Condos now proposed for Aurora's Villas of Bertram subdivision

by KEN LAHMERS | EDITOR Published:

by KEN LAHMERS | EDITOR

Aurora -- Meeting for the first time in several weeks, the city's planning commission last week favored a revised preliminary subdivision plan and a revised final plat for Phase I of the Villas of Bertram at Route 306 and Treat Road.

The residential conservation development originally was approved for single-family housing, but has been changed to allow 91 condominium units on the 40 acres, which includes 15 acres of open space. Phase I includes 30 condo units and 11 acres of open space.

In 2007, voters rezoned the property to R-4 residential from R-1 in 2007. That zoning would permit 96 units to be built, but Heritage Development Co. spokesman Rob Benjamin said the developer plans to limit the number to 91.

Planning-Zoning-Building Director Rich Wehrenberg said the revised final plat for Phase I must go to Council for final approval, but the revised preliminary subdivision plan does not have to go to Council.

Meanwhile, the panel also favored a minor subdivision/lot split for an 18.3-acre property at 970 E. Mennonite Road, which is just east of the Sunny Lake Park ballfields.

Lou Telerico of Circle T Farm requested the split into two parcels -- one 4.4 acres and the other 13.9 acres. Wehrenberg told commissioners that all zoning code requirements have been met for the split.

The panel also granted an extension of final plat approval for the Hawkin subdivision on East Mennonite Road. Developer Frank Costanzo said financing issues have kept him from commencing the residential housing project, which first was proposed in 2007. The extension is for 12 months.

Residents Wally Swyte and George Mazzaro opposed the extension, saying development of the site would worsen stormwater problems at the east end of Chatham Estates, where a stream frequently overflows during heavy rains.

MAZZARO also said he believes the subdivision, if it goes ahead, should have sidewalks, which are not planned on blueprints shown to the commission when the subdivision was first proposed.

Wehrenberg explained the city's stormwater regulations require that runoff from a property after development cannot exceed the amount before development, and the city engineer has concluded that the project would not create additional stormwater problems.

Swyte said the Chatham Homeowners Association has been wrestling with the city for years to correct the Chatham runoff problems. "The city spent $68,000 for a study a few years ago, and no action has ever been taken to resolve the situation," he said.

The panel accepted for study revisions to various chapters of the zoning code dealing with design standards for subdivisions, site development regulations, erosion/sediment control, riparian areas and wetlands and stormwater management.

Wehrenberg said the city's subdivision regulations are 10 to 12 years old, and he plans to request funds for a complete rewrite in the 2014 budget. However, he noted until the rewrite is completed, the proposed revisions would "do for now."

In other matters, Wehrenberg said he had hoped to introduce a first draft of a new sign code to the panel that night, but it was delayed until the Aug. 21 meeting, when the city's consultant will be on hand to discuss the matter.

He also mentioned that City Council is considering a memorandum of understanding with Bainbridge Township, which would lead to a proposal to rezone about 700 acres of former Geauga Lake Park land for mixed use.

Wehrenberg said Aurora voters could face a rezoning issue for that land in May 2014.

Email: klahmers@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4189

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