AUBURN — A proposal for an amendment to township zoning could be presented to the Auburn Township Zoning Commission in the near future.
Auburn Zoning Inspector Frank Kitko, in discussing the issue at the township trustees meeting Monday, said a development is being proposed in the Route 422 area and would require a zoning change. No formal application has been made and he said he could not name the developer at this time.
It would require an amendment for a new zoning district, he noted. The proposed site is near the corner of Ravenna Road (Route 44) and the U.S. 422 freeway.
Mr. Kitko noted a group of investors is looking at a parcel to do some high-density residential construction in that area. “There’s a need for it in Geauga County,” he said.
The area of the freeway, Route 44 and East Washington Street currently is zoned for general business. If the group goes forward, they would have to introduce an amendment to change the zoning to the Auburn Zoning Commission, which would then make its recommendations to Auburn Township Trustees.
It would ultimately be considered by township trustees, he said. It would take a unanimous vote by the trustees to override any decision by the zoning commission.
Mr. Kitko said he believes there is a need for such housing in Geauga County. “It would be like a retirement center,” he said. It would be similar to Auburn Lakes which has condominiums.
There would be private roads, so the Auburn Road Department would not be taking on the maintenance of more roads, he said.
It would require sanitary sewers and there is a Geauga County wastewater treatment plant south of the freeway, Mr. Kitko noted.
“There has been a lot of conflicting information,” he said of the capacity of the treatment plant. About two years ago, the Troy Oaks subdivision in Troy Township hooked up to the plant, he noted.
He said he has heard that the county is going to expand the plant. He has also been told that the county wants connections to the plant to help it run efficiently. He said he has received a revised map from the county of the sewer connections at the plant.
Auburn Trustee Mike Troyan said what he has learned about the development is that it is basically “high-end apartments leaning toward seniors and no kids.” It appears to be similar to a development in the city of Hudson, he said.
“It’s in the preliminary phases and it is something to look at for seniors who want to stay in Auburn but without the maintenance constraints,” Mr. Troyan said of upkeep of their current homes.
One of the issues is expanding the capabilities of the county’s wastewater treatment plant for the development, he said. “The developer would have to work with the county on it.”
Trustee John Eberly said the sewer plant could be expanded if that was needed for additional hook-ups. The plant is not an issue, he added, also noting that the sewer questions are not up to the township. They are up to the county.
His knowledge of the plan is that it is high-density, high-end housing with company-owned single-story housing. The two bedroom housing would not be intended for families, so it would not mean a lot of children being sent to the schools and the roads would be private, he said.
Any zoning amendment change would have to be submitted to the Auburn Zoning Commission, then to the Geauga County Planning Commission and then to Auburn Trustees.
Mr. Kitko said one of the concerns is tied to sewers and what is available, however it is a county issue and not a township matter.
He noted the county has indicated there will be an upgrade to sewers in 2020 and 2021, but the issue is when it will be available.
“The developers have a right to put the amendment on the table, but they don’t want to wait six months,” Mr. Kitko said.