North Royalton rejects plan for 30 cluster homes in southeast corner of town

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 12:36:38 AM. A plan by Bailey Development to build 30 cluster homes in the southeast corner of North Royalton was rejected last week by the city's Planning Commission.

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio - A developer's sketch plan to build 30 cluster homes in the southeast corner of town was rejected last week by the city's Planning Commission.

Bailey Development in Broadview Heights wanted to build the homes on about 30 1/2 acres off the east side of State Road, across from River Road and south of Wiltshire Road.

"The plan they (Bailey) presented does not fit our zoning," said Mayor Robert Stefanik, who added that the developer can adjust its plan to meet city code, then return to the commission.

"The ball is in their court," Stefanik said. "It's up to them to do what they what they want to do next."

Christine Bailey, of Bailey Development, said she hasn't decided whether to continue pursuing the subdivision plan. She said she chose to construct cluster houses - which are "clustered" together to preserve large chunks of land - because only a small portion of the 30 1/2 acres is buildable.

"The site we're working with is covered with wetlands," Bailey said. "I don't want to destroy them."

Law Director Tom Kelly said the property on which Bailey had hoped to build is zoned rural residential, which has three subcategories: rural residential 2, which allows one house for every 2 acres; rural residential 3, which allows one house for every 3 acres; and rural residential village, which allows one house for every 1 acre but in a way that preserves 75 percent of the site - in other words, a cluster development.

Kelly said that under code, a developer must show that it's impractical or unfeasible to build an RR2 or RR3 subdivision before receiving permission for a rural residential village. He said RR2 and RR3 are "favored" over RRV, which he called "last-resort" zoning.

"Voters approved this zoning concept years ago as a means to limit development in the southern end of town, to keep the rural character of the area," Kelly told

Kelly, while agreeing that the 33 1/2 acres are filled with wetlands, said Bailey failed to demonstrate that RR2 and RR3 zoning weren't feasible. He said city Engineer Mark Schmitzer and Building Commissioner Dan Kulchytsky both believe that RR2 is possible on the site.

"We bend over backwards to try to work with developers," Kelly said. "But there are times, and this is one, where you can't bend the code to fit the developer's desires."

Bailey said the city has allowed RRV zoning in the past to preserve land for ecological purposes. She said her plan would have kept intact roughly 60 percent to 70 percent of the 33 1/2 acres.

According to Bailey's application to the city, the developer performed a "site-development evaluation" and found that building large lots on the property was "not feasible." She said RRV is the best way to preserve the area's rural nature.

"Based on the SDE, (which shows) the impact that large lots will have on critical physical characteristics, including wetlands impacts and setbacks required, large lots are not feasible," the application says.

Kelly called Bailey's SDE "woefully insufficient and unpersuasive." 

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