The Lucas County Plan Commission has recommended approval for a zoning change on Central Avenue between Centennial and Crissey roads for the construction of a 214-unit apartment development.
The development, to be known as The Lakes at Central Reserve, will be "a luxury apartment community," according to George Oravecz, of Oravecz Consulting and Engineering Services, the engineer for the project.
The applicant for the zoning change is Redwood Development Co., of Beachwood, OH. Mr. Oravecz told commissioners that the firm has similar developments in Monclova and Perrysburg Township, Perrysburg, and Oregon.
He said it is projected that the Sylvania Township development will have about 70 percent of residents aged 55 and older and that the rest will be young professionals.
Entry to the apartments will be without steps and all doorways will be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, he said.
Mr. Oravecz noted that each unit will have a two-car garage so there is no issue of a massive parking lot. He added that he has two meetings with area residents prior to the plan commission hearing.
One nearby resident asked the commission to consider traffic to the adjoining neighborhood to the east, based on the extension of Manci Drive into the project.
Mr. Oravecz said that for the development to be approved by the Sylvania Township Fire Department, a second means of egress and ingress is necessary in addition to Central Avenue as the primary entrance to the apartments.
He said a sign will be posted at Manci telling drivers that the roadway is to be used by emergency vehicles.
Another person questioned the viability of the project due to flooding conditions which have occurred in the immediate area.
Keith Earley, Lucas County Engineer and a member of the commission, noted that a plan had been forwarded to the Sylvania Township trustees which should mitigate future flooding.
It was also noted that the plan commission staff recommended approval, but with 43 conditions. A number of those conditions concern the issue of storm water detention and drainage.
One area resident spoke in favor of the project.
Current zoning of the approximately 39 acres is agricultural and along the Central Avenue frontage, general commercial. The change sought is for a residential planning unit development, and along Central, to be a general commercial planned unit development.
The issue will come before the Sylvania Township Zoning Commission for a recommendation at its meeting this month and will likely be heard by the Sylvania Township trustees in May for a final decision on the zoning change.
The Sylvania Township Zoning Commission may begin a discussion of possible changes in some of its regulations governing monument signs of the township.
The issue was raised by Daryl Graus, planning and zoning manager for the township, who told the panel recently that he had noticed an increase in filings with the board of zoning appeals seeking variances for height and/or setback requirements for monument signs.
Mr. Graus said he didn't have any specific recommendations for changes, nor was he suggesting any might be needed, but thought it was a good idea to mention the issue for the board to determine if some changes might be needed.
He added that when he looked at surrounding communities, it appeared that in many instances the Sylvania Township regulations were more restrictive than others.
Sylvania Township allows such signs to be a maximum of 5 ft. high and they must be set back from the right-of-way a minimum of 15 ft.
He noted that in nearby Monclova Township, such signs are allowed to be as much as 15 ft. high, although the set back requirement is further at 20 ft. Springfield Township, he said, has no setback requirement but allows for the height to gradually increase based on the distance from the right-of-way.
The City of Sylvania allows for heights of 6 to 10ft., based on the zoning of the location. Monument signs in the city must be no closer than 10 ft. from the right-of-way.
The Sylvania Township road department was recently able to squeeze in some work off snow-and-ice-covered streets and into Ten Mile Creek to ease a potentially bad situation where several large logs had formed a jam just north of Sylvania Avenue and west of Mitchaw Road.
Sylvania Township trustees were shown a brief video clip of a large excavator with water nearly over its treads breaking through the ice and lifting what appeared to be full trees from the site.
Greg Huffman, public works manager for the township, told trustees that crews had to be cautious to not cause ice jams forming while pulling logs from the waterway.
Mr. Huffman said the township was fortunate that the jam had developed near a farm field and access was granted to the area. He said it could have been different if there were a number of home sites at that point.
He added that the excavator was leased for the job and the cost of the project was $1,662. He said he will see reimbursement for the expense from the county storm water utility district.
Sylvania Township trustees have approved the donation of 16 lockers for personal protective equipment to the Spencer Township Fire Department.
Chief Jeff Kowalski told the trustees at a recent meeting that the Spencer department is bringing on more people and intending to man their station at all times.
With the remodeling of one station and construction of three others the department earlier sold many lockers which weren't usable in the the facilities.
He said the department still had some. The 16 to be donated to Spencer Township are at least 10 years old and have a total value of under $2,500 according to the resolution approved by trustees.