Community hears preliminary plans for townhome development

by Dan Holland

Dec. 19 growth, planning & zoning committee, city council meetings

Several dozen residents filled Broadview Heights City Council Chambers Dec. 19 prior to a city council meeting to view a presentation on a proposed townhome development slated for a vacant 15-acre parcel located at the northeast corner of Broadview and Boston roads.

Greg Modic, president of land development for Petros Development Group, presented the Growth, Planning & Zoning Committee with preliminary plans for development of the parcel, which was rezoned from C-2 general commercial to B-1 residential cluster/townhomes by a ballot issue that passed by a narrow margin on Nov. 8. Final tallies from the Cuyahoga Board of Elections showed 3,878 (50.5%) in favor of Issue 33 and 3,801 (49.5%) against.

The proposed development, called “The Manor at Vineyard Village,” which would abut the New Hampton subdivision, presently calls for 60 clustered townhomes in groupings from two to four units per building with most units featuring first-floor master bedrooms. The development would have public streets and sidewalks per city code.

Modic stressed that the 60-unit plan is allowable under city code and added that no variances would be required. He said the current plan increases buffer zones between the subdivision and adjacent residential properties.

“We have a far greater setback to the neighboring properties than was done for the existing subdivision that abuts this property; beyond the 50 feet that was originally contemplated. We have building setbacks at 80 feet to neighboring properties,” said Modic. “We did everything we could to curve the roads in and really get away from the neighboring properties as part of the development plan.”

A number of residents in attendance, as well as members of the committee, expressed concerns over the development causing a potential increase in traffic. A traffic study for the proposed development is forthcoming, according to Modic.

“My takeaway was that everyone’s concerns seemed to be with traffic and safety,” Modic said. “So, if the studies and engineering can come back reflecting that, I’d like to think that [officials] would be a little more open-minded on the unit count. But that’s the point of going through these meetings.”

Modic believes the product is well-suited for the community.

“We’ve done this for a very long time as Petros Homes and Petros Development, and we have a very good sense of what the market is desiring and wanting and what is appropriate for certain locations,” said Modic. “To us, this product is absolutely what is needed here.”

City Council President Robert Boldt, who represents Ward 4, in which the development would be built, expressed concern over placing 60 units at the corner, which he described as a gateway to the city. He also stressed that residents voted for a rezoning issue only; not for the number of units in the plan.

“I do not think [they] will get council to approve of 60 units,” Boldt said later by phone. “There are a number of us on council who will not vote for 60 units. I think they’re going to have to reduce the number, or it will be a dispute that neither one of us are going to be able to complete.”

Boldt added that a majority of residents in his ward voted against the rezoning issue. He said he does not believe the clustered townhome design is reflective of the surrounding neighborhoods, and that he would prefer to see single-unit cluster homes built on the site.

“It’s a whole development going up that we do not have in the city,” Boldt continued. “We have some of these types of homes in town center, but we were okay with that because it is a walking area, and that’s what it was designed for. But this is not a neighborhood footprint; we want our neighborhoods to look like they do in MacIntosh and New Hampton.”

Councilperson Joe Price, who is chair of the GPZ committee, expressed similar concerns to those expressed by Boldt.

“This was a unique issue that passed narrowly by 77 votes,” said Price later by phone. “The neighborhoods in the south – in New Hampton and MacIntosh – voted it down. It was either going to remain commercial or become residential.”

Price said he would like to see the plan changed to 40 individual cluster homes.

“I think that anything short of that and more than 40 homes – you’ll see people voting ‘no’ when it comes back to council,” he added. “I think if they come down to 40 homes, they’ll get everyone’s support.”

“The perspective from the builder saying, ‘this is what we see people wanting,’ is not accurate,” Price continued. “It’s what will benefit them the most in this situation. It’s not a matter of what customers do or do not want.”

If approved, Modic said he expects construction to begin in May 2023 with work being split into two phases, with full completion of the project and occupancy achieved within a two- to-three-year period. Models, which would include basements, would likely range in size from 1,800 – 2,300 square feet with sale prices from the upper $400’s to low $500’s, he added. 

The matter was moved forward to the city’s planning commission without a positive recommendation. Members of the GPZ committee expressed a number of concerns going forward, including the number of units, ongoing maintenance of trees/landscaping, amenities such as walking trails, the impact of 60 additional units on the local utility grid, traffic congestion/safety concerns and the possibility of including dedicated turn lanes in the area.

A date for the matter to be presented before the planning commission is to be determined.

During the Dec. 19 city council meeting, council approved:

  • A resolution to enter into an agreement with Software Solutions, Inc. for annual software support at a cost of $28,821.
  • A resolution to enter into an agreement with EV Connect to process payments for users of the electric vehicle charging station to be installed on city campus.
  • A resolution to enter into an agreement with North Royalton Power Equipment for purchase of a Scag lawn maintenance mower to be used at The Fields at a cost of $12,484.
  • A resolution to enter into an agreement with TAC Computer Inc. for maintenance services for police department equipment at a cost of $23,908.
  • A resolution to accept the donation of property from Pines Real Estate Investment, LLC for a lot along East Royalton Road near Avery Road.
  • A resolution to authorize an agreement between the city and a local resident for easements in connection with the Wallings Road bridge widening project. ∞