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Published: Wednesday, 1/11/2006

Sylvania: Annexation plan filed for acreage on Little Road

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The city of Sylvania has filed an annexation petition to take control of an 11-acre site on Little Road, which was re-zoned in July by Sylvania Township trustees.

Trustees granted the re-zoning for a project that calls for the construction of 40 housing units.

At issue is water.

The nearest supply is controlled by Sylvania. City policy has been that for an area to receive city water, it must be part of the city.

Regardless, trustee Carol Contrada said the annexation action by the city could hurt attempts at cooperation between the two governments.

She cited efforts at forming a land-use plan for the two communities and the ongoing work of a committee consisting of city representatives studying the operation of the township fire department, as recent examples of cooperation.

Although the city talks about cooperation, "Their actions belie their words,'' she said.

She characterized the annexation as unnecessary and a unilateral effort to circumvent community efforts.

A request initiated almost two years ago for a development of about 160 units on the side east of Centennial Road generated opposition from nearby residents, the city and Sylvania schools.

All argued that the density was too great for the area, and residents said they feared investors would buy groupings of the planned condominiums and effectively change the nature of the housing to rental property.

Developers reduced the number of lots to 116, but that attempt was also rejected by township trustees.

The current plan calls for two cul-de-sac roads running south from Little, with the potential of some buildings housing two units.

Mike Ducey, representing the developers, said the market would drive the determination of how many units would stand alone and how many would be in two-dwelling structures.

City officials, even while opposing earlier renditions of the development, had said they would seek to annex the land if construction was approved.

A sticking point which has occurred with the Little Road property and with nearby sites is the lack of available water - with the nearest supply controlled by Sylvania.

Jim Moan, city law director, said the annexation request follows what has been city policy.

"If you want anything from the city you have to be part of the city,'' he said.

The township had tried to determine if it was possible to run water to the site from a Lucas County line on Brint Road. The proposal would have allowed for a line to run north on Centennial Road to the site.

It would also have served frontage along Centennial, which could then be developed as commercial property. Eventually it was determined that the project would be to costly.

If the Little Road site is annexed to the city, it will abut a Centennial site which would satisfy a requirement for the city to annex that property.

Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough said the annexation request is "so we can have access to the commercial property'' on Centennial.

He said he doesn't view the annexation as a detriment to cooperation in other areas with the township.

"We are cooperating and intend to continue,'' he said.

The annexation is consistent with long-held city policy, the mayor added.



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