Section of Reserve at River Oaks denied rezoning request

Approval would have added 88 homes to 144-home plan already approved

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- Council on May 7 failed to approve a request to rezone 91.5 acres south of Boston Mills Road that would have allowed 88 more homes to be added to a planned residential development.

Council tied 3-3 on the request, meaning the measure to rezone the commercial land to residential failed. The previously approved 144 homes at the Reserve at River Oaks development will move forward.

Council members voting to rezone the 91.5 acre parcel from commercial to residential were Alex Kelemen, Dennis Hanink and Keith Smith.

Those voting to keep the property commercially zoned were President Hal DeSaussure, David Basil and Dan Williams.

Council member William Wooldredge was absent. He did not respond to messages for a comment by press time.

The request for the additional homes was made by Prestige Homes, developer for the new homes to be built at Reserve at River Oaks between Boston Mills Road and West Streetsboro Street.

The developer has put up soil erosion barriers but has not begun construction on the 144 previously approved homes. The developer plans to build 41 homes with access on West Streetsboro Street and 103 homes with access on Boston Mills Road in the Reserve at River Oaks.

Community Development Director Mark Richardson said Prestige Homes will build a secondary access road on the 91.5 acres as requested by the planning commission, but it would not be as extensive due to the May 7 Council vote preventing the proposed homes from being built around it.

DeSaussure had requested a traffic impact study from the city to show what impact the additional 88 homes on the 91.5 acres would have on traffic in the area. He said there were commercial opportunities for the property, and it did not need to be converted to residential.

"The density and use proposed will have a negative impact on the water, well head protection and wetlands," DeSaussure said. "It's an environmentally sensitive area."

Basil said he wanted to wait for the traffic study results before voting and said the residential development would degrade high quality wetlands.

The traffic study will not be done now, according to Jody Roberts, communications manager.

Williams said he was concerned about the environment.

"The land owner has a right to develop, but commercially is less damaging than residential," Williams said.

Those supporting the zoning change emphasized the legislation was only for rezoning and not about the plans for the development.

"This is not where we give an opinion on what will be built," Smith said. "There will be an impact no matter what is built."

Hanink said the city's Land Development Code was "robust" enough to protect the environment.

"We're not looking at a detailed site plan," Hanink said. "The concern is about the environment impact, but our code will protect it."

Two residents spoke against the rezoning at the May 7 meeting.

Rezoning the area residential would create a section separating commercially zoned properties to the south and to the north, said Robert Drew, who was against rezoning the property.

Resident Curt Van Blarcum focused on the neighboring wetlands and soil conditions and the protection of the city's water wells in his argument against rezoning.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

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