Residents and trustees express concerns over Acadia Farms zoning

by Kathleen Steele Gaivin
May 9 township trustees meeting

Acadia Farms at 9947 Olde Eight Rd. began billing itself last summer as an event center and “boutique hotel.” The problem is, the former summer home of multimillionaire industrialist Cyrus Eaton isn’t zoned for any of that, according to Sagamore Hills trustees.

The owners of Acadia Farms have attended recent zoning commission meetings seeking permission to legally use the property as an event venue. A number of issues have been discussed: safety, tents, fireworks, driveway access and parking. The zoning commission has yet to make a recommendation to trustees as they solicit more information.

Dozens of Eaton Estate residents from Parkside and Creekside drives turned out to discuss their concerns over noise coming from parties at Acadia Farms. If Acadia Farms obtains permission to operate as an event venue, the residents are asking for noise abatement.

“We haven’t seen anything in writing. It’s all been verbal. My understanding is, if someone wants a zoning thing, they need to come up front with a plan in writing, and we haven’t seen that yet,” said Trustee Paul Schweikert.

“It was zoned commercial for a horse farm. … The new owners have not presented a plan of what they want to be. We don’t have a clue to what’s going on,” he added.

The zoning process requires the zoning commission to review the plan and hold a public hearing before passing a recommendation to trustees. Trustees would then hold a public hearing on the recommendation before voting.

Another issue is the large commercial tents set up on the property.

“There is nothing in the zoning regulations that allow tents,” township attorney Jeff Snell said.

As Acadia Farms continues to seek zoning approval, Snell said, the owners have agreed not to host any events for the rest of the season and will be using the property solely for their own family’s purposes.

That’s a problem for one resident, who has paid in full for her daughter’s wedding this summer.

“I don’t know what they sold or what they said, but there have been no permissions for outside tents and things,” said Snell.

Additionally, Acadia Farms said it would provide overnight sleeping arrangements in apartments located on the property. That also would not be allowed, Schweikert said, as the township doesn’t allow hotels anywhere in Sagamore Hills.

Marijuana prohibitions

At a public hearing preceding the regular monthly trustees meeting, residents had an opportunity to comment on a proposed change to supplementary zoning regulations regarding marijuana.

As amended, the zoning regulation prohibits “any use, expansion of use, or change of use that would enable the cultivation, processing, distribution, or sale of marijuana.”

Previous zoning rules differentiated between medical and recreational uses.

“We decided to get rid of the adjectives [to avoid issues],” zoning commission president David Koncal said.

The intent is to be proactive, in case marijuana becomes legalized in Ohio. The regulation prohibits grow facilities or distribution facilities within Sagamore Hills Township.

With no comments from the public, trustees passed the resolution at the regular meeting. ∞