industrial development, offices, or warehouses. The western edge of the property is marked for condominiums.

"Residents are supportive of the project provided that the condominiums are built," said Walter Celley, attorney for the township. "They want the condominiums as a buffer."

About 40 residents attended a trustee meeting last week to review plans for the Eclat business center. Many of them live in the Deer Valley subdivision, located immediately west of the Eclat condominiums site. The site would have 15 buildings, each containing four condominiums and private garages, for a total of 60 living units.

"They will be built primarily to cater to people over 55 years of age," said George Oravecz, consulting engineer for the project.

The trustees delayed voting on the zoning change requests last week because of concerns about how the changes might affect litigation involving the joint economic development zone formed by the township, Maumee, and Toledo.

The three entities are appealing a recent Lucas County Common Pleas Court ruling that dissolved the development zone. The zone, which allows the entities to share taxes, includes part of the proposed Eclat development.

"I'm going to talk to Maumee and Toledo and try to come to a consensus that rezoning some of the acreage to residential will not be detrimental to the ongoing litigation," Mr. Celley said.

If the township approves the zoning changes, the Eclat site plans can go to the Lucas County Plan Commission for approval.

Mr. Oravecz said in addition to the site plans, developers are working on creating a tax-increment financing agreement, or TIF, for the Eclat project. A TIF uses revenue from a special taxing district to pay for public works associated with new development. An agreement would help finance improvements to the site, which will likely include widening part of U.S. 20A to seven lanes and extending Jerome Road and widening it to four or five lanes.

"These road systems are far greater than those that would usually be required for a business park, because they are arterial roads for the area," Mr. Oravecz said.

Before reviewing the Eclat plans, the trustees are scheduled to consider a site plan for another proposed development on Aug. 8. The 30-acre residential development, which is called Hidden Hollow, would be east of the Waterside subdivision, might include both single-family homes and condominiums.



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