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Solon News Archive

Voters in Broadview Heights and Solon passed zoning issues in the May 7 primary election. Issue 1 in Broadview Heights established a a conversion corridor along Royalton Road, and Issue 2 in Broadview Heights created the Town Center Special Planning District. (The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt recently critiqued the town center plans.) In Solon, Issue 8 rezoned a 2.5-acre parcel from retail to office and Issue 9 rezoned a 5.7-acre property for an auto dealer expansion. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has complete election results.

Meanwhile, Lorain County voters rejected a countywide transit levy. The County will return more than $1.5 million in unused federal transportation funding because it has not fulfilled its 20% local match.

Election recap

This month's election included the following issues (PDF):

In Summit County, Green residents voted to ban casino gambling and horse racing.

Visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for complete results.

Local residential projects in the news:

Update: Solon City Council approved the preliminary plat for the Neptune Oval Estates subdivision.

Greater Cleveland residential projects in the news:

Update: a West Shore Sun editorial says that "things are looking up" for Rockport Shopping Center in Rocky River.

Update 2: Cleveland Heights Patch has more information about the plans for the Meadowbrook-Lee development.

Voters in Solon could see two zoning issues on the November ballot. One would modify permitted uses in the city's C-5 industrial district, while the other would allow pet stores in the city's C-2 commercial district. Voters in Fairview Park may decide a rezoning issue for Journey Church on Lorain Road.

Update: Westlake voters may decide a rezoning issue for a portion of the Promenade shopping center.

Several local construction projects celebrated milestones:

Update: The Ohio Department of Transportation began work on bicycle and pedestrian improvements to the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge in Cleveland.

The Solon Planning Commission approved plans for the redevelopment of Solar Shopping Center. City Council's Safety Committee also approved the plans, and City Council is expected to consider the plans this month. Retailers are signing leases for space in the renovated center.

Plans for several local housing subdivisions have been in the news:

Nestle shared preliminary concepts for its planned research and development center with Solon officials on Monday. The company is targeting a LEED gold certification for the 120,000- to 150,000-square-foot facility at the southeast corner of Cannon Road and Hawthorn Parkway.

The stalled plans for the redevelopment of Solar Shopping Center in Solon have resumed motion. Echo Development of Pittsburgh is scheduled to present preliminary plans to the Solon Planning Commission on January 24, and the City recently approved a traffic study for the development. A Chagrin Solon Sun editorial says it's "a project that needs to move forward."

Update: Solon City Council approved a development agreement for the project.

Election recap

Tuesday's election included the following issues:

Visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for complete results.

In Lorain County, voters rejected a quarter-percent sales tax increase. The county will institute cuts that include reducing its contribution to Lorain County Transit from $100,000 to $50,000. Avon voters approved a charter amendment that establishes a minimum lot size for residential areas.

The November 8 ballot includes several planning and zoning issues in Cuyahoga County communities.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has a complete list of issues (PDF) and an absentee ballot application.

In Avon, voters will decide a charter amendment that would establish a minimum lot size.

Nestle is expanding its plant in Cleveland and plans to build a new facility in Solon. The company broke ground on a 75,000-square-foot expansion of its plant on West 25th Street in Tremont and plans to build a research and development center in Solon. The site in Solon is zoned for residential development, and voter approval is required to rezone the property.

Members of the Solon Master Plan Citizens Commission has been working to identify issues that should be addressed in the master plan. They recently developed a list of the City's strengths and weaknesses.

Solon City Council voted unanimously to renew to extend the Solar Shopping Center redevelopment agreement for the third time. Its developers are optimistic that they will be able to reach a deal with anchor store Giant Eagle.

Solon City Council appointed members to the Master Plan Citizens Commission. The 10-member panel will review the master plan adopted in October and make recommendations regarding its goals.

Election recap

Bay Village
Issue 13 (attached housing): passed

Brecksville
Issue 30 (accessory structures): passed

Broadview Heights
Issue 37 (retail rezoning): passed

Fairview Park
Issues 54 & 55 (residential rezonings): passed

Mayfield Village
Issues 84 & 86 (referendum zoning changes): failed

Moreland Hills
Issue 88 (open space zoning): passed

Solon
Issue 129 (residential rezoning): failed

For complete results, visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

The Chagrin Solon Sun urges Moreland Hills residents to approve Issue 88, which would establish an open space conservation zoning classification. It also asks Solon voters to reject Issue 129, a proposal to rezone a property from single-family to two-family residential. The Sun Post-Herald encourages Fairview Park voters to pass Issues 54 and 55, which it describes as "housekeeping items that will correct a zoning oversight".

Solon Planning Director Rob Frankland has nearly completed the update of the Solon Master Plan. He may have the final draft ready for City Council to discuss at its next meeting.

University Hospitals officials object to a rezoning recommendation in the draft Solon Master Plan. Planning Director Robert Frankland defended the proposed changes.

A group of Solon residents formed Solon Citizens Against Rezoning to oppose the proposed rezoning of a property at the southeast corner of SOM Center and Miles roads.

Update: the Chagrin Solon Sun offers more details.

Operators of Solar Shopping Center still intend to proceed with stalled redevelopment plans, but some members of Solon City Council do not share their optimism.

Residents who live near the intersection of Solon and Richmond roads in Solon object to a recommendation for an expanded industrial presence in the area. Another group of residents believes that the City should have appealed a court-ordered rezoning issue instead of placing it on the November ballot.

Update: a Chagrin Solon Sun editorial says that "Solon cannot let the court decide the best use" of the property at SOM Center and Miles roads.

Solon Planning Director Rob Frankland continues to work on a new municipal master plan. The latest draft sections to be released include a potential residential to industrial rezoning of land near Solon and Richmond roads.

A Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas judge told the City of Solon to reconsider a rezoning for a property at the southeast corner of SOM Center and Miles roads. It is currently zoned for single-family residential, and City Council rejected a proposed retail rezoning in 2008. The developer that owns the site now wants it rezoned to two-family residential. City Council began the process of placing the rezoning on the November ballot.

Update: a Chagrin Solon Sun editorials says that "city officials must act swiftly to ensure whatever development does go in there is the most appropriate for that property."

The city councils of Solon and Twinsburg approved a memorandum of understanding that calls for cooperation on business relocations that involve incentives. Officials hope to reach similar agreements with other neighboring communities.

The City of Solon will release the final two sections of its master plan this month. Planning Director Robert Frankland began updating the master plan early last year.

Election recap

Fairview Park
Issue 29 (residential rezoning): passed

Solon
Issue 44 (industrial rezoning): passed

Strongsville
Issue 46 (retail rezoning): uncertain; apparently failed

For complete results, visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

The Cleveland Clinic's Solon Family Health Center is one of 14 buildings across the country competing in the U.S. EPA's National Building Competition. The participants will work to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings, and the winner will be the one with the greatest reduction in wasted energy.

(via Crain's Cleveland Business)

Little has happened at Solar Shopping Center since Solon voters approved a rezoning in November. A Giant Eagle spokesman said that "the future of the site remains unclear".

Solon City Council sent the proposed Brainard Road warehouse rezoning to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The issue will appear on the May 4 ballot.

The Solon Planning Commission approved Transcon Builders' plans to develop Hawthorne Valley Country Club as the Hawthorne Estates subdivision.

Developer Fred Rzepka of TransCon Builders presented the Solon Planning Commission with plans for a 211-acre subdivision on the site of Hawthorne Valley Country Club. Hawthorne Estates would consist of 111 single-family houses. Earlier proposals for senior housing at the site were turned down by voters.

The Solon Planning Commission is considering a zoning proposal for a Brainard Road warehouse district. Voters may decide the matter (PDF) in May.

Update: the Planning Commission approved the proposal.

Election recap

Broadview Heights
Issue 12 (commercial rezoning): passed

Cleveland
Issue 17 (Planning Commission alternates): passed

Solon
Issue 83 (retail rezoning): passed

The proposed Olmsted Falls-Olmsted Township Merger Study Commission passed in Olmsted Falls (Issue 58), but failed in Olmsted Township (Issue 103).

For complete results, visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Officials in Solon are discussing a proposed receivership program that the City would employ to address residential abandonment.

Issue 83 in Solon is the proposed rezoning of Solar Shopping Center to the new C3-A commercial shopping center classification.

Solon City Council voted to place a rezoning issue on the November ballot for the proposed new Giant Eagle supermarket and Get-Go gas station at Solar Shopping Center. If approved by voters, the 20.99-acre site would be rezoned from C-3 commercial and O-3 office zoning to the newly-created C3-A commercial shopping center classification.

Update: the Solon Times spoke with residents about the proposal.

The City of Solon is conducting tests of its stormwater infrastructure in residential areas. Officials expect that implementing the City's stormwater management plan will take a minimum of 10 years.

The Solon Planning Commission approved a new zoning classification. The C3-A classification could be used for the proposed new Giant Eagle supermarket and Get-Go gas station at Solar Shopping Center.

Giant Eagle executives have made their proposed new Solon store contingent upon the inclusion of a new on-site gas station. Construction could not occur without a rezoning. A Chagrin Solon Sun editorial says that Giant Eagle should instead revive of one of the City's vacant gas stations.

The owners of Solar Shopping Center are planning major renovations and an expansion of the plaza, including the construction of a 90,900-square-foot Giant Eagle supermarket. The proposal calls for rezoning several parcels. The City of Solon recently hired a law firm to assist in its negotiations.

Wells + Associates, the engineering firm developing a master traffic plan for the City of Solon, recommends building a connector road to link Aurora Road to Route 422. The idea was first proposed last year as part of the Coral Co.'s since-withdrawn mixed-use development. The firm also suggests widening a section of Aurora Road.

Proposals in a draft of the new Solon master plan would enlarge the City's commercial areas. Meanwhile, Giant Eagle hopes to double the size of its Solar Center store to 99,900 square feet. Six parcels on Aurora Road must be rezoned by residents in order for the expansion to proceed.

Solon Planning Director Rob Frankland told City Council that major local firms are interested in redeveloping Solon Square and Solar shopping centers.

Solon Planning Director Rob Frankland told City Council that they may have to allow the construction of big box retail developments for the City's shopping centers to remain competitive. Simultaneously, Giant Eagle has begun talking about building a new store at an undisclosed site that is not near Solon's other retail establishments. As part of the master planning process, Frankland suggested enlarging the City's commercial districts. He also said the plan may call for widening Solon Road. The City has posted two sections of the draft master plan (PDFs). Two more special meetings will be held in early June.

On March 31, the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision (PDF) and upheld the results of a March 2008 ballot issue in Solon, where voters had rejected a rezoning for a proposed senior housing development on a site near near Hawthorne Valley Country Club. Supporters of developer TransCon Builders asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision.

Last week, NOACA approved allocating $43.6 million of federal stimulus funds for 21 infrastructure projects in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina counties. The largest awards were $14 million for the reconstruction of Bainbridge Road in Solon and $4.2 million to widen State Route 611 in Sheffield. An additional 32 improvements were named as reserve projects. NOACA also selected four projects to receive $9.8 million in federal CMAQ funding, including $6.25 million for replacement RTA buses.

The City of Solon hired EnviroScience Inc. of Stow to design and oversee the restoration of the southern branch of Sulfur Springs. The stream runs through a 14-acre preserve that was acquired by the City and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy in September.

Solon's new master plan may call for tearing down three shopping centers and replacing them with new retail and mixed-use construction that would stand closer to the street.

Solon leaders do not want the City to be part of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District's proposed regional stormwater management program, saying that the City is already working control flooding. Macedonia officials had expressed a similar sentiment, but now appear to be more open to participating in a regional effort.

The McGill Property Group wants the Bainbridge-Solon JEDD to be expanded to include the company's Shops at Marketplace development in Bainbridge. The JEDD currently encompasses McGill's Marketplace North center.

Update: McGill also proposed establishing a new Aurora-Bainbridge JEDD.

The City of Solon is updating its master plan. Next month, Planning Director Rob Frankland will share his recommendations for downtown Solon. The City's last master plan was completed in 1975.

The City of Solon is developing a long-term stormwater management plan that will replace a plan written by consultants last year.

The Ohio Supreme Court dismissed a request from TransCon builders to rezone a site near Hawthorne Valley Country Club in Solon. However, the Court has not begun deliberations on a related lawsuit challenging the validity of the ward veto provision in the City's referendum zoning rules.

Issue 105 in Solon is a proposal to rezone 3.4 acres adjacent to Solar Shopping Center from office to retail. The land might be used for a new Giant Eagle supermarket.

Peter Rubin of the Coral Co. told Solon residents that he may introduce a replacement for the canceled Central Park development in six months or a year.

Solon City Council is considering zoning code amendments that would allow the City to perform nuisance abatement activities without going to court.

On Friday, the Coral Co. dropped its plans for the mixed-use Central Park development in Solon, citing the credit crunch and difficulties in obtaining financing. Solon officials will attempt to remove the rezoning issue for the development from the November ballot.

Update: Solon City Council rescinded the rezoning issue on Monday. It will still appear on the ballot, but votes will not be counted.

A Solon resident is questioning the legality of using tax increment financing for the proposed Central Park development. He believes that the type of TIF proposed can only be used in blighted areas.

Carol Schultz, owner of the last farm in Solon, has resisted offers to sell her land to developers.

The City of Solon and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy will purchase, restore, and preserve a 14 acre property southwest of the intersection of SOM Center Road and Hawthorn Parkway. It includes the headwaters of the south branch of Sulfur Springs, a Chagrin River tributary. The City helped to preserve another 14 acre site in June.

Solon City Council rejected a rezoning request for a 2.38 acre site at the southeast corner of SOM Center and Miles roads. A Mentor developer had hoped to build a gas station or retail on the property.

The City of Solon, the Solon City Schools, and the Coral Co. are negotiating a 30-year TIF agreement for the proposed Central Park development.

Ohio Department of Transportation officials are concerned that the construction timetable for the Central Park development and related infrastructure improvements may be too ambitious. The Coral Co.'s project manager for the mixed-use project in Solon described the schedule as "aggressive but doable."

About 35 Solon residents attended a No Central Park meeting on August 13, which was more than organizers anticipated.

Solon City Council unanimously voted to place the proposed Central Park development on the November ballot, combining the mixed-use zoning classification and rezoning proposals into a single issue. At the City Council meeting, about 50% of the residents who spoke favored the project, down from 75% at a meeting earlier this month. Opponents of the project have organized under the name No Central Park. Meanwhile, the Coral Co. offered a revised road improvement plan that includes a new four-lane connector road.

Gross Builders is seeking permission to build more lookalike homes than normally allowed at its Carrington Court senior housing development in Solon.

Solon City Council agreed to place one of the two Solar Shopping Center rezoning proposals on the November ballot. An office to retail rezoning issue for a 3.4 acre parcel on SOM Center Road will appear on the ballot, but a similar issue for a 2.6 acre parcel on Aurora Road will not.

On Monday, Solon City Council is expected to place two zoning issues that would permit the construction of Central Park on the November ballot. The first would create a new mixed-use zoning classification (PDF), and the second would place the 90 acre site of the proposed development into the new district. Meanwhile, opponents of the development have begun to organize.

The majority of the 120 Solon residents in attendance at a public hearing about Central Park supported the proposed mixed-use development. Peter Rubin of the Coral Co. indicated that he's considering alternate configurations for the proposed realignment of the intersection of SOM Center and Bainbridge Roads.

A preliminary feasibility report about the proposed Central Park development in Solon says that the area can support additional office and retail space. The report is not yet available online, but other studies about the proposal are posted on Solon's website.

Update: the market analysis is now online (14.1 MB, PDF).

By a vote of 3-2, the Solon Planning and Zoning Commission rejected a request to rezone two parcels adjacent to Solar Shopping Center, saying that the plans for the properties were too vague and kept changing.

The Solon Herald Sun describes the development agreement for the proposed Central Park project. Solon officials and residents recently discussed the mixed-use development with Coral Co. President Peter Rubin.

The Cleveland Metroparks will purchase a 14.3 acre site south of the North Branch Preserve for $700,000. Solon City Council approved a conservation easement for the property and contributed $45,000 toward its purchase.

Road improvements will be needed if the proposed Central Park project is approved. Solon City Council is considering two road improvement plans, both of which include a new connector road between Aurora and Solon Roads. Meanwhile, the Coral Co. denied an accusation that it's trying to lure tenants from Solar Shopping Center to Central Park. The City will hold a public hearing about Central Park on August 4.

The Coral Co. decided not to pursue an assisted living component for the mixed-use Central Park project. Meanwhile, the owner of nearby Solar Shopping Center accused the Coral Co. of trying to steal his tenants for the proposed development.

A March rezoning issue in Solon was recently upheld in Common Pleas Court. The attorney for the residents challenging its validity said he would appeal the ruling to the Ohio Supreme Court.

A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge apparently upheld the ward approval provision of Solon's referendum zoning law, saying that there were "no voting irregularities" in the March election.

The Solon Board of Education retained a law firm to represent them in TIF negotiations with the City and the Coral Co. The company is seeking a TIF for 75% of the non-school area in the proposed 90 acre Central Park development.

A study funded by the Coral Co. says that the company's proposed Central Park development would generate $65.21 million in tax revenues and fees for the City of Solon over a 20 year period. The company and the City do not agree on how best to share the costs of various studies on the proposed mixed-use development.

The Solon Planning and Zoning Commission needs more information about the proposed expansion of Solar Shopping Center before it can rule on the project.

Solon officials are continuing their negotiations with developer Coral Co. about the proposed Central Parc development, and recently hired a law firm to assist with the development agreement. The mixed-use project may include assisted-living units and a four to five story hotel. In addition to possibly creating a need for additional safety personnel, the development may require more service workers and equipment.

The City of Solon may hire a market analysis firm to determine if the proposed Central Parc development is likely to succeed.

A group of Solon residents that supports the rejected senior housing development is suing the City of Solon and the group Solon Taxpayers Against Rezoning. They are charging that a referendum zoning provision in the City's charter is unconstitutional. The plaintiffs include relatives of TransCon Builders President Fred Rzepka. Some speculate that the case could help the Coral Co. gain approval for its proposed Central Parc development.

Solon's police chief changed his mind about the proposed Central Parc development, and said that it would not create a need for additional police officers. City Council will discuss the mixed-use development at a work session on April 30.

A hearing in the Southwoods Case was held last week in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Developer DiSanto Enterprises withdrew its federal case against the City of Solon, but several residents are seeking an injunction against the development.

Mayor Patton of Solon has amended the proposal to eliminate the City's Architectural Board of Review. Instead of replacing it with an informal Design Review Committee, he proposed giving its authority to the City's planning director. A public hearing on the subject will be held on May 5.

At a public hearing in Twinsburg Township, some residents expressed their support for the proposed Twinsburg Fashion Place shopping center, but were concerned that the City of Twinsburg might attempt to annex the property. Developer Bahman Guyuron characterized the situation as a race between his project and the proposed mixed-use Central Parc development in Solon.

Central Parc is facing a potential delay due to issues surrounding the planned expansion of a stormwater detention basin near North Huntington Drive. The development could also create increased costs for the City due to the projected need to hire additional safety personnel.

The owners of Solar Shopping Center are planning $10 million in renovations to the center at Aurora and SOM Center Roads in Solon. Their plans also call for the expansion of the Giant Eagle supermarket from 56,000 square feet to 80,000-90,000 square feet, plus the construction of a GetGo gas station, additional retail space, and an unidentified restaurant. The project includes a proposed office to retail rezoning, which would require voter approval.

The Twinsburg Township Zoning Commission is considering a rezoning request by the developer of the proposed 803,731 square foot Twinsburg Fashion Place shopping center. The Zoning Commission is also contemplating the development's traffic implications. Developer Bahman Guyuron wants to begin construction as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Peter Rubin of the Coral Co. says that his proposed Central Parc development in Solon needs to be built first in order to reach its full economic potential.

The City of Solon and the Coral Co. are negotiating a development agreement for the proposed Central Parc mixed-use development. Issues include control over tenants, construction of a new road, lower-density buffer areas, greenspace requirements, and control of the property.

Some Solon leaders want to amend the referendum zoning section of the city charter. Rezonings currently need to obtain voter approval both citywide and in the site's ward. The proposal calls for eliminating the ward approval requirement. While this month's vote on a senior housing proposal passed citywide, the issue failed because a majority of Ward 5 residents voted against it.

Four Solon city councilmen will travel to Las Vegas in May to promote the City at the annual International Council of Shopping Centers convention.

The City of Solon may pay for portions of a proposed new four lane road that would connect the proposed Central Parc development to Route 422. Developer Peter Rubin of the Coral Co. is also scheduled to address the Solon School Board on Monday about tax increment financing for the development. Meanwhile, Solon City Council is examining a proposal to create a low-density multifamily zoning district on the south side of Bainbridge Road.

A group of Solon residents opposed to the Southwoods subdivision filed a request for a temporary restraining order to halt the development.

TransCon Builders is considering legal action against the City of Solon after losing a rezoning issue last week. The company hoped to build senior cluster homes on 62 acres of a site between Hawthorne Valley Country Club and the Cleveland Metroparks South Chagrin Reservation.

The Coral Co.'s plans for the mixed-use Central Parc development in Solon include building a new four-lane public road. The City hired hired Wells + Associates to conduct a comprehensive traffic study. Planning Director Rob Frankland also suggested three options for providing "a smooth land use transition from the commercial-office portions of the proposed Coral project to the existing single-family residential subdivisions".

Neighbors of the planned Southwoods subdivision in Solon object to the City's approval of the development. They assert that Southwoods is part of an existing subdivision, and therefore needed consent from residents. In the meantime, DiSanto Enterprises has begun clearing the site.

Election recap

Broadview Heights
Issue 16 (residential rezoning): passed

Brooklyn Heights
Issues 17-25 (liquor law): passed

Fairview Park
Issue 31 (church rezoning): passed
Issue 32 (office rezoning): passed

Seven Hills
Issue 43 (Rockside Road rezoning): passed

Solon
Issue 44 (senior housing rezoning): failed

Strongsville
Issue 46 (Cook Avenue rezoning): passed

For complete Cuyahoga County results, visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections or Cleveland.com.

Solon officials would like the firm of Wells + Associates to update the City's traffic plan to reflect the impacts of the proposed Central Parc development. The Coral Co. agreed to pay for part of the traffic study.

The Coral Co.'s plans for Central Parc, the proposed 90 acre mixed-use development in Solon call for two upscale departments stores, a 200 room hotel, a medical campus, 140 single-family houses, 215 condominiums, 200 apartments, and 20-25 restaurants.

The City of Solon might eliminate its three-person Architectural Board of Review, replacing it with a committee that would meet as projects require approval.

On Monday, Solon City Council approved a site plan for Carrington Court, Gross Builders' planned 27.2 acre senior housing development. Company officials do not yet know when construction will begin.

Now that Solon City Council has approved the plans for the Southwoods subdivision, developer DiSanto Enterprises is dropping its lawsuits against the City. However, a neighbor of the proposed development said he will appeal the approval in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Under the terms of a preliminary development agreement, the City of Solon would have the right to veto tenants it deems inappropriate for the proposed Central Parc mixed-use development. The agreement also calls for The Coral Co. to design a reconfiguration of the intersection of SOM Center and Bainbridge Roads.

Solon City Council approved the revised plans for the Southwoods cluster house subdivision by a vote of 4-3, authorizing 40 zoning variances.

Had Stark Enterprises not withdrawn its proposal for a mixed-use development in Solon, City Council likely would have selected it over the competing proposal from The Coral Co.

Stark Enterprises' decision to drop its proposal for a mixed-use development in Solon does not necessarily mean that the City will approve the competing proposal from The Coral Co. City Council is now expected to slow down the process and take weeks or months before reaching a conclusion. Stark, meanwhile, now envisions redeveloping Solon Shopping Center as a project similar to his Eton shopping center in Woodmere.

The Solon Planning and Zoning Commission approved revised plans for the Southwoods subdivision on Tuesday. The plans will now go before City Council.

Stark Enterprises will drop its plans for a mixed-use development at the intersection of SOM Center and Aurora Roads in Solon. The company was unable to proceed with its plans after Gross Builders withdrew from a development partnership. Gross Builders' reasons for leaving the partnership remain unclear. Stark will now try to build a scaled-back, retail-only development.

Update: Monday's Plain Dealer has more details.

DiSanto Enterprises submitted revised plans for the Southwoods subdivision to the City of Solon. Planning Director Rob Frankland describes them as "a modest modification from the original plan." Meanwhile, a Solon resident says that City Council took too long to decide whether to place a rezoning issue for a proposed senior housing development on the March ballot. He may sue the City.

On January 22, Solon City Council will choose between proposals from The Coral Co. (PDF) and Stark Enterprises (PDF) for mixed-use developments. Residents will have the opportunity to vote on a rezoning for the selected development in November.

Gross Builders appears to have separated from a partnership with Stark Enterprises, and intends to return to earlier plans for a senior housing development on 27.2 acres on Aurora Road. The change may force Stark to offer a scaled-back version of its proposed mixed-use Garden District development.

Attorney Pam Hanover, the City of Solon's bond counsel, provided advice to City Council's Finance Committee about preparing for the proposed mixed-use developments and a possible TIF.

Solon City Council did not select one of the two competing mixed-use development proposals, which means a rezoning issue will not appear on the March ballot. Gross Builders reportedly may withdraw from a partnership with Stark Enterprises. However, City Council did approve a rezoning issue for the proposed senior housing development near Hawthorne Valley Country Club.

Solon City Council may select one of the two competing proposals for major mixed-use developments on Monday. Residents appear to be split on the proposals. The Coral Co. offered to donate land for enlarging a detention basin near North Huntington Drive if the City selects its proposed Central Parc development. Residents of the Solon Park Apartments who would be displaced by the Stark development continue to try to save their homes.

At a public hearing on Monday, Solon residents shared their thoughts about the two proposed mixed-use developments. Developer Bob Stark says that respondents to a phone survey prefer his project. Solon City Council is expected to move their deadline for selecting one of the projects from December to January, which means that a rezoning issue would appear on the November ballot instead of the March ballot.

The City of Solon has begun developing a long-term stormwater management plan. The City's director of public works says that the process is "going to take a long time."

As Solon's December 17 deadline approaches for selecting one of the two competing proposals for mixed-use developments, one council member feels that the process is moving too quickly. A traffic study showed that both plans will require significant road improvements (corrections), including a possible redesign of the Route 422 interchange (though it may not be necessary) and a potential widening of Aurora Road (though City officials say they have no plans to do so). Preliminary results of a stormwater analysis show that either development would require $5 million to $8.5 million in sanitary sewer improvements. Legislation was introduced in City Council to create a mixed-use zoning classification.

Peter Rubin revealed more details about his proposed Central Parc development, which could include a 22.8 acre property on Solon Road currently owned by University Hospitals. He also plans to buy and renovate Solar Shopping Center. Meanwhile, the Solon Board of Education is concerned that a TIF package for either development could harm the district's finances, and the City's finance director said that the income tax projections for both projects are overstated.

The Solon planning department is preparing a new mixed-use zoning classification for the mixed-use developments proposed by the Coral Co. and Stark Enterprises. Planning Director Rob Frankland says that a 2008 start date for construction is "ambitious but not impossible."

City Council selected a firm to prepare an analysis of the developments' impacts on the City's sanitary sewers, and traffic engineering consultants reported that the Coral Co. plan will have have fewer traffic impacts than the Stark proposal. City Council and the Planning Commission will discuss the proposals at a November 29 meeting.

TransCon Builders would like the City of Solon to create a new senior housing zoning classification for its proposed development adjacent to Hawthorne Valley Country Club.

Solon officials want input from residents on the competing proposals for mixed-use developments, and the Solon Chamber of Commerce formed a task force to review the proposals. Meanwhile, a Solon Park Apartments resident who initially opposed Bob Stark's plan has changed her mind.

(Update: the City is also looking to hire an engineering firm to perform a stormwater analysis, and will soon hold public meetings. Some residents feel that the process is being rushed.)

Solon officials say that alterations to the site plan for the proposed Southwoods cluster home development will require the project to begin the municipal approval process again. Meanwhile, residents are unhappy that they were not included in settlement talks earlier this year.

Residents of the Solon Park Apartments have begun circulating petitions in opposition of Bob Stark's plans for a mixed-use development. The plans include tearing down the apartments, but Stark has indicated that he intends to provide affordable housing in his proposed Garden District development.

The Solon Herald Sun presents additional details about Stark Enterprises' proposed Garden District development at Aurora and SOM Center Roads in Solon. The plans call for the demolition of the Solon Park Apartments, which does not please its tenants. Bob Stark also confirmed that he is attempting to purchase residential lots on Aurora and Bainbridge Roads.

Last night, Bob Stark unveiled plans for his proposed mixed-use Garden District at Aurora and SOM Center Roads in Solon. The 75 acre, $750 million development would include offices, retail, housing, an arts center, health facilities, college classrooms, a hotel, and a movie theater.

In order for a rezoning issue to appear on the March ballot, Solon City Council must make a decision by December 17 about which of the two competing mixed-use development proposals to submit to voters. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Sears indicated that the company has no plans to relocate or close the store to make way for the Coral Co.'s proposed development, and a real estate company appears to be assembling Bainbridge Road residential properties on behalf of Stark Enterprises.

The Solon Herald Sun explored the competing plans for mixed-use developments in Solon. Peter Rubin of the Coral Co. wants to demolish an existing shopping strip and 65 nearby homes, and hopes to get a rezoning issue on the March ballot. He answered questions from residents on Monday. Bob Stark of Stark Enterprises will present his $1 billion proposal to City Council on October 15. Meanwhile, another developer dropped his plans for a mixed-use development in Solon's southeast corner.

Solon officials are scrutinizing the reintroduced plans for senior housing on a site adjacent to Hawthorne Valley Country Club. If they approve the proposal, the proposed rezoning will go before voters.

In addition to the Coral Co.'s plans to build a lifestyle center on SOM Center Road in Solon, Stark Enterprises will soon introduce plans for a competing vision. Robert Stark says he wants to redevelop Solar Center at the southeast corner of SOM Center and Aurora Roads. His plans for the 75 acre site feature retail (including two department stores), a hotel, homes, and office space.

(Update: WKYC's Tom Beres interviewed Bob Stark and Peter Rubin.)

The Coral Co. has obtained over 40 acres of land for Central Parc, its proposed 90 acre lifestyle center in Solon, and hopes that the first stores will open in 2011. A rezoning issue for the site may appear on the March ballot.

The City of Solon and the Cleveland Metroparks are working to add 14 acres to the 72 acre North Branch Preserve. The preserve is adjacent to the Metroparks' South Chagrin Reservation.

The Coral Co. wants to build a mixed-use lifestyle center in Solon on land east of SOM Center Road between Solon and Bainbridge Roads. Residents on Sharondale, West Sharondale, and Jaclyn Drives report that the company wants to buy their houses and raze them to make way for the development.

TransCon Builders reintroduced its proposal to build a senior housing subdivision next to Hawthorne Valley Country Club in Solon. The development was rejected by voters in May. They expanded the proposal to cover as many as 184 new homes on 61.6 acres, but also pledged that the country club would be preserved as a golf course or a park.

Solon officials say that several developers are interested in building a lifestyle center somewhere in Solon.

Fred Geis, developer of the Diamond Business Center in Glenwillow, tried to alleviate the concerns of Solon residents about the development. He said that the company will screen the industrial park from its residential neighbors and will attempt to place heavier industry away from residential areas.

Solon officials will meet with Mayor Payne of Glenwillow and a representative of developer Geis Companies with the hope of purchasing a portion of the Diamond Business Center industrial park that directly abuts Solon. "I doubt Geis will sell it, but we're going to ask," said a Solon councilman.

Some Solon residents are displeased by the start of construction of the Diamond Business Center industrial park in Glenwillow. They are concerned about tree removal, runoff, and noise and light pollution.

A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge ruled against the City of Solon and said that DiSanto Enterprises can build cluster homes at the proposed Southwoods subdivision. In September 2005, Solon City Council denied a request for 45 zoning variances that would have allowed the cluster homes. The City is expected to appeal the decision.

As part of wetlands remediation for the Carrington Court senior housing development in Solon, Gross Builders and the City reached an agreement that calls for the company to pay $100,000 for an environmental easement on 20.9 acres in the City's blue heron rookery. The agreement requires the approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The construction of the Shoppes of Solon North (PDF) at Miles and Brainard Road has led to disagreements between the developer and neighbors of the shopping center.

Shaker Heights City Council is discussing the water main maintenance and no poaching agreement offered by the City of Cleveland. Solon leaders are also examining the proposal, which one City Council member says is "a very onerous agreement."

Solon City Council authorized construction of the 22 house Stone Creek Estates subdivision on Canon Road.

The Solon Planning Commission approved plans for Stone Creek Estates, a 20.2 acre, 22 house subdivision on the north side of Cannon Road. City Council will discuss the proposed development on Monday.

About 100,000 gallons of contaminated water remain in Solon after an industrial fire at Erico on Solon Road. Hazmat crews erected earthen barriers to contain the spill, but some oil has reached a Tinkers Creek tributary, and Ohio EPA officials are concerned that forecasted rain may cause the water to overflow the barriers.

Voters in Solon rejected the proposed senior housing rezoning for 32 acres on Aurora Road by a vote of 777 to 2,681.

The Plain Dealer provides a summary of the senior housing debate in Solon. Solon Taxpayers Against Rezoning, opponents of the proposed development, offer their perspective at their website.

(Update: a debate on the proposal was held on Monday.)

In the first of a two part series, the Solon Herald Sun summarizes the senior housing controversy in Solon and explains the views of the proposed development's supporters.

Developers of the proposed senior housing development in Solon may debate opponents of the project on the City's cable television channel, but some City Council members are uncertain if it would be an appropriate use of the channel.

Developer TransCon Builders filed a complaint against Solon Taxpayers Against Rezoning, claiming that literature distributed by the group contains several inaccuracies. TransCon is seeking voter approval for a rezoning that would permit them to build a senior housing development along Aurora Road.

The May senior housing rezoning issue in Solon will not mention the maximum residential density permitted under the rezoning. At the request of developer TransCon Builders, the Ohio Secretary of State's office ordered the county BOE to remove the "10-units-per-acre" reference from the ballot. TransCon says they plan to build at a lower density, but Solon Councilman Ed Suit countered that the company could legally change their plans if voters approve the rezoning.

A group of Solon residents opposed to the senior housing rezoning proposal for 32 acres along Aurora Road have formed Solon Taxpayers Against Rezoning and registered as a political action committee.

Solon voters will have the opportunity to vote on a senior housing rezoning on May 8. After City Council rejected their request, developers of the proposed senior housing subdivision on Aurora Road were able to collect enough petition signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

By a vote of 4-3, Solon City Council rejected a request to rezone a site on Aurora Road near Hawthorne Valley Country Club from a residential classification with a one acre minimum lot size to senior housing. TransCon Builders wants to build 116 homes on the 32 acre site, and is circulating petitions to place the rezoning on the May ballot.

Because there are wetlands on the Solon property previously identified for baseball and multi-purpose fields, City and Solon City Schools officials may create them behind Solon Middle School and split the cost.

Solon officials are looking at other options for land where a sports field complex was planned after a survey identified wetlands on the site. 17.6 acres of wetlands were found scattered across the 36 acre site near Aurora and Pettibone Roads. Some say that the City should have tested the site before purchasing the properties.

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