By SUE REID

Plans continue to move forward with the $3 million Solon Community Living project for individuals with special needs, although some hurdles remain.

An issue that is in the process of being resolved involves a 1-acre parcel that is owned by the Solon Park Apartments and abuts the proposed development. It is also in the path of Clearwater Court, a road which the city wishes to extend to connect the Carrington Court apartments to Portz Parkway. The city of Solon, which is extending the road, needs to purchase the property from Solon Park Apartments to complete the road. The reason for the extension is for the safety and convenience of Carrington Court residents who have issues pulling out onto Portz Parkway. 

The Solon Park Apartments parcel has to be secured so the road can go through and also to complete the bid process for the potential purchase by Solon Community Living to then move forward with building their project.

Once this is determined, all the boundaries of the ownership of the parcel will be secured, said Ara Bagdasarian, who is developing the project and has two adult children with special needs.

“We are just working our way through the process,” he said.

If all goes well, construction is to begin in late 2021 or early 2022, he said.

Solon voters approved a new zoning classification, R-3-C Multi-Family Residential-Special Needs zoning, earlier this year to pave way for the project, which will include 10-12 high-quality, two bedroom units to be situated on about 4 acres at the southwest corner of Aurora Road and Portz Parkway.

This is the first zoning of its kind in the city.

Mr. Bagdasarian said they have the funds to secure the property and then will work with the families to secure the remainder.

“We are hopeful to be prepared to meet the city’s requirements to purchase it,” he said.

Public Works Commissioner William Drsek said that the complex ownership’s main concern is buffering and shrubbery between the road and their residences. They are requesting a fence, he said, as part of a landscape plan. No costs have yet to be determined.

Some of the proposed landscape items would be out of the city property, which is why a maintenance agreement would need to be determined, and will be subject to City Council approval, Mr. Drsek said.

Also, Solon Community Living did a preliminary wetlands study, he added, and Solon City Council has to decide how to mitigate. Those costs can be in the range of $60,000 or more, he said.

Mr. Bagdasarian also said he wants the street to be dedicated to the city. He was advised by City Engineer John J. Busch that it would then need built in accordance with the city’s residential subdivisions street requirements.

“Everything hinges with working with the folks at Solon Park Apartments to get control of that property,” Mr. Drsek said. “Nothing can really be done until then.”

“We can’t seem to put that in the end zone,” Mr. Bagdasarian said, “but I’m optimistic we are almost there.”

“I’m very interested in this project,” Councilman Jeremy A. Zelwin said. “It’s great for the community and great to move forward with.

“I’m quite certain it would be a huge asset to the city,” he added.

For the last decade, Sue Reid has covered the government, business climate and residents of Solon. A Times reporter for 22 years, Ms. Reid has earned commendations from the Ohio Newspaper Association and Cleveland Press Association.

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