Aurora planners studying JW Kingdom Hall site plan

This sketch shows the proposed layout of the Jehovah Witnesses Kingdom Hall property south of Mantua Grain & Supply on Route 43, with the new building to the north and parking to the south.

AURORA — After more than a year since a conditional zoning certificate was granted, a preliminary site plan has been submitted for a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in Aurora and is now being studied by the planning commission and city officials.

The planning panel accepted for study the preliminary site plan at its June 17 meeting. The JW congregation proposes to erect a 2,832-square-foot Kingdom Hall on two parcels (4.4 acres) just south of Mantua Grain & Supply and across Route 43 from Aurora Farms Premium Outlets.

ABR Management LLC, the property owner, and JW Congregation Support Inc. are the entities which submitted the preliminary site plan. The site is in an O-1 office zoning district, which allows professional offices, non-profit organizations and limited business service activities.

The building on the north side of the property would seat about 130 people in its auditorium, and a 46-vehicle parking lot would be on the south end near the access road to Miller and Leighton schools. Sunday mornings would be the busiest time for trips to and from the building since worship services take place then.

According to Planning-Zoning-Building Director Denise Januska, a front setback variance is needed from the board of zoning appeals and a wetlands delineation also is required.

Elevations have been presented to the architectural board of review on a preliminary basis and revisions have been made. Two vacant homes on the property must be demolished as a condition for final site plan approval.

There are Kingdom Halls nearby in Streetsboro, Twinsburg, Chagrin Falls, Kent, Ravenna and Stow. JW rep Amos Nichols told the planning panel last year that if the Aurora facility is built, the Streetsboro and Chagrin Falls locations would close.

In its only other action at the session, planning panelists elected Laura Duguay as first vice chairman and Sarah Gilmore as second vice chairman. The change was necessary after former panelist Peter French Jr. was appointed to an at-large seat on City Council.

Building report detailed

The May report from the city’s building department shows that permits were issued for projects valued at $1.9 million — $1.53 million residential and $382,171 commercial.

Three commercial projects received permits — interior alterations at CVS/Pharmacy ($165,000) and Tide Cleaners ($40,000) and fire repairs at the Aurora Inn ($177,171).

Residential permits included: Single-family home, condo, garage and in-ground pool, one each; additions and above-ground pools, seven each; decks, 16; utility buildings, 10; and alterations, two.

Total building fees ($31,465) and deposits ($30,500) collected in May were $61,965. Fifty-eight licenses were issued, and city workers made 382 inspections — 357 residential and 25 commercial-industrial.

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