Atrium at Anna Maria Aurora expansion proposed

This illustration shows the locations of two proposed additions to the Atrium at Anna Maria. A two-story, 20-unit independent living building is shown at far left and an eight-bed memory care addition is shown at lower right.

AURORA – Trentstone Holdings LLC has unveiled plans for two additions at the Atrium at Anna Maria, and the city’s planning commission has accepted them for study.

At the panel’s May 20 meeting, architect David DiFrancesco outlined plans to build a two-story, 12,852-square-foot, 20-unit apartment addition on the north side of the existing building at 800 N. Aurora Road and a one-story, 2,271-square-foot, eight-bed memory care addition on the south side.

DiFrancesco said the apartments would be independent living quarters, not assisted living. That addition would connect to the existing building via a small passageway, and there would be a courtyard in between the two buildings.

There would be an elevator in the new two-story building. It would have patios for first-floor residents and Juliet balconies for second-floor residents. A net gain of 23 parking spaces are planned at the complex.

DiFrancesco said if the two additions are completed, no further development on the current site is anticipated. New facilities would be possible only if adjacent land could be acquired.

Planning-Zoning-Building Director Denise Januska said a 50-foot side yard setback variance is required before final site plan approval, and sidewalks along North Aurora and Treat roads also are required. Improvement and stormwater plans have been submitted.

In other action, the panel approved an architectural portfolio for 119 townhomes at Pulte Homes’ proposed Renaissance Park at Geauga Lake subdivision between Treat and Squires roads.

The homes on the west side of the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks are part of the overall 308 units planned for 245 acres of former Sea World of Ohio land. Ninety-eight acres will be set aside as parkland and 20 acres adjacent to Liberty Ford will be used for commercial purposes.

Pulte Homes rep Keith Filipkowski explained there four styles of townhomes will be offered – Queen Ann, American farmhouse, Greek revival and colonial revival. He said Pulte will go to the architectural board of review soon for final approval of the styles.

Pulte plans to offer Ashton and Bowman floor plans, which include three upstairs bedrooms, two-car garages and concrete patios in back of the units. A handful of layout options would be available, and the patios would be separated by security fences.

Meanwhile, further discussion about eight requested riparian and wetlands variances for the proposed Phase 6 of Hawthorn of Aurora will take place at the panel’s June 3 meeting.

Phase 6 is planned for 55.5 acres west of Morgan Trail and south of Aurora Lake Road. Fifty-two lots are proposed along streets called Nancy Drive, Reid’s Way and Bluebird Lane.

About a dozen residents, most of whom live in Aurora Shores, spoke during a live-streamed public hearing, with several urging the planning panel to deny the variances because of concerns about stormwater issues and how the new homes would affect lake quality.

“We are compliant with regulations and are trying to do everything we can to alleviate stormwater issues,” said developer Mark Constantino. “We could fill in the wetlands, but since they are important we’re asking for the variances instead. Most variances are related to detention basins we plan to add.”

Residents said there have been three instances so far this year of heavy rains causing neighborhood flooding. Some cited situations where silt and debris are clogging up channels and not allowing lakefront residents access to Aurora Lake.

One resident raised the issue of increased traffic possibly reducing home values since many of the new residents would use Nautilus Trail for trips to and from Twinsburg.

City Engineer Justin Czekaj said Hawthorn’s plans meet stormwater standards, and Hawthorn engineer Ken Hejduk said the developer obtained a city permit before clearing a portion of the Phase 6 land, something which residents claimed has worsened the runoff problems.

Constantino said many of the drainage issues were caused by long-ago development in Aurora Shores. “Hawthorn makes up only 13 percent of the watershed,” he said. “I don’t think everything should be blamed on us when Aurora Shores has contributed to the problem.”

Januska said the Chagrin River Watershed Partners have made recommendations after reviewing Hawthorn’s Phase 6 plans, and the Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners will be asked to do the same.

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