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Published: 2/14/2006

Rossford council nixes development plan

Rossford City Council last night rejected an ordinance to approve a final development plan and parcel zone change for a housing development that pitted area residents against a developer who sought to build a condominium and row-house estate just off Lime City Road.

In a 6-1 vote, council rejected last month's recommendation from the city's Municipal Planning Commission to approve a development plan and zone change of the $9 million "Providence of Rossford" Project by the developers Rowhouse Environment LLC of Toledo.

Councilman Ken Hermes was the lone vote seeking to approve the changes that would have allowed construction of a housing estate on 6.7 acres just south of Marilyn Road and across the street from All Saints School.

The proposed subdivision would have been made up of 58 units - 32 row houses and 26 two-story condominiums - that would have cost between $125,000 and $175,000.

The developers needed council to approve a zoning change from R-1C low density single-family residential housing to planned-unit development.

But more than 50 residents filled council chambers, and council did not ignore the community outcry. Resident after resident complained that if the housing project were allowed, it inevitably would hinder children's safety in the area, increase traffic, and cause water and sewer problems in the area.

"We don't want to see this," said Ron Bonnie, a longtime Rossford resident.

His sentiment was the consensus as other residents complained about crowding and the change in traffic patterns that the development would cause.

"Has anyone considered that there will be nine [motorist] entrances along Lime City, Marilyn, and Schreier roads?" Wendy Jakubec asked.

But the residents who applauded the council vote with extended clapping were not the only ones with concerns about the proposed project.

Councilman Leonard Michaels asked about the changes that the developer might make once the plan was approved, and Councilman Caroline Eckel wondered how the planned development would affect the area's water pressure levels.

The developers Mark and Alan Nowakowski gave a presentation at last night's meeting during which they outlined their vision of the housing development as a spacious estate with sprawling green lawns and well-kept housing units with opens spaces for community entertainment.

They also answered questions about traffic concerns, noting that traffic along Lime City and Marilyn would increase by about five percent.

"We have done everything by the book. We have answered questions, gone back and hired experts to study the area, and we know that there is tremendous opportunity for the city of Rossford to open itself up for future development," Mark Nowakowski said.

He was less optimistic after council's vote.

"At this point, we have no idea what we're going to do with that property," he said. "We have to go back to the drawing board."

Even though he voted against the proposal, Councilman Greg Marquette urged the developers not to give up their business interests in the city.

"I hope you don't have a bad taste for Rossford, and I hope you guys come back," he said.



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