Perrysburg approves zoning change for senior housing


PERRYSBURG – With preliminary city approval, Fransican Living Communities is laying the groundwork for
development of a retirement community that will coordinate with a nearby Catholic parish on Ohio 25.
The planning commission approved a zoning change Thursday for the southern city property – to be
developed under the name St. Clare Commons – from Institutional to Multiple Family Residential as well
as a preliminary qualification for Planned Unit Development. Located east of and adjacent to Blessed
John XXIII Catholic Community at 24250 Dixie Highway, the site plans call for independent and assisted
living units and health care facilities.
The FLC and Catholic Diocese of Toledo, under sponsorship of the Sisters of St. Francis, plan to execute
a phased development of the 50-acre site that will be set back from Route 25 and will expand south from
Five Point Road. The first phase would include an approximately 60-unit assisted living facility and a
36-unit dementia assisted living facility. These health care facilities would abut Five Point Road.
The group then anticipates construction of a 60-bed nursing facility and about 130 independent living
"Part of why the Sisters of St. Francis are interested in being here at this location is for the
coordination with the parish, and shared services and programs," said Rick Ryan, FLC president and
chief executive officer.
The approved residential zoning applies to 28 acres directly to the east of the church, with a
200-foot-wide piece of the parcel extending north to Five Point Road.
Despite the planning commission’s approval of the zoning change, members expressed some concerns about
access to the property and density of the development.
Commission member Kim Bilkovsky warned against impeding emergency services to an elderly community by
limiting entrances to two roads, off of Dixie Highway and Five Point Road respectively. Member Greg Bade
echoed the same concerns and questioned the developers about whether the area could accommodate the
expected population while still adhering to height requirements for buildings.
Mark Higgins, a project engineer with the Ohama firm Schemmer Associates, said the site includes about
four dwellings per acre and that the density is "well within the zoning ordinance for density
A boulevard entrance connecting to Five Point Road will contain an additional lane and provide
satisfactory access for emergency services, he said.
Father Herb Weber, of Blessed John, also assured the commission that a road would connect the retirement
community to the parish.
At least one resident in the neighboring township remained unconvinced, however, that the proposed
development would not hinder traffic.
Ronald Euton, 24153 Dixie Highway, said he was disappointed that more township residents did not attend
the meeting to express their concerns.
Euton said he was particularly disturbed by what he described as the city’s habit of annexing
"chunks" of land and then claiming the need to annex more land to straighten boundaries.
"I realize progress is measured in bricks and mortar and tax dollars," he said, but urged the
board to consider the potential impact on commuters and emergency service providers.
Weber told the board that the project might appear somewhat different than when details were presented
years ago as part of zoning proceedings for the parish, because the more land had been purchased during
the interim. He said the townhouses that appear in the new plans, however, are still part of the
original plans for independent living facilities.
Council passed an ordinance earlier this month, approving annexation of the approximately 46-acre Spitler
Annexation area. The annexation will be complete when the 31-day period expires on July 2. About half of
that soon-to-be annexed property will be combined into the St. Clare Commons development.
The preliminary PUD area includes both the southern 28 acres of the property – owned by the Toledo
diocese and to be conveyed to St. Clare Commons – as well as the northern 22 acres abutting Five Point
Road, for which St. Clare has a purchase agreement.
St. Clare Commons attorney Bart Wagenman told board member Mary Kruger, the only member to opposed the
PUD qualification, that PUD approval would grant developers the flexibility to construct multiple
buildings on relatively few parcels.
Board members seemed to approve of the group’s general intentions to develop the site as a retirement
community but harbored some lingering reservations about whether the group could meet specific
requirements to satisfy approval of a formal PUD application.
Member Becky Williams said she struggled to see how the development would not increase service loads
beyond the amount outlined in the city’s comprehensive plan.
Bade said he accepted the group’s intention for the proposed development type, "but what I see here
is not what I would vote ‘yes’ for. I have some concerns in the way that it’s broken up."
He said plans based on "what the market demands" after completion of the first two project
phases concerned him.
"I want to see it be develop at a reasonable pace," he said.
Bade, who ultimately recommended approval, said the group represented their intentions for the area well
and that a PUD was the only zoning type that would work for that sort of development.
"But there are a number of items you will need to address," he said.
St. Clare Commons will next need to appear before the commission again for a PUD application. A public
hearing on the zoning change has been set for 6:45 p.m. on Aug. 18.

No posts to display