Jackson Township trustees will hold a public hearing at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday to consider a request to change the zoning of a property at 6990 Hills & Dales Road from rural residential to R4 multifamily residential. Approval would allow property owners Brian and Lynn Carlone to build a 44-unit apartment complex on the 4.6-acre property — a move opposed by some nearby residents.
Peter McDaniel first learned about the widening of Hills & Dales Road NW the day he moved into his house in the Deer Trace allotment, just off then-two-lane street.
Now, nearly five years later, McDaniel barely can turn left from Deer Trace Avenue NW onto Hills & Dales Road NW during the morning work commute.
McDaniel believes traffic will become even more dangerous if township trustees allow an 44-unit apartment to be built across the street. He and his neighbors have mounted a campaign — http://stop
rezoning.zapd.com/now — to oppose a proposed zone change for a 4.6-acre property at 6990 Hills & Dales Road.
McDaniel fears the zone change — from rural residential to R4 multifamily residential — could trigger a domino effect for other properties along Hills & Dales and create a corridor of rental apartments.
“It’s really changing the whole reason a lot of people moved to Jackson,” he said. “A four-lane expressway, a 15-foot sound wall and ... apartments are not why we chose this community to reside in.”
Trustees will hold a public hearing on the zone change at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday in township hall at 5735 Wales Ave. NW.
Property owner Brian Carlone believes apartments would be a natural fit for the property, which sits just east of the Canterbury Commons apartment complex. It also would fill a need, he said.
He recalled how Canterbury’s owners approached him shortly after he purchased the land at an auction in October 2011. They wanted to buy it so they could expand.
“I did a count by hand, and within the last 15 years ... about 1,000 new homes or more (have been built),” Carlone said. “It’s all been single family (homes), no apartments at all.”
Carlone, whose backyard abuts Canterbury’s southern property line, disputes the claim that the new apartments would lower area property values. He said the complex would contain high-end units with monthly rents that start at $700. The developer, McKinley Development Co., also plans to leave trees and vegetation along the property’s edges to limit the noise, he said.
“I live there. I wouldn’t put something there that’s going to be a detriment to my property,” said Carlone, a 22-year resident.
Siding with Carlone are the Stark County Regional Planning Commission and the Jackson Township Zoning Commission, both of which already have recommended that trustees approve the zone change.
Regional Planning’s Executive Director Robert Nau said commission members considered the existing multifamily zoning that surrounds the property as well as the expansion of Hills & Dales Road NW that could handle the larger volume of traffic. Nau said the decision was not influenced by the fact that Carlone’s wife, Lynn, is an employee of the agency’s community development department. He said her position has no role in rezoning requests.
Page 2 of 2 - Jim Conley, chairman of the Jackson’s zoning commission, supports the zone change partly because he doesn’t believe single-family homes would ever be built there.
“When you have a fairly large undeveloped piece of property and it’s on a relatively busy street, the options are pretty limited,” he said.
Conley said the zoning commission did raise concerns about the proposed location of the property’s driveway, which would be across from where Deer Trace Avenue NW intersects Hills & Dales.
“It looked as though that could potentially create a bit of a left-turn difficulty,” Conley said. “... But those considerations are really outside of the zoning commission’s purview.”
Carlone said the site plans, which haven’t been submitted for approval, still could be changed if the driveway’s location remains an issue.
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