Perrysburg turns down retirement community


PERRYSBURG – The city has decided to close its economic corridor along Ohio 25 to plans for a continuing
care retirement community.
Council voted 3-1 Tuesday to deny rezoning and assignment of permanent zoning for property at the
southeast corner of Five Point Road and Dixie Highway that Franciscan Living Communities planned to
develop under the name St. Clare Commons. The proposed elderly housing development, consisting of
independent and assisted living units and health care facilities, would have coordinated programming and
services with the adjacent Blessed John XXIII Catholic Community at 24250 Dixie Highway.
In light of council’s objection to the zoning requests, developers would need to start the committee
approval process again to revive the project.
Members Joe Lawless, Mike Olmstead and Maria Ermie voted against the zoning ordinances while member Tom
Mackin voted to move the project forward. Both members Joe Rutherford and Tim McCarthy abstained, and
member John Kevern was absent.
Developers wanted a zoning change for about 28 acres to the east of the church from INS to Multi-Famility
Residential, as well as assignment of permanent zoning for the 46-acre Spitler Annexation to split
Agricultural and Multi-Family Residential.
Although the zoning requests were recommended by the Planning Commission and administration, a majority
of council acted on their reservations about whether the project fit into the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

Lawless reiterated his position that rezoning the 50-acre project site would remove property inventory
available for economic development.
"If we start ignoring our Comprehensive Plan and ignore something because we’ve done it
before," the city may set an undesired precedent for similar requests from future projects, he
But Mackin said the city should not "pooh-pooh" an opportunity to create reliable jobs in a
down economy, especially since an attached contract to the project would require development as proposed
and not simply a multi-family project.
"It seems to me that this is not a terrible use of the space behind the lot," he said.
"There are certain restrictions behind it, and we are going to have steady economic development
with these particular jobs as opposed to a promise that hasn’t even happened out there," he said,
referring to the proposed Kroger retail project farther north on Ohio 25.
Olmstead said he kept returning to consideration of whether the project fits within the parameters of
economic development and wondered whether the city would entertain the same request from another
lesser-known entity. "I’m not sure," he said.
Ermie said the requests made for a tough decision.
"However, I’ve also worked with a number of companies that we would like to keep in Perrysburg, the
city," she said. "And we really don’t have that much space available, and this is definitely
indicated on our Comprehensive Plan our economic corridor. And, even when I look at the project in its
entirety, I can’t get to the rezoning."
Rick Ryan, FLC president and chief executive officer, declined comment after the decision except to say
that the project would have created 120 jobs and $40 million during the first phase. Bart Wagenman, the
St. Clare attorney, said the project would have carried a $5-million payroll.
The decision also means the still unzoned annexed Spitler piece will need an assignment by the city.
The council additionally approved a resolution requesting the Ohio General Assembly review the impact of
ORC 4117 on public employers. Members of city council have argued that local governments should have
more control over personnel budgets than state arbitrators.
Three firefighters appeared at the Oct. 27 Personnel Committee meeting to voice concerns about the timing
of this resolution. According to the minutes, the employees felt they were being portrayed negatively in
the debate. Ermie responded that the council’s decision was not a personal attack but rather guided by
local comparables. The firefighters maintained their comparables did not support the city’s claims.
A state-selected arbitrator recommended a raise in the firefighters’ favor in September.
In other action, the board:
¥ Heard the city rejected a response for an alternative transportation study. In the meantime, the city’s
hired consultant was asked to review using existing vendors and models they use for alternate
¥ Granted an appeal of an Historic Landmarks Commission decision in favor of Jill Smith, who wanted to
relocate a fence along the eastern side of her back yard and the side yard on West Front Street. Mackin
¥ Approved permanent zoning of General Highway Commercial for the Scrambler Marie’s property at 25740
Dixie Highway with Rutherford abstaining.
¥ Approved applying for an Ohio Department of Natural Resources Office of Coastal Management Grant in the
amount of $45,000. The city will budget $12,500 in the 010 budget and use $10,000 of in-kind match in
labor and administrative services. The grant assists coastal communities in preserving or improving
their resources.
¥ Entered into agreement with Arcadis in the amount of $9,600 to prepare the 2009 update to the city’s
Infrastructure Cost Recovery Report; change a contract with Gleason Construction in an amount not to
exceed $114,803 to repave parts of West Second Street as part of the Cherry Street Sewer Separation;
authorized extension for six years of agreements with First Energy Solutions to provide lower-cost
electricity to residential and small-commercial users; amended an ordinance to specify that there is no
minimum billing on second meters used for irrigation or pools.

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