Two Twinsburg rezoning issues on the May ballot

April Helms
Akron Beacon Journal

TWINSBURG -- Twinsburg voters will determine whether two parcels will be rezoned to accommodate residential development in the May 4 election.

Issue 3 asks for the rezoning of 12.3 acres at 1816 E. Aurora Road from its current commercial (C-2) to R-5 single family cluster district zoning. The property is owned by Hillview Company.

Issue 4 seeks the rezoning of 13.3 acres on Ravenna Road and also owned by Hillview Company. Currently zoned industrial (I-2), if the issue is approved, it would change to R-5 single family cluster district zoning.

Rob Benjamin, vice president and director of real estate for Heritage Development and the spokesperson for Hillview Company, said the first parcel on East Aurora and Chamberlin roads is on the other side of the Whispering Woods development, which was recently completed.

"The preliminary site has 35 lots, very similar to Whispering Woods," Benjamin said. "We just completed the last phase [of Whispering Woods], and it sold out in less than six months. Twinsburg is a very good residential market, and residential property is popular right now." He added that the average home in Whispering Woods sold for about $350,000, and he anticipated the homes on the property at Route 82 and Chamberlin would sell for about that. 

The parcel on Ravenna Road would have between 35 and 40 lots, Benjamin said, with housing prices "starting in the low $300,000." The proposed development on East Aurora Road, or Route 82, would be aimed toward families, while the Ravenna Road development would strive to attract empty nesters, although "there would be no age restrictions."

Twinsburg City Council unanimously approved placing the rezoning issues at its Jan. 26 meeting. 

Hillview has sought to have the Route 82 parcel rezoned three times in the last six years. Benjamin said in an earlier interview that the firm has owned the parcel for more than 40 years. It was zoned I-1 industrial when the firm bought it, but voters OK’d rezoning to C-2 in 2005.

Because it has been difficult to find a business that is interested in the property, Benjamin said in an earlier interview that Hillview sought R-5 single-family cluster housing zoning in 2015, but soon after withdrew the request. In 2018, R-5 zoning was sought again, but at that time Council voted unanimously not to send the issue to the ballot.

Heritage Development Co., which is based out of Moreland Hills, also has developed several other area properties, including Barrington Estates & Gold Club, the Bertram Hotel and Conference Center, Villas of Bertram, and Iris Place, all in Aurora.

The property on Route 82 and Chamberlin is bordered on the east by vacant land zoned for industrial, on the south by a vacant parcel in Macedonia zoned for limited industrial, and on the west by Longwood Park in Macedonia, according to information provided by the city.

The property on Ravenna Road is bordered on the east by property with single family homes "and a small C-2 commercial site located on the west frontage," according to information provided by the city. Also west is Tinker's Creek and open space. Land north has "intensive commercial and light industrial, and very low-density residential uses" are south of the property.

Correspondent Ken Lahmers contributed to this article

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com.