Acadia Farms proposes on-site restaurant

by Laura Bednar

Jan. 23 zoning commission meeting

Acadia Farms on Olde 8 Road abandoned its previous plan to turn the property into an event center and has instead proposed an on-site restaurant.

Sagamore Hills Township does not allow for event venues in its zoning code, the classification Acadia was trying to obtain. The farm held events and erected a tent in 2021, which is not permitted under the zoning code. The tent came down and events ceased.

Owner of Acadia Farms, Gus Kafantaris, said at the meeting, “We don’t want to be considered a party or event center.”

This comes as positive news for neighbors who complained about noise coming from the farms when events were held late into the evening. Parkside Drive resident Dave Ganczak lives across the street from the farm and said he wanted to ensure there wouldn’t be loud music coming from the property.

Zoning commission Chair Dr. David Koncal said the proposed new restaurant would be an enclosed facility so noise would not be an issue. Ganczak added that he thought the area needed restaurants.

The restaurant would encompass 8,500 square feet with a capacity of 200 to 250 people, according to Kafantaris. He said the Acadia staff is working with Summit County to bring a sewer system to the property and this move “behooves us to go the restaurant route.” If approved, the construction site would be on the northern parcel of the farm, most of which is zoned commercial. The 5-acre property is vacant.

The remaining 10 acres, which has horses, stables, a barn and five residences, would stay the same. Engineer for the project, Dan Neff of Neff and Associates, said the homes would be used as residences, possibly being leased to farm employees. One groundskeeper for Acadia stays in one of the residences.

Kafantaris said the restaurant would serve food but be marketed as a wine bar. He said potentially, both parcels of Acadia land would share parking. Zoning commission Vice Chair Dwight Chasar said Sagamore zoning requires parking be on-site for restaurants. Sagamore Township Attorney Jeff Snell suggested that Acadia rezone the residential portion of the northern parcel commercial to allow for parking.

“You’ve corrected the majority of defects you came in with originally,” said Koncal to Acadia representatives. “We never had a problem with a party center, just the noise and tent. We want to see something stick around and a restaurant is a possibility.”

Koncal and Snell told the representatives to create a more definitive building design, continue work on bringing sewers to the property and contact the county to discuss the possibility of another driveway to enter and exit the property.

Parkview Senior Living

Snell gave an update on the Parkview Senior Living housing development at state Route 82 and Carter Road. The Sagamore Hills Board of Zoning Appeals approved a conditional use permit to construct senior apartments in January 2022.

Owner of the property, Grey Fox Capital, recently received approval to remove trees in preparation for excavation of the site. Trees must be cut by March 31 because bats use them during mating season in the spring and summer. If trees are not cleared before April, tree removal would not be permitted until November. Following tree removal will be demolition of on-site buildings.

A retaining wall between the development site and Brentwood Health Care Center was planned. After excavation of the site, the wall may be shorter, according to Snell. Some senior homes will have rear decks, which would require the wall to be shorter.

Snell said Grey Fox Capital’s goal this year is to complete the site infrastructure, with a plan to start building housing units in the fall.

Accessory buildings

Zoning commission members had a brief discussion about increasing the size of accessory buildings on residential properties. Existing zoning regulations state that a 1-acre property can have an accessory building up to 653 square feet and a 2-acre property can have a building up to 1,200 square feet.

Sagamore Hills trustees received requests for larger accessory buildings on lots of this size. Chasar said more acreage does not mean larger storage buildings are required. “I don’t think there’s a need,” he said.

Commission member Dennis Witkiewicz agreed, saying if the structure size is enlarged, there will still be residents who want it even larger. The issue was tabled until next month, with Koncal saying the opinion of the commission was against the change. ∞