CUYAHOGA FALLS — City Council on Monday approved plans for a proposed $35 million development of town homes and single-family homes on a former golf course property.
Council voted 10-1 in favor of the final master plan and preliminary subdivision plat for the Villages at Sycamore project being built by Sycamore Valley Development Co. LLC on the former Sycamore Valley Golf Course on Akron Peninsula Road. The project is expected to have 143 housing units on 28.3 acres.The developer is Danny Karam and Ryan Homes will construct the homes.
Council member Russ Iona (R-8) cast the dissenting vote.
Greg Modic, who represents Karam, said the developer now must have both the planning commission and council approve the final plat for the first phase of the project. The planning commission meeting to review the final plat proposal may happen on July 2, according to Modic.
If the commission approves the final plat in early July, council would have the opportunity to pass the measure in July before it goes on its August break. If that happens, Modic said he expects to begin construction in early August. He added the development is “a pretty complicated project,” but noted, “I think it’s all been vetted out fairly well.”
Modic said the developer will also need to have the planning commission and council approve the final plat for the project’s second phase.
In April, despite objections raised by many residents, a majority of council agreed to rezone the land from E-1 Employment District to R-3 Sub-Urban Density Residential to allow for the construction of this development. The vote happened after a series of meetings in which many residents who live near the property opposed the rezoning due to concerns about flooding, traffic volume and issues related to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. About 100 people attended council’s planning and zoning committee discussion on April 1.
At a planning and zoning committee meeting on June 3, two residents shared their concerns. Gina Burk said the density of the proposed project “continues to be a problem for the neighbors.” She added she felt there should be “third-party oversight” of the evaluation of water quality in connection with the project. Chris Roman said she still had concerns about flooding. She noted states in the Midwest were experiencing “unprecedented floods.”
“Can you really approve 143 new homes right next to the already flood-prone Mudbrook and the Cuyahoga River?” asked Roman. “Anyone who moves into this development will be vulnerable. Anyone who approves this development will be responsible.”
The planning commission in May approved the project with these stipulations:
• All final plan design elements and planning staff stipulations must be incorporated into the preliminary subdivision plat;
• All elements not specified in the final master plan must meet the city’s General Development Code requirements and be incorporated into the Villages at Sycamore Preliminary Subdivision Plat;
• All Wexford and Rosecliff homes must meet Ryan Homes Traditional Design Standards. All Calvert homes must meet the Ryan Home Cottage Standards;
• The open space/greenway area and barn area must be subdivided into separate parcels;
• A 30 foot scenic easement must be created for the northern property line;
• The farm house does not need to be saved due to lack of historical significance, renovation cost and moving cost; and
• The developer must attempt to protect and preserve larger trees within the development area.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.