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zoning News Archive

Developer Andrew Brickman of Abode changed his plans for redeveloping the Mandley-Vetrovsky Funeral Home property in Fairview Park, dropping his proposal for townhouses and proposing a new 60,000- to 80,000-square-foot office building. The concept requires approval from the Cleveland Metroparks, who control an easement on the property. A residential-to-office rezoning is also needed, which voters will decide in November.

West Life looked at how Lakewood's Birdtown neighborhood has become home to independent businesses and an urban farm. Lakewood City Council is considering a proposal to create a mixed use zoning overlay for the neighborhood.

Update: residents and city officials discussed neighborhood issues at a community meeting.

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.

Local housing news:

General Growth Partners, the owner of Beachwood Place, would like to rezone 11 parcels along Richmond Road from residential to retail. The rezoning could be the first step in an expansion of the mall, but the company hasn't presented any plans. The mall was last renovated in 2007.

In North Olmsted, Westfield Great Northern officials announced plans for a 55,000-square-foot expansion that includes a 10-screen movie theater, three new restaurants, and a new main entrance. They're scheduled to open in December.

In Parma, the redevelopment plans for Parmatown Mall include the construction of six outbuildings along West Ridgewood Drive.

Update: the work at Parmatown Mall will include the demolition of the Dick's Sporting Goods store and the former Macy's store. A Sun News editorial said it "seems real progress is being made".

Update 2: Demolition is underway at Great Northern.

Broadview Heights City Council is considering an ordinance that would establish a special planning district for the proposed town center at the intersection of Broadview and Royalton roads. The district's zone A is a 100-acre mixed-use area around the intersection, and zone B is a 200-acre office/multi-family area surrounding zone A. City Council also recently approved the purchase of a 1.24-acre site in the special planning district for a planned park. A separate ordinance would create zone C, a corridor that would connect the town center area with the area around the Giant Eagle store.

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.

The City of University Heights hired the firm of D.B. Hartt, Inc. to work on an overhaul of its 60-year-old planning and zoning code. The three-phase project will cost an estimated $60,000.

Mayor Alai of Broadview Heights said that he is committed to implementing the City's 2010 Town Center Master Plan. The Broadview Heights Planning Commission is studying zoning code changes that would permit mixed-use development.

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.

Cleveland Heights City Council passed sustainable zoning legislation, adopting a set of updates to the City's zoning code. The amendments address food production, energy generation and conservation, stormwater management, and transportation, among other subjects. Marc Lefkowitz noted that the changes are intended to reflect the values of the community.

Berea City Council unanimously approved a new zoning code and map, completing the revision process begun in 2010.

Beachwood City Council approved a rezoning for apartments on the current site of the Commerce Park I, II, and III office buildings.

Strongsville residents approved a rezoning issue for a proposed Market District supermarket on Pearl Road. Construction of the 110,000-square-foot store could begin as early as July. Opponents said they lacked the time to properly organize. Voters also approved a rezoning for a potential expansion of Strongsville United Church of Christ on Royalton Road.

Leaders in Cleveland Heights are reviewing an update of the City's zoning code. The changes (PDF) are intended to encourage sustainable development practices. The Cleveland Heights Planning Commission is scheduled to discuss the changes on March 14 and April 11, and City Council on March 26 and April 16.

Giant Eagle modified its plans for a Market District store in Strongsville, increasing the size of the proposed buffer adjacent to neighboring houses. Councilman Matt Schonhut favors the project. The Sun News endorsed the rezoning issue, calling it "a development Strongsville residents can live with." Company officials said they would not come back to voters if the rezoning issue fails.

Update: proponents and opponents of the project are debating its merits.

Beachwood's Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of a proposed commercial-to-residential rezoning of eight acres at Chagrin Boulevard and Green Road. The planned apartment complex is part of a larger effort to redevelop the Commerce Park area.

JKR Development proposed a mixed-use development concept for a 21-acre site on Engle Road in Middleburg Heights. The property is currently zoned for light industrial development.

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.

Berea residents expressed concerns about the City's proposed new zoning code and map at public meetings this past spring, and they continued to share their concerns at a recent meeting. City Council will further discuss the changes.

Update: City Council will continue to take public input.

By a vote of 6 to 1 (PDF), the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a South Euclid group properly submitted a referendum petition on the rezoning of the Oakwood Club property. The Court said that the City must either rescind the rezoning or place the issue on the November ballot. The citizens group was pleased and the developer was disappointed.

Update: City Council unanimously voted to put the rezoning issue on the November ballot.

At GreenCityBlueLake, Marc Lefkowitz wrote about the green zoning initiative in Cleveland Heights and about sustainability efforts at RTA.

In July, opponents of the planned Oakwood Commons development submitted a petition for a referendum on the rezoning of the property. On Monday, South Euclid City Council rejected the petition, saying that petitioners failed to file a certified copy of the ordinance with the City prior to its circulation.

Update: City Council rejected the petition because the certified copy was submitted to the clerk of council instead of the finance director.

Update 2: a citizens group is challenging the decision. A Sun News editorial says that residents "should be given the chance to speak their minds at the ballot box."

The City of Cleveland Heights will consider changing its zoning code to establish guidelines for the reuse of non-residential buildings in residential districts. Creating adaptive reuse rules was one of the recommendations of the City's sustainability audit. Officials and residents discussed the proposal at a public hearing on Monday.

Update: the Cleveland Heights Planning Commission approved the changes.

Update 2: City Council unanimously passed the ordinance on August 15.

While Cuyahoga Community College and Highland Hills officials have not reached an understanding on the future of the 106 acres that Tri-C purchased in 2007, the College does plan to build a facility for workforce training, career training, and sustainability programs on a portion of the site.

South Euclid City Council unanimously voted to rezone 40.7 acres of the former Oakwood Club for developer Mitchell Schneider's proposed Oakwood Commons shopping center. Schneider hopes to break ground in September. Opponents want to to place a referendum on the November ballot.

Fairview Park City Council is considering legislation that would repeal a requirement to obtain input from a professional planner in rezoning decisions.

A Wednesday public hearing about the proposal to rezone the South Euclid portion of the former Oakwood Club property attracted a large audience. Prior to the meeting, a group of citizens protested outside. The 72 residents who spoke at the meeting expressed a variety of opinions.

Planning consultant David Hartt of D.B. Hartt, Inc. has begun a major revision of the Village of Moreland Hills' zoning code.

Voters in Fairview Park approved the rezoning of the former Garnett School property from low-rise planned development to general business. O'Neill Management plans to build a skilled nursing and assisted living facility on the site. It was the only rezoning issue on Tuesday's ballot in Cuyahoga County.

On Thursday, the South Euclid Planning Commission unanimously voted to rezone 40.7 acres of the former Oakwood Club property from residential to retail for the proposed Oakwood Commons development and to change the City's comprehensive plan (PDF). The issue now moves to City Council, which will hold public hearings (PDF) on May 18 and May 25.

Dan Bobkoff of Changing Gears looked at how Streetsboro plans to use form-based zoning to shift from typical exurban development patterns and create a mixed-use town center. The City is working with McKenna Associates to rewrite its zoning code.

Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson resolved his concerns about the proposed Hazel at the Circle apartments in University Circle, and now supports rezoning the 1.4-acre site from single-family residential to multi-family residential.

The City of Berea will hold a series of public meetings from March through May to discuss proposed changes to the City's zoning code and map. The first event is on March 11.

Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson has concerns about the proposed Hazel at the Circle apartments in University Circle, and delayed a rezoning request for the property. Developers had planned to begin construction of the 59-unit complex on Hazel Drive by this June.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that Councilman Johnson should allow the project to proceed.

The Housing Research & Advocacy Center prepared an analysis of the occupancy codes of communities (PDF) in six Greater Cleveland counties. The report "examines limits on the total number and configuration of residents allowed in dwellings" and its data was "collected to make the varied requirements easily referenced and comparable."

The Fairview Park Planning and Design Commission recommended rezoning the former Garnett Elementary School property for a proposed skilled nursing and assisted living complex. City Council may place the rezoning on the May ballot.

South Euclid City Council referred the proposed rezoning for the Oakwood Commons development to the City's Planning Commission. Residents at the City Council meeting expressed their objections to the proposed big box retail. Community Services Director Keith Benjamin believes the area can support additional stores, and Ward 4 Councilwoman Jane Goodman supports the project. Oakwood Club leaders are satisfied with the sale to First Interstate Properties.

Update: Thursday's Sound of Ideas program was devoted to a discussion of the issues. Fresh Water asked if the area can support more retail, while a Sun Messenger editorial backed the proposed development.

At a public meeting on Monday, consultants from Camiros, Ltd. presented their sustainability audit (PDF) of the Cleveland Heights zoning code. It recommends changes intended to "reinforce the community's commitment to sustainability."

Update: the Sun Press also summarized the meeting.

Fairview Park residents may vote in May on a proposed rezoning of the Garnett School site on Lorain Road. The City is acquiring the 4.77-acre property from the School District, and an unidentified developer wants to build a skilled nursing and assisted living facility on the property.

Developer First Interstate Properties of Lyndhurst is purchasing the 154-acre former Oakwood Club site. It paid $1.8 million for 62 acres in South Euclid and has a contract to buy the other 92 acres in Cleveland Heights. The company plans to develop the property as Oakwood Commons, which would consist of 22 acres of apartments around the former clubhouse building, 63 acres of retail with 500,000 square feet of stores, and 69 acres of parkland. The Cleveland Heights portion is zoned for residential use, and would require a rezoning. Neighbors of the property are trying to preserve the entire site as a park, and say that the development would destroy too much greenspace.

Update: many residents are opposed to the development, although not as vehemently as in the 1990s. They shared their concerns at at Cleveland Heights City Council meeting, which drew about 75 people. Blogger Hank Drake considered whether the area has too much retail.

Middleburg Heights leaders are considering a proposal to rezone the former C. A. Thomas School property from single-family residential to governmental. The City has offered to purchase the 10-acre site from the Berea City School District.

Election recap

Bay Village
Issue 13 (attached housing): passed

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

Issue 129 (residential rezoning): failed

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

Giant Eagle revealed that it is the previously-unidentified company that has proposed building a supermarket in Broadview Heights. Voters will decide a rezoning issue for the property on November 2.

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".

Early this month, Cleveland City Council approved zoning code changes that include adding agriculture as a principal use on all vacant land zoned for residential use. The revised code (PDF) will become effective on November 3.

Voters in Broadview Heights will decide a proposed retail rezoning for three parcels on Royalton Road. An undisclosed developer is interested in building a supermarket there. An earlier rezoning issue for the area was approved by voters in November 2008.

The City of Cleveland Heights initiated its effort to craft sustainable development regulations, and consultant Camiros Ltd. introduced many of the concepts (PDF) at a recent public meeting. Interested residents can complete a survey (PDF).

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.

Berea officials are preparing to embark on a review and rewrite of the City's zoning code. The City hired consultant Jay Stewart to help guide the process.

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.

In response to a lawsuit filed by a group of residents, the Village of Hunting Valley may create an institutional zoning classification. It would be applied to Case's Squire Valleevue Farm and the University School campus.

Update: the Chagrin Solon Sun provides additional reactions.

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.

Moreland Hills Village Council was expected to approve placing modifications of Village's open space conservation zoning classification on the November ballot.

Update: Village Council voted to place the issue on the ballot.

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.

The City of Cleveland Heights hired Camiros, Ltd. of Chicago to conduct a sustainability audit of the City's zoning code. The planning firm will review the code and recommend ways to remove obstacles to sustainable development.

Update: a Sun Press editorial says that other communities should consider similar approaches.

Moreland Hills voters may have the opportunity to vote on changes to the Village's open space conservation zoning classification, while Bay Village voters may vote on a commercial to residential rezoning issue for a set of proposed condominiums.

Residents in Fairview Park will decide two commercial to residential rezoning issues in November, similar to the one they approved in May.

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."

Rocky River City Council recently approved a new development code (PDF). It includes a mixed-use zoning classification.

Issue 46 failed by 25 votes in Strongsville's Ward 4, according to unofficial election results. Developers will wait for an official tally on the rezoning issue before deciding their next steps.

Election recap

Fairview Park
Issue 29 (residential rezoning): passed

Issue 44 (industrial rezoning): passed

Issue 46 (retail rezoning): uncertain; apparently failed

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

Issue 46 in Strongsville is a proposal to rezone portions of a 1.4-acre site at the southeastern corner of Royalton and Prospect roads from residential to retail. Heritage Development Company wants to build a 25,000-square-foot drug store and a 25,000-square-foot strip mall on the wooded property.

The Berea Municipal Planning Commission approved the West Bagley Road Commercial District, a new zoning classification. The district's permitted uses include office, retail, and adult-oriented businesses.

Update: Berea City Council also approved the rezoning.

In a companion piece to its story on vacant land in Cleveland, Next American City looked at the City's "chicken and bees" law. The City is considering expanding the rules to include more varieties of livestock. In Communities & Banking, the magazine of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Matt Martin and Zachariah Starnik of the Stockyard Redevelopment Organization described residents' efforts to reclaim their neighborhood through urban gardening (PDF).

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.

Parma City Council approved a rezoning that will allow the construction of the planned senior housing development on State Road. It's the first time the City has used its new mixed-use zoning classification.

North Olmsted City Council is considering ordinances that would amend the City's zoning code to allow businesses and homeowners to install wind turbines and solar panels.

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.

Five ordinances introduced in Parma City Council were developed by students in the sustainability program at Baldwin-Wallace College. The legislation would establish a mixed-use zoning classification, legalize rain barrel installation, permit green roofs, allow bicyclists to use the sidewalks in some areas, and enhance recycling in City buildings.

Leaders in Parma are considering the creation of a mixed-use zoning category. It is one of several recommendations from students in the sustainability program at Baldwin-Wallace College.

Chagrin Falls Village Council approved a zoning overlay for the proposed 11-unit residential development on West Orange Street. Some residents disagreed with the decision.

Update: the Chagrin Solon Sun has more information.

Election recap

Broadview Heights
Issue 12 (commercial rezoning): passed

Issue 17 (Planning Commission alternates): passed

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.

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 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.

Over 500 acres of the Geauga Lake property are still for sale, although Cedar Fair officials say that the company has not recently received offers for the land. A Bainbridge Township trustee wants to develop a plan for the area.

The City of Mayfield Heights may create a new mixed-use zoning classification. The proposed change was not prompted by a development proposal.

Independence voters yesterday rejected Issue 5, the proposed zoning overlay for downtown Independence. In Twinsburg, all seven zoning issues passed citywide, but it is too early to tell if they also were approved at the ward level. has a complete list of the Cuyahoga County election results.

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.

The Sun Courier has additional information about Issue 5, the proposed zoning overlay for 151 acres in downtown Independence. It will appear on the May 5 ballot.

Cleveland City Council is reviewing legislation intended to address aesthetic and safety concerns of wind turbine installation. The rules are meant to regulate their construction in the City's neighborhoods, not the proposed offshore wind farm. Steven Litt believes that there is a need to institute design standards in order to take full advantage of anticipated investments in wind energy.

The proposed zoning overlay for downtown Independence will appear on the May ballot as Issue 5. Mayor Kurtz recently spoke about the plans at a meeting of the Independence Homeowners Association.

As anticipated, North Ridgeville City Council voted to ban future planned community developments. Council members said that the City's requirements had been too lenient.

The outdoor advertising industry is using a pair of 2007 studies conducted in the Cleveland area in their efforts to gain authorization to install digital billboards elsewhere in the nation. A study of Cuyahoga County statistics (PDF) by Tantala Associates says that "digital billboards have no statistical relationship with the occurrence of accidents." A study of Cleveland drivers (PDF) by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute says that "digital billboards seem to attract more attention than the conventional billboards" but that "no conclusions can be drawn regarding the ultimate safety of digital billboards."

North Ridgeville City Council is expected to stop considering proposals for planned community developments. The decision would make permanent the moratorium on their construction.

The City of Cleveland may place a moratorium on the installation of digital billboards so that municipal officials can develop new rules. Earlier billboard legislation was tabled this month. Executives at Clear Channel Outdoor are angry at Cleveland Councilman Brian Cummins, who has been active in the deliberations.

The Sun Courier has more details about the proposed downtown zoning overlay district that will appear on the May ballot in Independence.

Steven Litt likes the plans for redeveloping the Ivex complex in Chagrin Falls. He says that the "project looks like a no-brainer," and concludes that "it could make Chagrin Falls both a better place to visit, and a better place to live."

Neighbors of the former Ivex mill in Chagrin Falls are concerned about the potential impacts of its proposed redevelopment. Residents will vote on a rezoning issue for the project in a special election on February 3.

Independence City Council is considering legislation to put a downtown zoning overlay district on the May ballot. The overlay would permit retail and multi-family development, including senior housing. Multi-family housing is not currently allowed in the City. Last year, the City surveyed Independence seniors about their preferences.

Update: the overlay district will appear on the May ballot.

North Ridgeville City Council rejected a rezoning request for the proposed 218-acre Hampton Place subdivision. They also extended a moratorium on planned community developments for 90 days.

The Bainbridge Township Trustees are preparing for a legal challenge of the Township's large-lot residential zoning. In North Ridgeville, City Council is evaluating planned community development legislation. A Council committee recommended extending a moratorium on planned community developments.

The Chatter column in this week's issue of Scene includes an update on the proposed revisions of Cleveland's billboard rules.

The Olmsted Township Trustees refused to rezone a property on Stearns Road for a proposed apartment complex, because a project that would provide sewers for the property has not been completed.

Some Independence councilmembers want to revise portions of the City's zoning code.

This week's Sun papers have more information about the recent ballot issues in Broadview Heights, Chagrin Falls, Highland Heights, South Euclid, Avon, and Twinsburg.

Election recap

Issue 2 (Clean Ohio renewal): passed
Issue 3 (water rights amendment): passed

Issue 14 (Pilgrim Inn zoning overlay): passed

Broadview Heights
Issues 15-16, 20-25 (rezonings): passed
Issues 17-19 (Zoning Board of Appeals changes): passed

Chagrin Falls
Issue 32 (Architectural Review Board changes): passed

Highland Heights
Issue 63 (development in parks): passed

Issue 83 (hazardous storage buffer): passed

Pepper Pike
Issue 86 (sign regulations): passed
Issue 87 (police station rezoning): passed

Issue 103 (O-2 district changes): passed
Issue 105 (retail rezoning): passed

South Euclid
Issue 106 (remove point-of-sale inspections): passed

Tri-City Joint Recreation District
Issue 136 (1 mill levy): failed

Issue 10 (retail rezoning): passed

Portage County
Issue 10 (Park District levy): failed

Issues 32-35 (zoning code changes): passed

For more results, visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Openers, or the Sun News.

Tuesday's election will include the following issues in Cuyahoga County communities:

In neighboring counties, the issues include:

In addition to the eight rezoning issues on the ballot in Broadview Heights, voters will decide Issues 17-19, proposed charter revisions that involve the Board of Zoning Appeals.

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.

By a vote of 4-3, Westlake City Council approved a rezoning for a proposed 32-bed Hospice of the Western Reserve facility on Crocker Road.

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.

Hospice of the Western Reserve proposed building a new facility on Crocker Road in Westlake, but City officials asked the agency to consider building on a site near St. John West Shore Hospital.

Lakewood officials are considering the creation of an arts district zoning overlay (PDF, p. 35) that would be applied to the areas surrounding the Beck Center for the Arts, Birdtown, and Virginia Marti College.

Voters in Broadview Heights will see eight rezoning issues on the November ballot, and City officials have begun researching other possible future changes.

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.

On September 22, the Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals will again discuss a request to install an electronic billboard in exchange for removing five existing nonconforming billboards. A group of residents wants six additional billboards to be removed.

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.

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.

In this week's Scene, Michael Gill explores the controversy over the proposed changes to Cleveland's billboard rules and relates the struggle of an Old Brooklyn restaurant owner to remove one billboard.

Broadview Heights voters may see additional rezoning issues on the November ballot. The Jacobs Group wants to rezone five parcels along Route 82 from office laboratory to general retail.

Yesterday, the Avon Planning Commission approved two rezonings for properties owned by the Jacobs Group. Both are near the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. The panel recommended rezoning a five acre parcel and two-thirds of a 104 acre property from office to multi-use.

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.

A 140 room hotel has been proposed for a property near the I-480 interchange at Great Northern Boulevard in North Olmsted. The 13.59 acre site is currently zoned for office development, and would require a rezoning to proceed.

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.

The Richard E. Jacobs Group purchased an 89 acre property near the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon. Earlier this year, the property was rezoned for commercial development. The company is also pursuing a purchase and rezoning of a neighboring 110 acre site.

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.

Euclid officials have undertaken a major rewrite of the City's zoning code and map. The first area to undergo revisions is the campus/institutional classification. The Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss the changes at meetings on June 24 and July 8.

The Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals in Columbus upheld a challenge of Ohio Senate Bill 18. The legislation passed in 2005 stripped most zoning authority from Ohio counties and townships. The Attorney General's office has not yet decided whether to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court

Brecksville officials are reviewing the recommendations in a report about the proposed development of the Crow property at Miller Road and I-77. Mayor Hruby does not expect a rezoning decision to be made this year.

The planned retail development on the site of the former Boston Hills Country Club continues to be a source of controversy, and a Boston Heights resident is now suing the Village for overriding last year's referendum issue.

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.

Cuyahoga Community College intends to establish a Westlake campus at the corner of Bradley and Clemens Roads, and will pay $4.6 million for the vacant 32.9 acre site. Tri-C has requested a rezoning, because the area is currently zoned for industrial development. The State Controlling Board approved the plans last month.

The Village of Boston Heights settled a lawsuit with the developers seeking to build on the former Boston Heights Country Club site. The settlement (PDF) allows the developers to construct retail and office space on 100 acres of the 160 acre property.

Cleveland's Board of Zoning Appeals approved variances for the planned Mayfield Lofts condominiums in Little Italy, and did not request additional changes in its design.

The Cleveland City Planning Commission approved a proposal to require one bicycle parking space for every 20 car parking spaces. The proposal also calls for reducing the number of required car spaces by one when six bicycle spaces are provided.

Steven Litt feels that the developers of the proposed Mayfield Lofts condominiums in Little Italy should be granted the zoning variances that they are seeking. Some residents feels that the six story, 24,000 square foot building at Mayfield Road and East 119th Street would be too tall.

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.

Avon City Council recently approved two rezoning requests for land near the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. An 18 acre site at Jaycox and Chester Roads was rezoned to permit commercial development, and a 32 acre site at Nagel Road and I-90 was rezoned from residential to general business. City Council tabled two other rezoning requests for properties at Center and Detroit Roads that are involved in a legal battle.

Owners of properties near the I-77 interchange at Route 82 had mixed reactions to Mayor Alai's proposal for rezoning the area. Broadview Heights voters will have the opportunity to vote on two rezoning issues in November.

The owner of Pearl Road Auto Parts in Cleveland wants to build a 168 foot tall wind turbine on the property near I-480. The zoning for that area limits structures to 115 feet, so a variance is required before construction can begin.

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.

The Village of Boston Heights reached a tentative settlement (PDF) with the developer seeking to build big box retail and possibly a hospital on the site of the former Boston Hills Country Club. Village leaders approved a similar development last spring, but it was rejected by voters in a November referendum issue. The developer responded by suing the Village. Residents are now considering litigation of their own.

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 Chagrin Falls Board of Zoning Appeals tabled developer Larry Shibley's plan for the commercial portion of the property at Williams and West Orange Streets because it lacked sufficient parking. The BZA approved his condominium plans in February.

The Board of Zoning Appeals also approved a variance for the residential development at the Windsor Hospital site, authorizing the construction of 38 houses instead of the permitted 31.

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.

This week's Twinsburg Sun asks many questions about Twinsburg Fashion Place, the proposed lifestyle center in Twinsburg and Twinsburg Township. Representatives of the developer will appear at the Twinsburg Township Zoning Commission meeting on Monday.

The City of Strongsville purchased an undeveloped 25 acre site on Lunn Road. The land is zoned for industrial development, and while the City plans to use it for recreation purposes, officials hope that it will eventually be developed.

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.

Two rezoning requests are making their way through the approval process in Broadview Heights. Both properties are near the I-77 interchange at Route 82, and would be rezoned to general commercial, which would permit retail development.

12 townhouses have been proposed for a 2.2 acre site across from Bay Middle School. The area is zoned for single-family houses, and a zoning change would require voter approval.

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.

A group of developers purchased the former Chippewa Lake amusement park in Lafayette and Westfield Townships and plan to redevelop it as a master plan resort community. The Lafayette Township Zoning Commission approved a zoning overlay district for the site.

The News-Herald looked at the role of NIMBYs in Lake County and eastern Cuyahoga County.

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

Issue 44 (senior housing rezoning): failed

Issue 46 (Cook Avenue rezoning): passed

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

Voters in Broadview Heights will decide a rezoning issue on Tuesday. The owners of three properties on Cherry Hill Lane want a portion of their properties rezoned from office to single-family residential.

Fairview Park voters will decide two zoning issues next month. Issue 32 would rezone a 3.5 acre parcel on Mastick Road from single-family residential to an office building classification, and Issue 31 would rezone two properties on Lorain Road owned by Fairview Grace United Methodist Church from general business to civic and recreational.

Bahman Guyuran is now proposing a mixed-use development on 42 acres at I-480 and Hadden Road. The previous proposal called for a large shopping mall. The Summit County Planning Commission will review the project, which will also be considered by the Twinsburg Zoning Commission at 7:00 p.m. this Monday.

Attendees at a South Euclid Planning and Zoning Committee meeting suggested that the City consider expanding its plans to create a Mayfield-Green mixed use district in order to create a Crocker Park-like development that would complement Cedar Center. City Council may act on the rezoning proposal at its February 25th meeting.

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.

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.

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

The planned construction of an I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon prompted rezoning requests from developers wanting to build on surrounding properties. The Avon Planning Commission heard requests to rezone 120 nearby acres for retail space and medical offices.

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.

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.

The City of South Euclid may create a mixed-use district in the Mayfield-Green commercial area. City Council's Planning and Zoning Committee will discuss the proposal at its January 28 meeting.

A senior housing issue will not appear on the March ballot in Independence. Although the City had planned on the March vote, Mayor-elect Kurtz said that the City was not yet ready to go to voters.

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.

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.

Commercial to residential rezoning issues for portions of three properties on Cherry Hill Lane will appear on the March ballot in Broadview Heights.

A rezoning issue for a 3.5 acre undeveloped property on Mastick Road may appear on the March ballot in Fairview Park. If City Council approves the measure, residents will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed residential to office rezoning.

University Heights officials say that John Carroll University's decision to rent houses it owns solely to students is not consistent with the properties' current residential zoning.

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.

Because Boston Heights voters rejected the retail development proposal for the site of the former Boston Hills County Club, the developer's $10 million lawsuit against the Village will continue. He says that the issue left the property without an economically viable use.

Supporters of Camp Cheerful in Strongsville are opposed to a proposed rezoning to permit construction of a hotel on an adjacent site. They say that it would destroy the natural buffer around the camp.

Election recap

Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
Issue 14 (renewal levy): passed

Tri-City Joint Recreation District
Issue 19 (Berea): passed
Issue 27 (Brook Park): passed

Broadview Heights
Issue 26 (retail rezoning): passed

Highland Heights
Issue 61 (rezoning): passed

Seven Hills
Issue 76 (Rockside Terrace rezoning): passed

Issue 80 (Lutheran Home rezoning): passed
Issue 81 (Crocker Park rezoning): passed

Issue 35 (rec center/stadium tax): passed

Charter Amendment 1 (eliminate planning director): passed

Issue 23 (establish planning department): passed
Issue 25 (establish Master Plan Review Commission): passed

Boston Heights
Issue 51 (retail rezoning): failed
Issue 52 (permit big box retail): failed

Issue 50 (zoning code changes): failed

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

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.

The Bentleyville Planning and Zoning Commission did not approve the preliminary plat for the proposed 19.6 acre Wharton Woods subdivision, formerly known as Holbrook Estates.

In Boston Heights, two retail zoning issues will appear on next Tuesday's ballot as the result of referendums. Issue 51 is a vote on the retail rezoning of the former Boston Hills Country Club, and Issue 52 is about adding big box stores as a conditional use in retail business districts.

By a vote of 6-1, the Broadview Heights Board of Zoning Appeals approved a zoning variance that will permit developer Sam Petros to increase the size of anchor stores for his proposed retail development at Broadview and Royalton 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.

Developer Sam Petros is seeking a zoning variance from the Broadview Heights Board of Zoning Appeals that would allow him to increase the size anchor stores at his proposed retail development at Broadview and Royalton Roads. The maximum size store permitted in the code is 60,000 square feet, and he wants to build stores of 134,000 and 85,000 square feet.

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.

Orange residents may have the opportunity to vote on a rezoning issue for the proposed Woodland Preserve development in November 2008, instead of the March vote that the developers initially wanted.

(Update: this week's Chagrin Herald Sun has more details.)

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 Cuyahoga County Board of Elections unanimously upheld a protest by the Westlake school board and removed an advisory zoning issue from the November ballot. City officials have not decided if they will appeal the decision.

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.

Developers of the proposed Woodland Preserve development in Orange were informed that they "don't have a chance" of putting a rezoning issue on the March ballot. Stelex Equities is expected to present their plans to Village Council on October 3.

A U.S. District Court judge stayed the lawsuit by St. Maron's Church against the City of Independence until December 12. City officials have until then to decide if they will authorize the construction of a new church at the Marycrest site on Brookside Road. If the City refuses, then the case will proceed in December.

Some Orange leaders are not pleased with how information about the proposed Woodland Preserve development was released, and that Mayor Mulcahy met with the developer for months prior to last month's presentation.

The Westlake Board of Education filed a formal protest of the advisory rezoning issue that City Council wants to put on the November ballot. The Board claims that the submission violated the city charter and that the advisory issue would be "inaccurate and grossly misleading to the electorate." The Board of Elections is scheduled to review the objection at its September 17 meeting.

Westlake voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on three rezoning issues in November, including an advisory issue for the Bradley Road property owned by the Westlake Board of Education, and another regarding a proposed expansion of Crocker Park. In Seven Hills, voters will decide a rezoning issue for the Rockside Terrace development.

Plans for the Woodland Preserve, the proposed development on the Weintraub property in Orange, include 663 housing units, public space, a medical building, and a small retail center. The area is currently zoned for single-family residential development, and developers hope to get a rezoning issue on the March ballot.

Some Pepper Pike residents are opposed to a plan to rezone four properties at Chagrin Boulevard and Lewis Drive from residential to commercial. Officials say that the properties are not suitable for residential development. Owner Joe Lo Galbo wants to build offices on the site.

The 19th annual OPC Cleveland Planning & Zoning Workshop (PDF) will be held on November 9 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at LaCentre in Westlake.

St. Maron's Church is suing the City of Independence, charging that municipality's planning and zoning code discriminates against it. City officials have not granted permission for a new church at the Marycrest site on Brookside Road.

The City of Avon and Lake Pointe Construction have been unable to resolve their differences about the proposed residential to retail rezoning of about 24 acres at the southeast corner of Detroit and Center Roads, and the lawsuit is growing more complicated.

The owner of a 5.5 acre property on Royalton Road in Strongsville revived plans for building a hotel on the site, and applied for rezoning the property from office building to motorist service.

In November, Highland Heights residents will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed rezoning of the former gas station at Wilson Mills Road and Alpha Drive from motor service district to general business. The owner of a neighboring shopping center wants to use the gas station site as part of a revitalization of the shopping strip.

The developer of a proposed shopping center on the site of the former Boston Hills Country Club filed a complaint in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. The complaint asks for $10 million from the Village of Boston Heights if residents are successful in an effort to get the retail rezoning on the ballot via referendum.

The Independence Planning Commission is continuing its attempts to reconcile the differences between the two plans for a senior housing district. While senior housing has been a controversial issue in Independence, it has been readily accepted in other Cuyahoga County suburbs.

The Brooklyn Sun Journal has more information about the entertainment district zoning overlay proposal that was approved by a Cleveland City Council committee. Councilman Cimperman said the first and only place the overlay will be applied is for the planned adult entertainment district on the Columbus Road peninsula in the Flats.

(Update: The Cleveland City Planning Commission approved the Flats adult entertainment district, but reduced the number of permitted clubs from three to two.)

In November, Twinsburg voters will have the opportunity to vote on the creation of a mixed-use zoning classification. Municipal officials hope that it will encourage downtown development.

Two realtors are marketing 53 acres along Pine Crest Drive and Harvard Road in Orage to commercial and retail developers. The land is currently occupied by 27 homes, and most homeowners have signed a three year listing agreement. Voters would have to approve a rezoning issue for construction to occur.

Bahman Guyuron, a Lyndhurst-based plastic surgeon, wants to build a shopping center on 90 acres in Twinsburg and Twinsburg Township. He owns all but one property in the area south of I-480 and east of Hadden Road, and the Twinsburg Township Trustees initiated the process to acquire the remaining property via eminent domain in March. The development would require the Twinsburg Township portion to be rezoned from residential to commercial, and Guyuron also wants the City and Township to establish a JEDD.

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.

Independence officials are working to resolve the differences between two competing plans for a senior housing development. The Independence Planning Commission hopes to reach a compromise by December so that the issue can appear on the March ballot.

Brecksville City Council approved an agreement with Palmieri Builders that will end the company's lawsuit against the City. The agreement calls for the 102 acre former B.F. Goodrich property at the southwest corner of Hillsdale Road and Parkview Drive to be rezoned from office/laboratory to residential. The site will be developed as two subdivisions, one limited to ten houses, and the other limited to 46 houses.

By a vote of 7-1, Broadview Heights City Council reversed its earlier decision and placed a rezoning issue for the Ahek property on the November ballot. If approved by voters, 60% of the 57.5 acre site at the northwest corner of I-77 and Route 82 would be rezoned from office laboratory to retail.

Strongsville's residential setback provision is the source of controversy among some residents, but City officials say they do not intend to change the zoning code.

Westlake voters may be asked "for advisory purposes only" if the 42 acre undeveloped property on Bradley Road should be rezoned for recreational use only. The site is currently zoned residential, and the vote would advisory because the city's referendum zoning would not apply in this case. The president of the Westlake School Board says that it's an attempt to pressure them to sell the land to the City.

The Independence Planning Commission recommended authorizing the creation of a senior housing district behind Concordia Lutheran Church, if the proposal is approved by voters. The land is currently owned by the church, and the proposal also requires the approval of church members.

The City of Bedford Heights will hold a public hearing on Monday at 6:30 p.m. about the controversial senior housing proposal for land west of Holy Trinity Church on Columbus Road. The Planning Commission will have a special meeting on Tuesday at at 5:30 p.m. to vote on the plans.

The Senior Coalition in Independence supports the proposed senior single-unit housing overlay ordinance that is under consideration by City Council. The Independence Planning Commission is scheduled to discuss the proposal on June 5.

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

Yesterday, Boston Heights residents delivered referendum petitions to the Village regarding the rezoning of the former Boston Hills Country Club. If the signatures are certified, the issue may appear on the November ballot.

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.)

Boston Heights Village Council approved a controversial rezoning of the former Boston Hills County Club, rezoning almost 66 acres from residential to retail. Developers want to build a shopping center on the rezoned portion of the site and 100 houses on the remaining area. Residents opposed to the development plan to fight the rezoning.

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.

A Chagrin Falls resident created Preserve Chagrin Falls and started a petition to gauge the level of concern in the community about proposed changes to the Village's zoning code that he says could lead to a rise in mansionization and teardowns.

Boston Heights Village Council is considering raising the maximum permitted size of single-story retail establishments from 50,000 square feet to 125,000 square feet. If approved, it would permit the construction of proposed big box stores.

Cleveland City Council established an Urban Garden District zoning classification. The permitted main uses in the district are community gardens, "land managed and maintained … to grow and harvest food crops and/or non-food, ornamental crops for personal or group use, consumption or donation," and market gardens, "land managed and maintained … to grow and harvest food crops and/or non-food, ornamental crops, such as flowers, to be sold for profit."

By a vote of 3-2, the Maple Heights Planning Commission recommended that the City should permit billboards on all city-owned land, regardless of zoning, unless the billboards would be "viewable by residential districts."

Broadview Heights City Council turned down a proposed settlement that would have put a rezoning issue for a 49.5 acre site at the northwest corner of I-77 and Route 82 on the May ballot. The property is currently zoned for offices, but property owners want to build big box retail on the site. The case is scheduled to go to trial on June 18.

At a land use law conference yesterday, speakers said that Greater Cleveland's tax structure and zoning policies turn the development process into an obstacle course.

Ed Morrison shares his thoughts on the connections between urban sprawl, single-use zoning, and regionalism. "We need to find new ways of collaborating across political boundaries. We are beginning to make some progress in this direction, but our progress is altogether too slow."

Lakewood officials have proposed adding preservation districts to the City's zoning code in order to preserve the character of neighborhoods. It would permit the City to implement design guidelines to "protect the integrity of the structures within the designated areas" and encourage restorations.

Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman introduced a plan on Monday that would rezone stretches along Detroit and Lorain Avenues in Ohio City to prevent used car lots from moving in, saving the land for housing development. Cimperman asserted that the area now has many abandoned buildings that are "ripe for redevelopment".

Cleveland City Council is considering a proposal to create an urban gardening district zoning classification. It would be used to protect community gardens from development.

The Maple Heights Planning Commission is considering a proposal to allow billboards on all municipally owned land, including residential areas. Some members feel that the proposal is too broad.

North Olmsted City Council voted to rezone 17 parcels on Bradley Road from limited industrial to residential. Some residents and business owners object to the decision, but Council members said that it's best for the future of the area.

Northfield Center Township Trustees unanimously voted to deny a rezoning request for a 51 acre site at Twinsburg Road near State Route 8. Developers want to use the property and an additional 150 acres in Boston Heights for a mixed-use lifestyle center. They may ask Boston Heights to annex the land.

In June, the Maple Heights Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals will be combined into a new Planning and Zoning Board as the result of a charter amendment approved by voters in November.

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