The New Year brings in two new members of the LaGrange Planning Commission. Councilperson, Barry Price has replaced longtime Commission member, Councilperson Rick Honer as Village Council’s representative on the Commission.
Mr. Chuck Sturgill of Appomattox Court was also sworn in to Planning Commission before last night’s meeting. Mr. Churgill is a long-time resident of LaGrange and is the General Manager of Elyria Ford. Mr. Sturgill is a resident of Union Station. Having Union Station represented on the Commission is vital. The Durham Ridge development already has representation on Planning Commission President, Mr. Chris Gates. Mr. Gates is a Project Manager for the Cleveland Clinic.
The development would
include 48 two-bedroom, one-story units, as well as a leasing office and four
stormwater management basins, said Chris Howard, vice president of Bramhall
Engineering & Surveying, the company handling design work. Developer Jason
Scott said the apartments’ name is still in the works, but he’s looking at a
Civil War theme.
LAGRANGE — Extra
chairs had to be brought in to seat the crowd of LaGrange residents who
attended Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting to express their concerns about
a proposed apartment development that would be built on U.S. Grant Street near
North Center Street.
only included an informal presentation of its plans, so Planning Commission did
not vote on approval of the plans. The next step in the process is for Village
Engineer Doug Nusser to look at the developer’s plan and determine its
compliance with zoning codes.
But that is where the
confusion begins for the village. The land the apartments would occupy is zoned
as planned unit development (PUD), but village leaders and Planning Commission
members were not certain on what uses of the land would be permitted by code.
Mayor Kim Strauss, who
sits on the Planning Commission, said confusing and seemingly contradictory
codes governing the PUD have the village looking to Village Solicitor Jon Clark
for legal advice on how to proceed. Some residents questioned Strauss and the
Planning Commission on whether the area is zoned for apartment development.
“It is very confusing
at this point,” Strauss said. “We still don’t have an exact answer.”
Nusser said the
village needs to figure out what the approved use is for the land, so he can
determine if it may need to be changed for the development plans to forward.
Some residents in attendance thought LaGrange does not need any apartments at
When Scott, the developer,
told the crowd that there is a high demand for apartments wherever they are
built, some in the crowd replied, “Not here, they’re not.”
Others raised concerns
that the additional residents the development would bring could produce
dangerous traffic in town, create trash collection and snow plowing problems or
put a strain on Keystone Schools.
Strauss said he has
been in communication with Keystone Superintendent Dan White, and the district
is prepared for any new students the development would bring. As far as the
idea of building apartments as opposed to some other kind of development,
Strauss said the alternative might be a Family Dollar or similar store.
“Something is going to
go there, whether it is commercial or this residential,” he said earlier
Thursday. “I would rather see that developed into residential apartments than
all of it go into commercial.”
Because the village
cannot reject developments that are permitted by zoning codes, an agreeable
solution with the developer will be the best way to please the concerned
community members, Strauss said.
“They want us to just
say, ‘No, don’t do anything,’ but we just can’t do that,” he said. “We have to
work with the developer and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
North Star Builders previously submitted another design, but the village asked for revisions with fewer curb cuts on the street. Strauss said he finds the new designs to be laid out nicely, and his hope is that the eventual final plans would be “palatable for everyone.”