SILVER LAKE — The possibility of rezoning the 4.3-acre plot of land where the Silver Lake Elementary School currently sits has been tabled, for now.
Village Council unanimously agreed to postpone an initial rezoning proposal indefinitely, and to send it to Silver Lake’s planning commission for a new review.
Village solicitor Robert Heydorn said that when the planning commission and council discuss this issue again, it will be around a completely new ordinance.
"The object of this thing is to more clearly define what can be done on that property," he said.
The property’s zoning is an issue because the Cuyahoga Falls City School District is hoping to reorganize its school buildings. It is preparing to ask voters to approve a 9.83-mill tax levy on the Nov. 5 ballot to pay for the first phase of its Master Facilities Plan.
Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols said there have been "no decisions" regarding the district’s elementary schools that would be addressed in the second phase of the Master Facilities Plan.
Currently, the institutional zoning of the school property will only permit something such as a school, church or government building, Heydorn said. The village plans to retain the school use of the property, he said, but added, "We just want to make sure the school can’t put something there" that would not be a good fit for the area.
Council had discussed the possibility of rezoning the land at 2970 Overlook Road from its current Institutional District classification to a Residential District category. However, the planning commission recently recommended against rezoning the property.
Heydorn said that once the planning commission sends its suggestions back to council as to what should be in the new resolution, council will craft new legislation to send to the planning commission for a recommendation.
Mayor Bernie Hovey said that legislation regarding zoning must go through three readings and a public hearing before it could be voted on; council will go through this procedure with the new legislation, when it is created.
Council President Jerry Jones said in a previous interview he requested the rezoning legislation "so that the village can pretty much determine what goes in there if [the school district] would close the school and decide to try to sell it off or tear it down."
Silver Lake Elementary School was established in 1919, one year after the village was incorporated.
A public hearing on the issue was scheduled for before the regular council meeting July 15; however, no one spoke about the rezoning at that time.
Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @AprilKHelms_RPC