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Twinsburg voters face two rezonings to residential this fall

by Andrew Schunk | Editor Published: October 19, 2016 12:00 AM
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Twinsburg -- This fall, the city will once again ask voters to approve the rezoning of about 20 acres at the northeast corner of Glenwood and Darrow roads to R-5, a single-family cluster district designation.

City Council voted unanimously in July to place Issues 24 and 25 on the Nov. 8 ballot. Voters said 'no' to the two proposals March 15 by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin in each case.

While city officials say the land is not contributing anything to the city as-is (the land is currently zoned public facility use, planned unit development and commercial), residents who opposed the rezonings in March thought there could be an increased burden on the school district with an influx of students; and that the rezonings were directly related to construction of a new club house at Gleneagles Golf Club.

"I think the residents need to know that ... the city envisions an upscale town home complex that could add to the overall look with the other residential homes currently in the area," Mayor Ted Yates said. "We want to provide an attractive community for people who are wishing to downsize."

City officials had discussed using money from the sale of the two contiguous parcels (at between $1 million and $1.6 million total) toward construction of the new club house, which could cost up to $6 million.

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While extra revenue always assists any city project, building the club house was never contingent upon the rezonings passing, Yates said. The rezonings should be passed for the sake of a growing demographic in the city, he said.

"One of our largest growing populations is those 65 and older. More residence options for this group has been a consistent request," Yates said. "We don't want to do anything that will be unattractive or in conflict with any of the areas near there."

Yates said the city could fund the club house through a multi-year bond program.

"With or without the club house, the land is contributing nothing to the city," Planning and Development Director Larry Finch has said. "The Planning Commission looked at it before making a recommendation. They determined that [R-5] is the best use."

About 19 acres of the two parcels are zoned public facility use and planned unit development, and less than an acre is zoned commercial.

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The land is surrounded by residential areas near Gleneagles Golf Club, with a small commercial area within walking distance.

As a new residential neighborhood, the land would provide increased property tax revenue to the school district.

City officials say they were surprised at the opposition in the March vote that suggested more housing would overtax the city's schools.

But two reports commissioned independently by the city and the Twinsburg City School District said just the opposite. New enrollment is expected to remain flat while the new neighborhood is developed, if voters approve the new zoning.

The school district's forecast and the city's forecast indicate there will not be an influx of school-age children coming to the district, according to Finch.

Yates has said the land could provide housing that will attract empty nesters and older adults.

The city bought the properties about 20 years ago to keep them from being developed as retail, and the city wants the land rezoned so it is more attractive to developers.

There are no other issues or candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot for the city of Twinsburg.

As for the golf course clubhouse idea, the city could bid the project out as early as November, under initial plans that call for a split-level, 19,000-square-foot facility that features a new pro shop; banquet center area; a restaurant and bar; kitchen; locker room area; lobby with a fireplace; and a large patio.

Email: aschunk@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9424

Twitter: @twinsburgohio


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