NORTH RIDGEVILLE — One of the city’s major developers is asking the city to rezone about 70 acres of land that fronts Center Ridge Road with an eye toward future commercial development.
The zoning change is being sought by the Dettore Group, a firm that encompasses construction, development and realty businesses, storage facilities, a mobile home park and the All American Sports Center, which includes a driving range and miniature golf course.
The firm is named for Frank Dettore, a longtime local developer responsible for building thousands of North Ridgeville homes over the past several decades, including those in the sprawling Meadow Lakes housing development near Dettore’s own Center Ridge Road home.
The 70 acres are near the driving range and Meadow Lakes housing project. A portion of the land extends west to the edge of the Sandy Ridge Reservation of the Lorain County Metro Parks.
The acreage is currently a mix of R-1 residential and B-5 architectural business zoning.
Chris Teater, who requested the zoning change on behalf of the Dettore Group during a Building and Lands Committee meeting this week, asked that the 70 acres be rezoned to a B-2 general business classification.
“Our position is that we can’t even solicit offers for development until we have zoning that allows us to come up with a comprehensive plan for someone looking to buy the whole parcel,” Teater said.
The land could potentially have a number of uses ranging from businesses to professional offices, according to Teater.
Nancy Buescher, R-1st Ward, whose ward contains the land, repeatedly expressed reservations over changing the current zoning.
Buescher argued the requested zoning change would be “a slap in the face” to existing businesses, including the Bogner Funeral Home and Barking Barbers, a pet grooming business, that have adhered to the B-5 requirements.
The key differences between the B-5 and B-2 zoning classifications are that the B-5 zoning is more restrictive, requiring colonial-style architecture, as well as side and rear parking for commercial ventures.
The B-2 zoning requires neither of those features.
A change to acreage presently zoned B-2 would chip away at the area’s “residential atmosphere,” Buescher said.
Teater said that while he understood the desired aesthetics of the B-5 zoning, the restrictions it imposes would increase costs of development for retail businesses or other commercial purposes.
“We need the business here,” committee member Richard Jaenke, R-3rd Ward, said in arguing for the changes to help lure future development.
“Slow economic times are not a good reason to allow changes now,” Buescher responded.
At the request of City Law Director Andy Crites, it was decided to consider the 70 acres under three different ordinances because of the number of individual parcels of land and specific zoning involved.
Buescher did wind up siding with committee chairman Robert Olesen, R-4th Ward, and Jaenke to recommend rezoning of one portion of the 70 acres that did not contain any B-5 zoning.
A second area of land was recommended for rezoning by a 2-1 vote, with Buescher voting against it, while action was tabled on a third parcel.
The proposed rezoning will come before Council after it is considered by the city’s Planning Commission, which is expected to review the rezoning request at its Dec. 13 meeting.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.