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Developer proposes 42 townhomes on Ohio 82 in Broadview Heights

December 18, 2018

Developer proposes 42 townhomes on Ohio 82 in Broadview Heights

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio – A Kentucky-based home builder with an office in Brecksville wants to build 42 upscale paired townhomes on the north side of Ohio 82, about 2,000 feet west of Broadview Road.

First, however, Drees Homes would need voters to rezone the proposed 16-acre site from a single-family district to the city’s unique Town Center Special Planning District Zone B, which allows townhomes.

The Broadview Heights Planning Commission will consider the rezoning and townhome plan Wednesday night (Dec. 19). Ultimately, City Council will decide whether to place the rezoning on the ballot, possibly in May.

In his rezoning application to the city, Thom Sutcliffe, land acquisition manager with Drees Homes in Brecksville, said the proposed townhome site consists of four parcels now containing two single-family homes. The land, just west of Weeping Cherry Village apartments, is owned by Louis P. Colatuono and Matthew and Ashley Fiala.

The site is just outside the city’s special planning district B, a multiuse zone that allows, among other uses, restaurants, bars, schools, museums, offices, auto-repair shops, retail stores and churches, along with low-, medium- and high-density housing.

Town Center Special Planning District Zone B surrounds Town Center Special Planning District Zone A, which is centered around the 82-Broadview intersection and which allows many of the same uses as zone B.

“I have owned this land for many years and have found that, due to its location adjacent to the current (special planning district B) property and its dynamic topography, no other use is feasible . . .” Colantuono said in a Nov. 21 letter to the city. “I believe (the townhome proposal) is the best use of this property, and that this simple expansion of District B would make a common-sense solution to this challenge.”

The Fialas sent a similar letter, with the exact same wording, to the city.

Sutcliffe didn’t return calls, and Colantuono couldn’t be reached, regarding what they meant by “dynamic topography,” although on his rezoning application, Sutcliffe checked off the descriptors “wooded,” “flat,” “steep and hilly,” “rolling,” “wetland” and “stream or pond.”

“Drees Homes believes that this zoning change will allow these parcels of land to offer the most applicable use of the land possible in its unique location to the city center, as well as becoming an upscale buffer between the city center and the adjacent single-family properties,” Sutcliffe said in his rezoning application.

It’s unknown whether Drees has an option to buy the four parcels, contingent on the rezoning.

During a Dec. 3 meeting of council’s Building Codes & Public Building, GPZ Committee, council members reacted favorably to the proposed rezoning and townhome plan, according to unapproved meeting minutes.

At the meeting, Sutcliffe said he had been talking with Colantuono and the Fialas about developing their land for 18 months. Originally they discussed building single-family homes but the plan changed due to “the dynamics” of the property.

Sutcliffe said the townhomes would overlook a ravine on the property. Almost half the land would remain green space, at least partly due to wetlands. Home prices would start in the $285,000 range.

Kristina Sorensen, the city’s economic development director, said the proposed townhome project is in harmony with the purpose of special planning district B, which is to provide various housing options so that residents living in the district can walk to and patronize businesses in the town center.

City Engineer Gary Yelenosky said the site is “challenging” but added that Drees Homes has designed homes and subdivisions well in the past, thus he believed the developer would do the same this time.

Sutcliffe said he doesn’t anticipate the project will need zoning variances.

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