Officials and residents sound off on proposed Brecksville development

by Dan Holland

July 5 city council meeting

Broadview Heights city officials and residents voiced their opinions July 5 on a proposal by Petros Development Group to develop a 47-acre site in the southwest corner of Brecksville.

The proposed 60-lot subdivision would be created by extending Wilmington Drive, which runs north through Broadview Heights from Boston Road and crosses the city boundary into Brecksville, which would apparently provide the only access in and out of the development.

Plans call for single-story “empty-nester” homes to be built in the proposed development, which would sit between the Four Seasons subdivision and the Ohio Turnpike. Sam Petros initially brought up the matter during a June 9 work session of the Brecksville Planning Commission.

Mayor Sam Alai addressed reports intimating that Broadview Heights would provide police, fire and other services to the proposed development.

“I did not talk to Mr. Petros about this development, and therefore, I did not offer police and fire service,” said Alai. “Nor would I offer snow removal, garbage pick-up or sewer service. I have informed [Brecksville] Mayor Jerry Hruby of this, and he understands our position is only offering the city of Brecksville mutual aid in cases of emergency anywhere in that city like they do with us.”

“Furthermore, Mr. Petros stated that we have a 55-and-older community in the New Hampton subdivision,” Alai continued, “We do not have a 55-and-older community anywhere in the city of Broadview Heights; we have no such zoning. We have no agreement with the city of Brecksville, and we have no agreement with any developer.”

Ward 1 Councilperson Tom Pavlica, whose ward includes Wilmington Drive, said a number of residents had reached out to him with concerns over the impact the proposal could have on Wilmington Drive and the neighborhood.

“You will have heavy equipment driving down Wilmington Drive such as trucks with backhoes on them, loaders, dozers, concrete trucks, large dump trucks filled with stone, and the deterioration of the road is not going to be able to take this,” said Pavlica.

He also cited concerns over additional traffic, stormwater runoff and an increase in flow into existing sanitary sewer lines.

“I think the city really needs to look hard at this,” Pavlica added. “They probably should have foreseen this when they built Four Seasons; that it is going to landlock this property. Obviously, they didn’t take that into consideration. Perhaps another access drive off Boston Road would be better for this. These are just a few things that I can think of right now that we should take into consideration before we move forward in allowing this to happen. I don’t believe that this should happen, in my opinion, and the residents of New Hampton believe that also.”

All other members of council expressed opposition to the proposed development plan.

Councilperson Brian Wolf suggested drafting an official letter in conjunction with the city’s law director to be signed by all council members to make Brecksville city officials aware of their unanimous opposition to the plan.

Wilmington Drive resident Andrew Dorman spoke during the resident participation portion of the meeting, voicing concerns over additional traffic and a loss of privacy with an extension of the roadway.

“There are already too many cars in the development,” he said. “I don’t think we need any more; especially when they can access it from east of the development. All I would ask is that if the city is seriously considering this to let us know – issue a notice so that we can take appropriate action, because we don’t want to be blindsided with surprises.”

Steve Gittinger, also of Wilmington Drive, expressed concerns over a potential increase in traffic noise coming from the Ohio Turnpike should the wooded parcel be cleared for development.

Council President Robert Boldt told residents that any negotiations with Brecksville concerning the matter would have to first go through Mayor Alai’s office and would subsequently have to be approved by city council. ∞