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Cluster housing proposed for Elyria's east side

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ELYRIA — An additional 48 units of cluster housing are planned for the city’s east side, Elyria City Council’s Community Development Committee heard Monday night.

The committee recommended sending that matter, a rezoning request for a Schaden Road property and a request by a local farmer to place more than 160 acres of his land in an agricultural district to the whole of City Council for further action.

Bob Yost, of Dale Yost Construction, told the committee his company plans to build 48 units of cluster housing on a 6.9-acre parcel at Cornell Avenue and South Logan Street, next to the former Eastgate Elementary School.

The property currently is a wooded parcel with South Logan Street to the west and South Abbe Road a block to the east, south of East Broad Street.

A conditional use permit is required because the lot is one-tenth of an acre smaller than required for the number of units, Yost said. Each building will hold six to eight units with two-car garages and 4,800 square feet of living space.

The setup is similar to Yost Construction’s other development in Elyria — Stoney Brook off West River Road North, north of Interstate 90 by the Midway Mall, Yost said.

The homes will be owner-occupied, “not apartments,” and not for rent but for purchase, he added. They will fall in the price range of $149,000 to $159,000, with housing association fees estimated at $85 per month taking care of mowing and snow removal, Yost said.

Law Director Scott Serazin said the Elyria Planning Commission approved the plan, which will see its first reading before City Council on Monday.

Muzilla Properties, represented by Jon Muzilla of Oberlin, also got the committee’s support for rezoning a former office building at 41333 Schaden Road from POD, or “professional office district,” to L-I, which is “light industrial.”

The 19,000-square-foot building is split into five units that are 80 percent warehouse and 20 percent office space, Muzilla said. He said Mercy Health purchased the building in 2007 in case it decided to expand its cancer center on Schaden Road.

When that didn’t happen, Muzilla Properties bought the building and hopes a zoning change to light industrial will better “fit the neighborhood” and allow it to turn into “a working property,” Jon Muzilla said.

Serazin told the committee that the Planning Commission also approved of the “straight-forward change” in zoning, and the committee voted unanimously to back the plan.

A third request, by Allen Grobe of Grobe Realty and Grobe’s Fruit Farm, to place seven parcels of farmland totaling 160.94 acres south of Leo Bullock Parkway and east of Murray Ridge Road into an agricultural district, also was discussed during a public hearing.

Allen Grobe and his daughter-in-law, Brooke Grobe, asked the committee to help them protect their five-generation family farm by preventing future special assessments for utility work and nuisance lawsuits.

Allen Grobe said the property will not be placed in a farmland conservation district, but the change is “purely protecting me” in the event further development in the area requires utility work that could be costly to a family farm like Grobe’s.

“We make our livelihood off that land,” Allen Grobe said.

Special assessments such as those for running municipal water service out to the area could harm Grobe’s properties, he said. About 140 acres of property between Murray Ridge Road and West Ridge Road was purchased in recent years by an Indiana developer that “didn’t just buy it to raise corn and soybeans,” Allen Grobe said.

City Council will see an ordinance on the matter at its next meeting, which is Monday, with second and third-readings required by any of the ordinances discussed to take place April 15 and May 6, Serazin said.

Contact Dave O’Brien at (440) 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.


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