Aurora Inn could reopen early in 2013

by Ken Lahmers | EDITOR Published:

Aurora -- A group of partners from Pennsylvania is one step closer to reopening the former Aurora Inn after the planning commission last week approved a conditional zoning certificate.

The matter now goes to City Council, and Planning-Zoning-Building Director Rich Wehrenberg said it likely will appear on first reading on Council's Dec. 17 agenda.

The partners, who go by Cerruti LLC out of Quakertown, Pa., are hoping to initially open 49 rooms for lodging and are looking to lease the restaurant and bar to an outside entity.

Wehrenberg said if the CZC is approved, and if Cerruti obtains all required state licenses, the facility could reopen in February or March.

The lodging facility and restaurant have been closed for about three years. The building stands on a 3.1-acre parcel at East Garfield Road and Shawnee Trail.

The partners have said they also plan to reopen the pool and tennis courts after minor cosmetic updating is completed. Those facilities would be open to hotel guests and to local residents by membership.

Wehrenberg said the hotel operated since 1963 under a certificate of non-conforming use, but since it ceased operation that certificate has expired and a new CZC is needed.

OTHER PLANNING MATTERS

Meanwhile, East Garfield Road resident James Occhinzzi asked the planning commission to rezone his 0.67-acre lot from C-1 shopping to R-2 residential. He is trying to sell the lot and his house, according to Wehrenberg.

The proposed rezoning would adjust the boundary of the C-1 shopping district or depot overlay district along East Garfield Road. Wehrenberg said the existing structure on the lot is better suited for residential use than commercial.

If the planning panel OKs the rezoning request, the issue must go to Council, which would decide if it goes to voters on a future ballot.

In other matters, the planning panel tabled a revised development plan and a replat of Cluster Site 4 in the Hawthorn of Aurora subdivision.

It accepted for study a site plan for an addition at the Atrium at Anna Maria -- the former Geauga Lake Hotel -- at North Aurora and Treat roads.

Anna Maria is currently renovating the existing building and adding a memory care facility on the south side.

The entire project consisting of 127,000 square feet will cost about $9 million. The memory care wing will be 21,350 square feet and be 31 units. The facility is expected to open in the fall of 2013.

Email: klahmers@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4189

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