Development in limbo until public hearings set for January PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Friday, 14 December 2012 11:38
eWoosterProjRendering_story
Artist rendition of proposed development at of East Wooster and North Prospect
A proposed commercial/residential development for the north side of the 200 block of Bowling Green's East Wooster Street remains in limbo pending two public hearings in early January.
Ordinances that would rezone several properties in the 100 block of North Prospect Street, East Wooster Street and the 100 block of North Summit Street from B-2, general commercial, to B-3, central business district, were tabled indefinitely Nov. 19. The proposed zoning change met stiff opposition from neighbors and neighborhood groups.
In response to some of the concerns raised at the hearing, council introduced a pair of ordinances at its Dec. 3 meeting. The Planning Commission has set public hearings for its Jan. 2 meeting at 7 p.m. Council will hold its required public hearing Jan. 7 at 5:30 p.m.
One ordinance would amend the code so that no residential units could be located on the first floor of structures in a B-3 district.
The second proposed ordinance would create a B-5, transitional central business district zone. All uses allowed in B-3 would be permitted, except that no building could have more than two stories above grade for occupancy. Bulk and density regulations would be unchanged.
Several speakers at the Nov. 19 hearing were concerned that buildings in B-3 could be four stories and some were surprised to learn that four stories would also be allowed under the existing B-2 zoning.
The area has been zoned B-2 since at least 1975, when the city's zoning code was adopted.
The project proposed by Steve and Michelle Green that night would require demolition of one house on North Prospect and three houses on East Wooster immediately east of the existing private parking lot. The house at the northwest corner of North Summit and East Wooster would remain, as would the remainder of the structures on the block bounded on the north by Court Street.
JD_eWoosterProj.9344_story
Northeast corner of East Wooster and North Prospect (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Steve Green said early this week that the rendering for the 8,500 square-foot structure shows eight store fronts but the total could be anywhere from four to eight. "There's a common hallway in the center with an elevator," said. Although the drawing shows different roof lines, he said one consistent look would be chosen.
"We have Jimmy Johns interested and Aprizado, a yogurt place that has an outlet on Dussel Drive in Maumee. We think that those would be a nice fit, about half of the building," he said.
Green believes the project would result in fewer street exits-entrances than exist and said the roof lines would be no higher than existing buildings. He said the project has the potential to create at least two dozens jobs and would generate more tax money for the schools that the existing structures.
Les Barber, who lives in the 300 block of North Prospect said in his "ideal world" the residential character of the neighborhood would remain. "I'd rather have residential houses. I think city council has moved in one of the directions that citizens have asked. They are trying to address at least one of the things that residents mentioned."
At the hearing Court Street resident Nancy Lenhart said she couldn't believe they want to recreate a downtown out of an old-fashioned neighborhood.
City Planning Director Heather Saylor said she has received little inquiry from residents of the area since council introduced the legislation.
"I did have one request for the draft ordinance and a couple of council members have talked to about the zoning code, buffering and setbacks," Saylor said.
Also on Jan. 7, at 6 p.m. council has a public hearing scheduled on a proposal to rezone the southeast corner of South Prospect and East Wooster to B-3, to allow construction of a CVS pharmacy.
That project would require demolition of the former Ohio National Guard Armory and the former Deck-Hanneman Funeral Home that front on Wooster, and two houses on South Prospect.
 

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