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Published: 4/15/2005

Mobile home residents pan rezoning plan

Four years after a failed effort to rezone an Alexis Road mobile home park for a retail development, the owner is again seeking to uproot residents.

Shamrock of Toledo Holdings LLC is seeking approval to eliminate 23 occupied mobile home lots - those closest to Alexis - and build a self-storage business.

Yesterday, the Toledo Plan Commission deferred a vote on the site plan review for 30 days after residents showed up to object to Shamrock's $1,500-a-family relocation offer.

George Oravecz, engineer for the project, said the purpose of the 30-day delay is to find out from city traffic engineers whether a proposed entrance on Alexis would be approved.

He said the $1,500 offer to those residents who move out before July 15 is "a more than generous offer" given the economics of the development.

Several residents said they have lived in the mobile home park for years, and said their homes are too old to be moved.

Toby Fay of Advocates for Basic Legal Equality argued that the plan commission could deny the application if it didn't believe the relocation assistance was adequate.

But the plan commission's attorney, Gary Taylor, said that only land-use factors could be considered.

Jennifer Spradlin, a resident of the park for eight years, said she'll probably move to an apartment. "My trailer is from 1968. There's no way to move it," she said. She said the $1,500 is not enough compensation.

In 2001, Benchmark Group, of Amherst, N.Y., gave up its effort to rezone the mobile home park at 1324 West Alexis across from the GM Powertrain plant.

The rear portion of the park, which has about 70 occupied and vacant lots, is not affected.

William Smith, a resident of the rear portion, said his concern was to maintain access from Alexis. "It's a good community. Folks in the back really take care of their yards," he said.

Also yesterday, the plan commission agreed to rezone the property of Raceway Park, 5700 Telegraph Rd., from industrial to commercial to make it conform with its use.

Raceway Park attorney Jerome Parker said a planned sale of the park to a new owner was held up because the track is a grandfathered use in an industrially zoned area.

The plan commission recommended approving the rezoning on the condition that any new use must be submitted to the plan commission for review.

Argosy Gaming Co. of Alton, Ill., agreed to buy the harness-racing track in October for $20 million. Argosy's primary business is gambling casinos.

The plan commission also recommended approval of:

●Permits for construction of new Burroughs Elementary and McTigue Middle schools.

●Institutional campus rezoning for Toledo Hospital's proposed $200 million reconstruction project, set to begin about July 1.

●Rezoning a triangular parcel bounded by Cherry Street, Canton Avenue, and Beacon Street for a homeless transitional facility with 13 units.

The applications next go to Toledo City Council's zoning and planning committee.



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