New Members of Planning Commission

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.

Welcome to all of our new members!

U.S. Grant Apartments Update: The Chronicle Telegram

Proposed LaGrange apartments raise concern among residents

Dylan Reynolds
The Chronicle-Telegram

Jan 03, 2020 6:00 AM

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.

Thursday’s meeting 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 all.

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.”

Contact Dylan Reynolds at (440) 329-7123 or dreynolds@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @DRey1357.

Rental of Administration Building spaces now available.

The Village is now accepting applications for the rental of three spaces in the Village Administration Building. The Gymnasium, The Lobby/Atrium and the Council Chambers can fit various size events. Please fill out the application below and return it to the Village Offices at 301 Liberty Street. Most events will require a damage insurance policy. However, that amount may be more based upon the type of event you are hosting. There will be additional information provided when you turn in this application. The first rental, the Keystone Class of 1969, 50th Class Reunion was very successful and we anticipate more rentals of various types at our location!

Welcome to the Village of LaGrange!


301 LIBERTY STREET
LAGRANGE, OHIO 44050

LOCATION: Welcome to LaGrange, Ohio (established in 1875), a growing, rural community located in LaGrange Township in southern

 Lorain County. Just 10 miles south of Elyria, and about 35 miles southwest of Cleveland, LaGrange has seen a growth spurt because of its proximity to Cleveland and Elyria and its location six miles south of the I-480 spur (U.S. Route 20). LaGrange is approximately 20 minutes from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, and 35 minutes from downtown Cleveland. Interstate 71 is located 20 minutes south (via State Route 301) or east (via State Route 303).

EDUCATION: LaGrange is home to the Keystone Local Schools, Wildcats. The Keystone schools are located on a new campus on Opportunity Way. the High School (opened in 2006), the Middle School (opened in 2013), and the Elementary School (opened in the fall of 2015) and a new athletic facility are all contiguous. Visit their web page at www.keystonelocalschools.org. The “Friends of LaGrange Public Library” has worked diligently with the Elyria Public Library to open our library facility in the old “Vets Hall” building in Veterans Park. Local “Post Secondary” opportunities include Lorain County Community College which is 15 miles north of town, and Oberlin College, only 10 miles away. (more…)

No More Fire Fighters Concerts: LaGrange

Local News

LAGRANGE — For the first time in 25 years, there won’t be a LaGrange Firefighters Association country concert.

According to LaGrange Fire Chief Jim Rader, the high cost to bring big entertainers to the small town is the reason behind the cancellation.

“We are no longer doing the country music shows,” Rader said. “The cost of entertainers has made it nearly impossible to keep ticket prices reasonable.”

The 25-year tradition also was a fundraiser for the LaGrange Firefighters Association, Rader said.

Rader said the country concert was the largest fundraising event for the department. Over the years, it has allowed the group to purchase an equipment truck, 25 pagers for all volunteers to carry, and a roof ventilation chainsaw.

With the loss of the country music show, the LaGrange Firefighters Association will have to look for other ways to offset the cost of new equipment.

A local store is planning to help ease the burden.

LaGrange IGA has stepped in to help with a summer fundraiser — a car show.

Store manager Erica Domec said the local business knows the association needs to continue its fundraising efforts and is happy to help.

“We just want to continue to help the fire department because we want to give back to the community,” Domec said. Contact Melissa Linebrink at (440) 329-7243 or mlinebrink@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @MLinebrinkCT.

“We decided to help them by hosting the annual car show on July 20, and all the money raised goes directly to the fire department,” Domec said Saturday.

Domec added that she has been in discussions with the LaGrange Fire Department regarding other fundraising efforts.

Library to Move to old Credit Union Building on Commerce Drive

We would like to note that the Library Board was offered space at the new Municipal Complex (Old Keystone High School), but rejected the offer.  The Village would like to centralize as many services in a central location as possible!
LOCAL NEWS

Location found for Keystone-LaGrange library branch

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    The new Keystone-LaGrange Library will be moved to 133 E. Commerce Drive in LaGrange.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

     

LAGRANGE — The Keystone-LaGrange Branch of the Elyria Public Library System has found a new location.

Elyria Public Library System Director Lyn Crouse said Friday that the LaGrange Village Board of Zoning Appeals voted unanimously this week to approve the conditional use by the library of the former Firefighters Community Credit Union building at 133 E. Commerce Drive.

The library plans to buy the property using funds from its November 2017 levy, which is expected to generate more than $950,000 per year for the next 30 years. The closing cost of the sale has yet to be worked out, Crouse said.

When completed, Crouse said, the new library will be expanded to nearly 6,000 square feet. Geotechnical and soil boring testing on the site is next, she said.

Crouse said members of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Community Library “submitted a letter of support, and many of them attended the meeting as well.”

Village Zoning Clerk Mary Kay Gates said the Village Planning Commission unanimously recommended at its Oct. 4 meeting to send the library’s request for conditional use of the property to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The conditional use permit was granted because the property is zoned industrial, Gates said.

“It’s been vacant for a couple years,” she said, “but it met all (the library’s) needs. It has a drive-up window and a safe room. They need to expand, but they have plenty of room there and should fall within all our rules for the expansion.”

The library system serves the Elyria and Keystone school districts. Along with the new Keystone-LaGrange Branch, it has plans to build a new Central Branch in downtown Elyria by the end of 2020, will build a new South Branch on 15th Street in Elyria and renovate the West River Branch, also in the city.

Contact Dave O’Brien at 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.