SILVER LAKE — Village Council on Monday unanimously agreed to make some changes on what is allowed in the zoning district where the elementary school property is located.
Under the changes, a public school can continue to operate on Silver Lake Elementary School’s site at 2970 Overlook Road. A playground or a ball field would be allowed, but not a maintenance, sanitation or storage facility.
Council President Jerry Jones (At Large) said the village is trying to exercise more control on what type of structure is built on the site if the Cuyahoga Falls City School District ever decided to sell and close the village’s elementary school, which is located in an Institutional Zoning District.
"It’s to the benefit of the village that we do this," said Jones on Monday during a council meeting that was held via teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No one spoke during a public hearing on the legislation during Monday’s meeting.
Cuyahoga Falls City School District Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols has said no decisions have been made regarding any K-5 school building plans. He added that he does not expect discussions to happen on K-5 buildings for four to five years.
On Monday, council approved the following changes on what is allowed and not allowed in an Institutional Zoning District:
1. Added wording that says "a public neighborhood school operated by the Cuyahoga Falls Local School District" is a main use that is allowed. The other main uses that were already allowed are churches, child care in a church as licensed by the state, and governmental buildings and structures.
2. Added wording that says "playgrounds, ball fields and associated green space," and "utility service, or facilities directly related to the maintenance of the building or buildings which constitute the main use, when wholly enclosed within the building or buildings which constitute the main use" are accessory uses that are allowed. Other accessory uses that were allowed include off-street parking, driveways, walkways, landscape features, fences and walls.
3. Eliminated wording so that "loading areas," as well as "maintenance, sanitation and storage" facilities are no longer allowed in an Institutional District.
Last summer, village officials first considered rezoning the elementary school property from an Institutional Zoning District to a Residential District. The planning commission recommended against doing that and commission chair Jeff Heintz said he and his fellow members believed the village instead "should limit the alternative uses currently permissible" in an Institutional Zoning District.
Following a review process, the commission made the recommended changes that were approved by council on Monday.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, email@example.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.