STOW -- Residents will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed rezoning of four residential Graham Road properties.

City Council has scheduled a July 13 public hearing on the request of the owners of the properties on the north side of Graham, just a little east of Darrow Road, from R-3 residential to R-B residential business.

The hearing will be at 6 p.m.

The properties are between a commercial area to the west, around the intersection, and residences to the east.

The city's planning commission recommended approval of the rezoning April 25, saying that it is consistent with recommendations in the city's comprehensive plan for the area around the Graham and Darrow intersection.

Council introduced an ordinance to rezone the properties on May 11, but it has been held at second reading since May 25, pending the hearing. Council could give third and final reading to the ordinance and vote on it at its regular 7 p.m. meeting July 13.

The property owners say a road widening in front of their homes in the late 1990s and increased commercial development around the intersection has increased traffic and noise and they would like to sell their properties. But they say this has been difficult and they are hoping that opening up the possibility of commercial development will increase their chances.

Other residents in the area, including on Liberty Road to the north, have expressed concerns that if the properties are developed commercially, it will increase noise and stormwater runoff.

City officials say such concerns would be dealt with if and when site plans are brought to the planning commission and Council.

Planning Director Rob Kurtz said the R-B zoning allows for both residential and commercial development, the latter in a much more limited way than other commercial rezoning districts. Examples could include offices, small retail shops and restaurants.

Kurtz has also said that R-B is typically used as a transitional zoning between residential and more heavily commercial areas.


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