The Northwood Plan Commission last Monday voted 6-0 against recommending to city council a zoning change for a proposed senior housing complex on Curtice Road near Wise Street in the central area between Lemoyne and Bradner roads following intense opposition from area residents.
The Commission voted 3-2, with one abstention, in favor of a zoning change request for a proposed 64-lot single family housing subdivision at the same site.
The city will schedule public hearings on both matters before they go before council for final action.
George V. Oravecz, Consulting Engineer & Engineering Services, Maumee, submitted applications on behalf of property owners State Line Investors, J. Alvarado Properties LLC & Leonard Paul Blair, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church.
The senior housing complex called for 328 units, according to Oravecz.
Oravecz was seeking a zoning change from R (Suburban Residential) to R-OA-1 (Older Area Residential) with a PUD (Planned Unit Development) overlay on 54 acres for the senior housing complex.
“They look exactly like the senior complex we’re building on Navarre Avenue next to the Little Sisters of the Poor,” he said.
Plans called for monthly rent from $800-$1,000 per month,” he said.
Units consisted of two bedrooms, two baths, a two car garage, and a patio area in the back, he said.
Oravecz requested a zoning change for the single family housing subdivision on 33 acres of vacant land from RA (Rural Residential) and A-1 (Agricultural) to R (Suburban Residential).
Lot sizes in the proposed subdivision range from 12,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet. Prices would range from $250,000-$275,000, he said.
“That’s if it’s a ranch house. If they are two-stories, they would probably be in the $300,000 range,” said Oravecz. “You would be able to build anything you want within the subdivision, provided you met the specifications set up for the architectural design of the unit.”
Oravecz said the developer of the project prefers to remain anonymous.
Opponents expressed concerns about drainage problems and increased traffic.
Wolf Creek, which runs through the property, has caused flooding problems in the area.
Feller Finch & Associates, the city’s engineer, noted that special storm requirements would be necessary to prevent additional flooding in the area during preliminary and final design. In addition, detention for new sites must be able to store a 200 year storm event, and a detailed 100 year floodplain analysis of Wolf Creek would need to be submitted to the city for review. Because the total site is over one acre, the developer would have to apply for an Environmental Protection Agency NO1 permit and meet all EPA Phase II Storm Water Management requirements.
Northwood Mayor Mark Stoner, a member of the plan commission who voted no on the zoning change requests, said he had several concerns about the project.
“There were a lot of questions from residents about the water problems they’ve had in that area. It seems like every year, we have a 200 year storm. We had a couple of them last year,” said Stoner. “With nearly 400 senior housing units, sanitary has to go some place. Would Wood County have to put a new trunk line in? Who would pay for that? The developer would have the lots sold and gone. It would be the property owner who would have to pay.”
Increased traffic was also a concern, he said.
“There’s only two ways in and out of the senior housing complex: From Wise Street or Curtice,” said Stoner. “And that’s going to dump a tremendous amount of traffic out there.”
In addition, he raised doubts on whether there was adequate access to the site by the fire department for emergencies.
“I’m not sure there’s enough space in there for fire trucks,” he said.
Residents also were concerned that the senior housing complex would not being restricted to just seniors.
“We might get someone here with four or five kids, which could overburden our schools,” said Stoner.