AURORA — A handful of nearby residents expressed concerns March 20 about a potential increase in stormwater problems if a riparian setback variance is granted for a lot on Prestige Woods Boulevard.

The builder — Old World Classics — is asking the city planning commission for a 25-foot riparian setback variance for grading during the construction of a proposed home. The 0.67-acre lot is surrounded by single-family homes in the R-3 residential zoning district.

The panel accepted the variance request for study, and Planning-Zoning-Building Director Denise Januska said the plans will be forwarded to the Chagrin River Watershed Partners for review.

A portion of the finished driveway would be located within the required riparian setback, and the builder has submitted a crossing plan for a driveway bridge.

"We have reduced the grading in the riparian area as much as possible, with the positioning of the house and also the design of the headwalls on the driveway culvert," said Andrew Eggeman, representing Old World Classics.

At a public hearing prior to the planning panel’s regular session, a half-dozen residents expressed their concerns about building on the lot, several of them claiming it is "unbuildable."

Some of the residents told the panel they and other neighbors near the lot have experienced water in their basements and other flooding problems, and some of the adjacent lots are higher than the vacant one.

In addition, they said they believe Yorkshire Estates also dumps water into the area.

Some of the concerned residents believe if the home is built, it would adversely affect the value of the surrounding homes.

Councilman John Kudley said he believes the vacant lot is unsuitable for a home, while resident Eser Manav said the property is essentially a wetlands and should remain green space, or the builder should at least adhere to a 75-foot setback.

Planning panelist Sarah Gilmore said she used to live in the neighborhood, and is "very concerned" about the stormwater situation. Panelist Peter French told the builder and lot owner, "I can’t imagine how you’ll make this work."


Planning panelists also accepted for study revisions to the final plats for Sturbridge Place subdivision and Barrington Estates Phase 6.

Sturbridge Place is the proposed 57-lot development on the west side of South Chillicothe Road, north of the new McMaster Carr warehouse and west of Aurora Industrial Parkway.

Barrington Phase 6 is on 21.4 acres between the golf course and Bertram Inn, connects with Club Drive and includes 36 lots. According to Heritage Development representative Rob Benjamin, it is the final phase of Barrington Estates.

Travis Coyne, representing Sturbridge Place, said stormwater plans have been revised, and traffic and lighting plans are being completed. He said the developer is waiting for the EPA to issue permits.

Januska said the administration is reviewing a request to begin clearing trees from the property prior to final plat approval. Coyne said if approval is not received by April 1, the developer must wait until the next deadline of Oct. 1.

Law Director Dean DePiero explained it is not unusual for the administration to grant a tree removal permit if there is an indication by the developer that the project will move forward soon.

Januska said the city’s arborist will closely monitor whether the developer is sticking to the tree clearing plan. She added if the trees come down, they will have to remain on site until the final plat is approved.

The city initially approved a conditional zoning certificate for a residential conservation development on the property in 2008. Forty-three percent of the land — about 10.8 acres — will remain open space.

Januska said a sidewalk is required on the west side of South Chillicothe Road across the land’s frontage, and two existing vacant homes will be demolished.

As for Barrington Phase 6, Benjamin said wetlands permits have been granted, and Heritage wants to begin improvements on the property this summer.

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400, ext. 4189 or