Sylvania Township Trustees approved a rezoning request today that will allow 40 acres along Central Avenue to be developed into a 214-unit ranch-style housing development marketed towards the 55-and-older community.
The rezoning request passed by a 2-1 vote after an hour-long public hearing, during which residents and trustee John Jennewine raised concerns about the new development‘s affect on traffic and flooding. Cleveland developer Redwood Acquisitions submitted the request to rezone 40 acres of undeveloped land at 8739 West Central Avenue from agricultural to residential multi-family.
The site for the Lakes at Central Reserve is on the south side of Central Avenue, between Centennial and Herr roads, an area prone to flooding from nearby Ten Mile Creek.
The units would rent for about $1,300 a month. They are designed with no steps and wide hallways for the elderly homeowner. Each unit contains two bedrooms, a den, living room, kitchen, and two full baths, with an attached two-car garage.
Officials from Redwood and Toledo engineer George Oravecz said they spoke to residents prior to the meeting and agreed to accommodate their concerns. Mr. Oravecz said a system of retention ponds designed to hold 1.3 million cubic feet of water will alleviate water run off on the property.
Resident Jeffery Lublin, whose family lives next to the site, said he does not object the development as long as the plans adequately address any water run off to his property. He said in the past eight years the area has experienced four major floods during which his land turned into a “lake,” preventing access to his home.
Mr. Oravecz said the ground adjacent to all properties will be sloped, allowing run-off from other properties to drain into their retention system, mitigating part of the flooding in the area. Keith Ritz, Redwood co-founder, added that the property will reduce the water run off by ⅔ in that area.
The Lucas County Engineers designed a $1.4 million drainage project to lower the likelihood of flooding in areas mainly west of Centennial Road, and along Herr Road, just west of the development site. The project would be paid for by county storm water utility funds.
“They are not adding anything to that flooding problem other than funding for the future a solution we are all trying to work on,” Trustee John Crandall said about the homes paying into the stormwater utility fund and assisting with the drainage project.
To address traffic concerns along Central Avenue, Mr. Oravecz said developers have permission from the Ohio Department of Transportation to construct right- and left-turn lanes that will accommodate at least 10 cars turning into the property driving east and west along Central Avenue.
Developers and township officials also said there are plans to widen Manci Drive to 18 feet from 12, to accommodate emergency vehicles, and that there will be retractable bollards only allowing emergency vehicles to pass into the development from Manci Drive. It will prohibit drivers from using Manci as a secondary entrance.
“There are still uncertainties about if it is enough, will the township be held holding the bag” if the development is built and problems with traffic and flooding occur, Mr. Jennewine said, before voting against the rezoning request.
Mr. Oravecz said the project will again be reviewed by the county engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency before construction begins.
Mr. Ritz said developers plan to build in three phases with the first phase breaking ground in about four months and taking one year to complete. The total project cost is estimated between $15 million to $20 million.