STOW — A developer is eyeing the construction of 11 additional assisted living villas to the Omni Senior Living campus on Allen Road, making it "the largest commercial project in the city of Stow’s history."

City planners met Jan. 9 to consider the proposed addition to the previously approved 148-unit assisted living development, which is under construction. 

The property in question is zoned I-1 Limited Industrial and Stow Planning Director Robert Kurtz said assisted living facilities are conditionally permitted in this district. The proposed villas would be located south of the 8-acre Omni Senior Living campus and east of the Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons medical building. If approved, the size of the Omni campus would expand by 1.7 acres. The developer, Thomas Finley, who is a partner in Beachwood-based Omni Senior Living, is seeking a a variance to permit the proposed villas — single-story ranches — to be located 12 feet from the side property lines when 20 feet is required.

According to Kurtz, the 148-unit development which was approved in 2017 includes 82 designated for independent living, 42 for assisted living; 18 for memory care; and six for independent living. Finley said the hope is for that complex to be completed "by this time next year," given favorable weather conditions.

Finley described that undertaking as "the largest commercial project in the city of Stow’s history" adding, "We’re here tonight to expand on that because the marketing data basically says there is a high demand for independent living, … more so than assisted, more so than memory care, for this location and for Stow in general."

Finley said phase one represents a $25 million investment in the city; he described as being premature to provide an investment figure for the proposed additional phase at this time. The developer said he’d be ready to begin construction of the proposed 11 villas upon the leasing of the original six villas which are being built in phase one of the project.

Planners will continue consideration of the proposal at their Jan. 23 meeting; they want clarification from the fire department regarding the need for two access points for the adjacent LaSpina building, 4282 Hudson Drive. During the Jan. 9 discussion Carol LaSpina expressed concern about stormwater management, noting the Omni development is situated at a higher elevation than the LaSpina building. She said water would have to flow past the LaSpina building to get to a detention basin located on the adjacent Printing Concepts property, an arrangement she predicted would cause problems. There will be enhancements made to existing storm water management systems allowed by easement to ensure storm water is handled, LaSpina was told.

Easements were another concern voiced by LaSpina. She reported her family has purchased additional land with an eye to future expansion.

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