Bainbridge -- Township trustees have hired a consultant to help develop standards for the former Geauga Lake Park land in the township and along the Route 43 corridor.

Trustees, who have brought the Insite Advisory Group of Fairlawn on board, hope to help restore the land and have it mesh with Aurora's use of the property.

The Geauga Lake land, which is owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment of Sandusky, includes 322 acres in Aurora and 270 acres in Bainbridge Township.

A proposed mixed-use zoning district for the former amusement park land in Aurora was overwhelmingly approved by Aurora voters in 2014.

That property previously was zoned industrial, but Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said that is not the best use of the land. Instead, by making it a mixed-use district, she said the zoning would combine residential, office, commercial and entertainment all in one.

"After rezoning to a mixed-use development district, more development opportunities will open up for the city," Womer Benjamin said.

Bainbridge Trustee Jeff Markley said Insite was involved with Aurora in its rezoning effort, and township trustees liked the firm.

"We knew Insite was working with Aurora," he said. "We were able to have some conversations with Aurora officials about Insite. We got a chance to meet its staff. There were some things that made sense if we brought Insite to the township, such as having some consistency [in design standards].

"Townships don't have planners on staff, so they hire a consultant," he said. "That seemed to be a logical choice. We should have someone looking at this full time -- the Geauga Lake site and the Route 43 corridor -- and now we do."

Insite is a consulting group that works with communities to maximize their development potential and create successful public / private partnerships, officials said.

Insite will help to create development standards for the land and Route 43 corridor, and then work on zoning for the property.

Markley said the continuing task is "to develop design standards and guidelines for us along the Route 43 corridor so we can be more specific to future business applicants as to what our expectations are.

"At the end of the day, this is something we can do, and put that vision on paper, allowing us to share it with future applicants."

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