The Sylvania Township Board of Trustees narrowly passed a measure Tuesday night that would allow multi-family rental properties to be built on previously zoned agricultural land on McCord Road, an action that didn't sit well with residents who attended the meeting.
The trustees voted 2-1 to rezone land from A-3 Agricultural to R-4 Residential, Planned Unit Development, for 3.92 acres of undeveloped land located at 3859 and 3901 McCord Road, just south of Sylvania Avenue.
The property is owned and being developed by M&D Holdings of Sylvania.
The residential development would consist of five building units that would contain a total of 34 rental units.
Trustee Neal Mahoney, who voted in favor of the request, thought that the current development plans, although met with criticism by some residents, was one of the better options compared to other possibilities that would more negatively affect the properties and the surrounding neighborhoods.
“Because it is a PUD that means that we are in control and the plans are locked,” Mr. Mahoney said. He explained that the the new designation along with the current residential development plans protects the land from potential commercial development interests. If the land was sold to another development company, the developer would still have to abide by the parameters approved Tuesday.
About 20 residents attended the meeting, with about half of them speaking out against the development during a public hearing held before the vote.
Isaac Villa, who lives with his wife in a home adjacent to the proposed development, summed up the concerns of many: the development would increase traffic in an area that already has a heavy traffic flow.
He said that the possibility of transient renters would chip away at the township’s community feel.
“I love being in a township. I moved here from Toledo for the feel of the township neighborhood ... I’m not interested in seeing transient individuals that I can’t have a relationship with,” Mr. Villa said
Moreover, he and others said, there would be people cutting through their yards, a potential security issue. Others expressed their concerns that the developer would sell the property to another developer who would lower the rent and in turn lower the standard of living.
The developers said rent will be $1,200 a month.
Don Ulrich of M&D Holdings told residents that the buildings would be fenced in, preventing people from cutting through yards.
Mr. Ulrich said he and his partner Mike Hoj, owner of Hoj Development construction firm, Sylvania, had every intention of investing in the property for the long term and would keep up the homes and surrounding land.
“We own about 400 units in Toledo and we have owned them for a long time. We do background checks on all of our residents when they sign a one-year lease,” Mr. Ulrich said.
Mr. Ulrich said traffic studies his company conducted showed only minimal traffic increases from the project.
The zoning changes were approved by Lucas County Plan Commission on Dec. 19 and the Township Zoning Commission on Feb. 13.
Trustee Kevin Haddad voted against the rezoning.
"I personally would like to see it as an R-3 area," said Mr. Haddad, adding that type of zoning would make it less dense with 28 units instead of the proposed 34.
Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-206-0356.